Tempted by My Dreams

Last night was a rough one. As I was watching a movie on Lifetime, I got a craving for dark-chocolate covered caramels with sea salt, the kind that Costco has. I think they’re made by Sanders.

The fact is, there was no one to talk me down from the ledge, because I didn’t want to be talked down–so I didn’t tell anyone about my struggle. In my mind, it was a done deal: I was going to have my caramels. I decided on a number. Two. The number used to be three, but the last couple of times I had cravings I had cut myself back to two pieces of candy. Maybe a time will come when one will suffice, but that will be when I’m normal; and that may be a long time coming.

Right now I’m a binge-eater. I can’t be trusted with certain foods. My restrainer is busted. I know starting off that the first bite is going to be dangerous. That first bite is just flirting with disaster. So, the trick then is to keep from taking that first bite, because no matter how strong the urge is for that first piece of candy, the second piece is like a runaway train.

The brain is a funny thing. The first piece is justified with “One won’t hurt you” or “You’ve had a great day: you deserve this.” The second piece is justified with “Well, you’ve already blown it now: you may as well have two or three. Or polish off what’s left in the container.”

But then I did something crazy. I actually reached back in the corner of my mind for something–anything–that could save me. I remembered in Dr. Phil’s 20/20 Diet book that he suggested brushing your teeth to head off a cheat. His reasoning is that no one feels like eating when they have a minty, fresh sensation in their mouth. Basically what it does is deal with both the mental and the physical elements of the situation.

How many times have you heard this in your childhood: “You can’t eat that now: you’ve already brushed your teeth”? Brushing your teeth has kind of a finality to it. It signals the end of a meal or bedtime.

The other thing brushing your teeth does is ruin the enjoyment of whatever you pop into your mouth. Truth be told, caramel and toothpaste is not a good flavor combo.

So I got up from my chair and went into the bathroom and brushed my teeth. Then I brushed my tongue. I wanted that minty fresh feeling all over my mouth. And it worked. Toothpaste – one, caramels – zero.

I made it to bed without a single caramel.

After I fell asleep, though, all heck broke loose. I had two cinnamon rolls and there may have been a container of biscuits and gravy involved or a sugar cookie (at least lustful thoughts of a sugar cookie).

All I remember from my dreams is that my old boss brought in Casey’s containers of biscuits and gravy for the whole gang. I wasn’t too interested in them, but it seems like one of them may have come open and I got some on my hand or something. I may have had a taste or two. In my dreams.

Then there was a big box of cinnamon rolls. Some had clear sugar glaze on them, and some had thick cream cheese icing. There were only two or three of that kind in the box, so I had to immediately grab one before someone else got them all instead.

The cinnamon roll was bigger than my hand. I remember meeting the gaze of one of my coworkers. He raised his eyebrows and his mouth kind of fell open as he caught a glimpse of the giant roll in my hand. I couldn’t tell if he was thinking, “Whoa, Dirinda, I didn’t think you ate stuff like that, anymore” or “Be sure and save some for the rest of us.”

To escape further scrutinization, I went out to pre-trip my bus. There was going to be nothing dainty, delicate or glamorous about the consumption of that cinnamon roll and I didn’t want people gawking at me as I tore into it.

I glanced up to see the car of a coworker drive past my bus, so I climbed behind my steering wheel and shut my door so she wouldn’t notice me stuffing my face with the massive delicacy.

In the next “scene,” Chuck and I were somewhere where there were lots of pastries. Two pastry shops side by side, actually. And, again with the cinnamon rolls. They were absolutely huge. There were thinly glazed ones with lots of butter and there were the ones with the thick white icing. Apparently the one I got from my boss wasn’t enormous enough, so I had another.

Then I noticed that Chuck was finishing off his second one, so I asked if I could have another, also. “That’s not fair. You got two,” I said.

“We have to leave now,” he responded.

“Well, can’t I at least have a sugar cookie, then?” I asked.

Whoever said you don’t dream in color should have been in my dream last night because those sugar cookies were absolutely glorious with their pink and blue frosting.

It was one of those nights where I woke up feeling guilty–as if I had really eaten two of the most gigantic cinnamon rolls I had ever seen in my life. No calories consumed, yet I still woke up feeling ashamed and guilty, just as I used to (and still do sometimes) after I quit smoking. In my mind I wake up to thoughts of “Why would you do that, Dirinda? After thirty-four years of not smoking, why would you want to throw that all away and light up again?”

The treadmill stopped on me yesterday morning after only two and a half minutes. I may have been able to coax it along for a few minutes at a time until I got my twenty minutes in, but I wasn’t patient enough–and I was more than willing to use it as a good excuse not to continue.

Yesterday evening, though, Chelsea came into the living room and asked if I wanted to go for a walk to Willow Creek and back. When we got outside, we opted to just walk the streets of our neighborhood under the shelter of the shade trees.

It wasn’t the most strenuous exercise I had ever gotten, but, by the time I was through panting and sweating, my Fitbit registered twenty-two minutes of rigorous activity.

When Chuck got home from work last night, he mentioned that we were going to have to order a motor for our treadmill and both start using it. It is no fun getting old and becoming stiff due to lack of activity.

Let me just say that first day in Mall of America was excruciating: at least it was when it was time to walk to the car. I had decided that my feet would hurt no more if I took big steps as opposed to small steps and I would arrive faster–until my knee started hurting, too, and then I could hardly move at all. I couldn’t bend my left leg, so there I was hobbling stiff-legged through the rest of the mall.

People were looking at me. No doubt they were thinking, “Look at that poor fat lady. She can barely move.”

Right across the bridge of my foot–is that what you call it?–where my toes connect to my feet was quite painful. I was telling a friend about it on Friday, and she said her feet are the same way. She told her husband that it felt like she was being crucified, like there was a big nail going through her feet.

I told Chuck it feels like the blood vessels that lead to my toes are clamped off.

He said, “But we know that’s not true, because your toes are still pink and healthy-looking.” Even if they are numb and feel like blocks of wood in my shoes, at least they still look pretty good.

I didn’t buy my stars for my progress chart yesterday, but, thanks to the recommendation of a dear reader, I did order the book, Full: Food, Jesus and the Battle for Satisfaction on Amazon yesterday. Amazon lets you begin reading your book right away, so I started right in. So far, I’ve loved what I’ve read and can’t wait for it to arrive.

I will keep you posted! Thanks to everyone else who left a comment or recommended a book that was helpful to you! I plan to check them all out!

I hope everyone had a better day yesterday and is having a better one today! Thanks for stopping by for a visit!


2 thoughts on “Tempted by My Dreams”

  1. Sweet Dirinda, you have been and still are a source of inspiration to me. We are strong women, and know we can do this! I have been struggling also for the last 8 months to regain my passion and resolve towards making healthy choices for my body. Please know that I will be praying daily for both of us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, and for us to make wise decisions weekly, daily, meal by meal, and even hourly if need be. I am really heartened today to read that you overcame the desire to eat those caramels! Food
    addiction is indeed a cruel mistress; unfortunately we both have learned from experience that we can never let our guard down. And I know we don’t want to go back into that captivity again!! You’re dream was a nightmare that tempts us 24/7; let’s stay strong and not give in!! We can do this!!! I am so glad
    you’ve turned the corner and are headed in the right direction!! We’re all here cheering you in to victory!!!
    Thank you for being so real and posting in your blog to inspire us!!! Love you!!!

  2. My heart breaks for you. This is a battle that you have to let Gis win. Try to figure out what emotional thing has happened to your heart.
    Kind regards

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