Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sex and the City-Baked Goods

Is there a suicide prevention
hotline for cake eaters?
Sex and the City episode - Miranda is having a relationship with chocolate baked goods. First eclairs, which start at one but she works up to four. Runs out. Next day at store orders more but then decides to buy a whole gourmet chocolate cake. Cake is something like $89.00.Cancel that cake. She decides to be frugal and buys a cake mix and canned frosting. She makes the cake and cuts herself a small slice and puts it away over and over and over again. The slices are getting bigger. She hesitates more before putting the cake away - just leaves it out because she knows she will be back for more. Miranda decides she needs to stop. She puts the cake in the trash can and leaves the kitchen. She is back a minute later. She reaches into the garbage can and takes out a bit of cake and puts it in her mouth. She then calls Carrie and leaves a message. "I know you are probably having mind blowing sex right now but I thought you should know that your friend Miranda Hobbs just took a big hunk of cake out of a garbage can and ate it. You will probably need this information when you check her into the Betty Crocker Clinic." Miranda then takes dish soap and pours it all over the remaining cake before she leaves her kitchen with a satisfied smile on her face. 

If I were Miranda and this was my story, I would have handed over my credit card and bought the cake, convinced that a cake that expensive has to have mystical properties that make it worth not only the price but also the physical and emotional "cost." I have been let down because the first bite is always' the best' and all bites after that will never be as perfectly delicious as I perceive they should be. Once I felt stuffed I would toss the leftover cake into the garbage and I use Comet to keep me from going back for more.

Now, the NEXT time I wanted the chocolate cake, I would have bought the mix. I would have devoured the residue on the beaters and in the bowl, I would have licked so much icing as I made it that I would need to make a second batch, just in case there wasn't enough for the cake. Then I would have started in on the cake.

Once I start eating something that is not on my food plan, (which would have started with the first taste of the un-cooked cake mix) I will either finish it outright so I can get it out of the house and start fresh, (I call that a purge without vomit) or I will eat all I want and throw the rest away and sprinkle Comet over the leftovers. (the food addict's equivalent to the alcoholic's Antabuse).

Once I have the first taste, I don't have the discipline to ignore leftovers sitting around. That is the difference between just wanting something and having an addictive response. Is it any wonder why I find it is healthier for me not to attempt one bite, one piece, one slice?

I stopped hurting myself with sugar last weekend. My mind is clear (again) and I am doing the work. If it is painful to work through the feelings that come up when I am not pushing them down with food (and it will be painful at times) I need remember that it is at least equally painful, twice as hard  and takes twice as long to work through things when my substance is my priority.

Do you have a Miranda story of your own to share? What do you do differently today?



Norma said...

Well, one time I was working at this small company when I was just out of college, and most of the time, I was the only one in the office. It was located in a beautiful brownstone building in the Back Bay. A chocolate craving struck me and although it was a nasty day -- cold and driving rain -- I put on my jacket and hustled to the store on the next block, where I bought (if I recall correctly) a quart of Hershey's chocolate milk, a three-pack of Hostess chocolate cupcakes, a Snickers bar, and a family-size Hershey Big Block candy bar. The Snickers was halfway in my mouth as I stepped out the door and gone by the time I got back to work. I plowed through the cupcakes first (two or three bites each), then killed the candy bar, and demolished all the milk. Not my finest moments, but it stands out in my memory as one of my worst, uncontrollable binges.

Jane Cartelli said...

You know I can identify with that. Sadly, it was not too long ago that I ran to the store and bought candy and ice cream - and a chocolate bar I could open in the car to tide me over until I could get home. I am surprised I didn't trip open a bag of chocolate in the store and start eating while I was gathering the rest of the junk. . . no I'm not. I would never have done that in public where I would have felt shame if someone had seen me. I eat alone so I can have even more shame from being sneaky.

Jane Cartelli said...

I meant to write 'rip' open a bag.

Rebecca said...

I have too many to count sadly. Most recently was the cookie cake at valentine's day... I ended up having to pour ketchup on it to stop going back to the garbage can and grabbing one last bite out of the box... gees.

My response is always exactly like yours... including the "clean it out by eating it all so I can start fresh later" mentality. I have much to learn still...but I do know, I will never stop at one bite, one cookie, one anything if it has sugar in it.

tucking_fwit said...

I wish I had come across your blog a long time ago because you speak such common sense. But perhaps now that I'm tackling my eating disorder your posts are particularly pertinent.

I've suffered from binge eating for decades and bulemia on-and-off for years. I've probably gorged huge amounts of food (and sometimes purged afterwards but not always) thousands of times.

Your last post about the pain of dealing with horrible feelings vs pushing them down with food and then still having to deal with pain and work twice as hard and twice as long to undo the damage is going to be my mantra to help me.

Please keep up your excellent insights.

Diane 150 Pounds Gone Forever said...

I could fill a book with Miranda stories and practically did with mine. I would pick food off the top of the trash can, have to bake another batch of brownies so John didn't know I had eaten 90 percent of the first one, etc.

I often think I could probably do it all again if I ever really let down my guard.

Karen said...

I remember many times pouring coffee grounds over left over birthday cake so I would not eat the frosting.

The times where I would pray no one would enter the break room so I could pound back spoon fulls of frosting that people left behind on the cake platter.

Once, I got laid off from a job- we all did since the lab was closing. I told two close co-workers- "I could eat the entire jar of jelly beans in the front office" They laughed at me (in a nice way) and said "That won't fix your problem of having to find a new job- and your clothes won't fit" So true. But in that moment, I was set to binge.

Good post, Jane. I still have to leave the break room quickly if there is a sheet cake or frosted brownies left sitting out. The smell of the frosting can overwhelm me if job stress is high. I've trained myself to walk/run away. If I'm forced to go in and grab my lunch, sometimes I tap my right foot and use the tapping as an anchor.

I have to concentrate on tapping and that takes my mind immediately on something else and doesn't make me look too cray-cray. Like I'm tapping to the beat of music in my head.

Karen P.