Runaway Train

One of the things I like most about Andie Mitchell is her ability to find exactly the right words to describe something. Her word pictures are spot on. I know this because the disorder that she has fought is the disorder that I fight. Every day.

During my morning route my mind drifted to stopping to get Chelsea something to eat before her nurse showed up at 8:15. Since McDonald’s is being rebuilt completely from scratch now and won’t be reopened until October, the nearest Mickey D’s is at the junction. Not wanting to drive ten more miles once I was finished driving for the morning, Casey’s was the next most logical breakfast stop.

I remember exactly where I was when I started e̶n̶t̶e̶r̶t̶a̶i̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶t̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ planning my next binge. I was about to turn onto 15th Street, when suddenly I could think of little else but two sugar cookies from Casey’s, complete with that famous sugary, white glazed icing that is surely made in heaven. Not just one sugar cookie, mind you, but two.  If I’m going to go off-plan, I may as well make it worth my while. I had a really good day yesterday, I reasoned with myself, I can have another one tomorrow.

Once I give myself permission to do something–actually “promise” is more the word I’m looking for–it’s hard to go back on that promise. It’s hard to let all those sugar-laden thoughts and mouth-watering expectations go unfulfilled.

Andie Mitchell of It Was Me All Along wrote, “Once you’ve decided on a binge, it’s almost impossible to stop. Turning back is driving all the way to Florida from Massachusetts, straight through the night, and arriving bleary-eyed and exhausted, only to decide it would be better to turn around and head back up north rather than nap in the sun on the beach for a bit.”

It would make absolutely no sense to turn back once you’ve gotten your taste buds in an uproar. Deliver what you promised!, they scream.

All the way to school I considered this word picture, and I was willing to concede that it honestly was way yonder too hard to resist what I’d already purposed to do. I wasn’t up for the battle. I’m spineless and weak, after all, and, in the whole scheme of things, does the world really care whether I cave in to those two sugar cookies or not?

And, while I wasn’t considering the word picture, I was picturing how utterly depleted I would be if I gave in. I was picturing the sugar cookies being gone within ten minutes, but the guilt lingering far into the afternoon. There may even be enough guilt left over to have a heaping helping of it tomorrow, too.

Still battling as I got back to the bus lot, an angel on my right shoulder and a devil on my left, I slid the gear shift into neutral, engaged my parking brake, switched off my lights, and pivoted in my seat, grunting as I grabbed hold of the dashboard and the safety rail to hoist up my sugar-addicted body onto my aching and stiff knees.

“The sugar won’t help you feel better, Dirinda,” I said out loud. I walked down the aisle of my bus toward the child-check button, continuing my mini lecture. “You may think right now that it will, but it won’t. It will only make you feel worse. Sugar isn’t going to help your knees. Sugar isn’t going to help you get around easier.”

I started making another plan. Chocolate cake (in the form of a THM plan-approved muffin-in-a-mug). “Yep, that’s it. New plan.”

I walked into Casey’s and glanced at the counter for the sugar cookies. I saw some cookies, but I wouldn’t let my eyes settle on them for long. I walked over toward the kitchen and selected a sausage croissant for Chelsea from the turning, heated display case, and then I got her a chocolate milk from the refrigerated section. I found my place in line where I had another moment or two to survey the donuts behind me.

I heard a fellow customer report, “They don’t have any cake donuts.”

“Are you kidding me?!” said her companion who had hobbled in with some kind of surgical brace covering her whole foot and half her leg.

But they do have those airy French twist donuts, I observed, with the delicious white frosting. And they have plenty of those delectable, yeasty glazed donuts, too.

I turned my attention toward the front counter where the cookies are always lined up in rows of cheerful greeters to welcome you when you walk in the front door. Sometimes they go all out and sport colorful, birthday-party sprinkles.  Hmm, I thought, chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies with no icing. Marshmallow Rice Crispy squares with M&Ms and peanut butter Rice Crispy squares with chocolate icing. Both of those would do in a pinch–and have before– but I paid for Chelsea’s breakfast and headed out to my car without incident or mishap.

When I got home, I walked Chelsea’s breakfast back to her room and set about making me a Trim Healthy Mama chocolate muffin-in-a-mug. I took half of one of those little 85% cocao chocolate bars and broke it up into pieces over the top of the muffin before I put it in the microwave.

Today I waged war against the monster of sugar addiction, and I made the wiser choice. Victory is mine, and right now it feels sweeter than a sugar cookie.


9 thoughts on “Runaway Train”

  1. I so love it when you journal. You did an awesome job of thinking of plan B. For me, once I have made the decision to indulge, then it is like my mind has permission to go down another rabbit trail or two. The logic of since I’m already cheating, I might as well have a hamburger for lunch (with buns) too. Oh and order another hamburger for tonight as I love them cold with a cup of coffee. I hope I am not the only one that has and uses this kind of logic. But, the great takeaway is, always think of THM plan B if possible. Especially before going down that rabbit trail.

    1. I am constantly sabotaging myself, but I’m happy to report I haven’t eaten a sugar cookie for about a month now. That’s big for me, and to think this morning I almost blew it.

  2. I have been on that crazy train for a while! I lost 60 pounds and then got comfortable (even though I need to lose at least 40 more), a little crossover here, a little bread there, a little cookie here, a little crossover there. Fast forward two years, still haven’t lost the extra 40 and to be honest it’s now 45! Today I led a Bible Study on Enjoying Jesus: Practicing the 12 Disciplines He Did. I made sugar free berries and sugar free whipped cream and had leftover (from Father’s Day) JUMBO sugar cookies for everyone to eat their berries with. I made myself a cake in a mug for mine. I wasn’t hungry then, I am eating it now. As I was putting my berries and cake together the big box of JUMBO (leftover) chocolate chip cookies on the counter were calling my name! I refused to answer their call!! I am eating my THM goodies and enjoying them, but I know should I go back in the kitchen I could jump on the crazy train–but I won’t because I read your blog and know I am not alone!! Thank you!!!

    1. Thanks be to God for all the times He catches us when we’re about to fall. For me, when I go into Casey’s and there is no icing on the sugar cookies, I think, “Thank You, God, for watching out for me because You know how that icing weakens me.” It’s much easier to turn down a plain sugar cookie than one adorned with all the trimmings.

    1. You are correct. That would be helpful! She kind of turns her nose up at most things I eat. She’s not a fan of oatmeal and she doesn’t care for muffins in a mug, either. I don’t think there’s a way in the world she would eat Ezekiel bread, although she doesn’t complain when I fix her sirloin burgers without a bun. That being said, I don’t think she is big on sirloin burgers, either. Chuck and I got this whole grain pasta at HyVee several weeks ago that my brother says is gentle on the blood sugar, and Chelsea told me she doesn’t like it very much. The second time we had it, though, she said she liked it better.

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