After reading "The End of Overeating," in which David Kessler discusses what he calls "conditioned hypereating," I realized I was hooked on the sugar/fat/salt combination, even though sweets OR sugar were rarely a problem.
When my doctor told me I could lose a great deal of weight just by giving up desserts, I laughed - because I only ate sweets a few times a year.
I didn't have much of a sweet tooth, or a salt tooth for that matter. Desserts, candy, most chips - not a problem.
"Real food" carbs were another story - pastas, breads, potatoes, sweet and savory dishes like barbecued ribs (heck barbecued anything), general tso's chicken...
Chocolate and other sweets are usually only a problem during PMS. And a bowl of chocolate flavored cereal usually is my concession to PMS chocolate cravings.
I've done pretty well, keeping most of the "quick carbs" out of the house, and what has been here hasn't appealed to me, and what has, I've thought of it as "hubby's stuff."
That's been working ok, until this weekend. We went to a family Christmas party, and I did very well at dinner, but then hubby's mother put out a sweet table.
I did end up eating more than I intended, rather surprised that the sweets were so appealing (especially not being "that time" of the month.
The sugar rush set off one of the worst sugar binges I've had in a very long time.
The pickings were pretty slim at home, but I even got into my husband's Nerds stash (I hate Nerds and I had never binged on them in my life - until Monday night).
Then I got into the ramen noodles - thankfully, not real ramen noodles (I'm allergic or intolerant to wheat - although I did eat some wheat at the Christmas party - which was another crazy mistake), but at least I stuck to the rice noodles.
Instant rice noodle soups are one of the few processed carb I can (normally) handle. Normally, they're not very tempting, and even when they are I'm usually too lazy to cook more than one batch. Although usually I add my own protein - and Monday I didn't.
I knew I was really out of control, when I resorted to eating my husbands Nerds. If they weren't available, I may have actually resorted to eating sugar straight from the bag.
I feel like an alcoholic who didn't believe they were alcoholic because they were very picky about the alcohol they drank, and only realized the extent of their problem when the found themselves drinking the cooking sherry or vanilla extract.
I've acknowledged my carb addiction before, but I didn't realize how bad it could be. I didn't realize that sugar had such a pull that I was willing to eat things I didn't even like, in order to get the sugar high.
It also had been so long since I had taken in so much sugar and quick-digesting starches, I had forgotten what a carb hangover felt like.
Yesterday morning I was up 6 lbs (I haven't changed my ticker, because I always give myself a week to get the weight off before changing my ticker), and my face was not only red, swollen and flaky, it also iched like an S.O.B. (from the wheat), I had an intense headache, my nose and head were stuffed up, and I still felt nauseous. And my fibro and arthritis is flaring so badly that even today, I still feel like every joint in my body was smashed with a hammer.
I know better than this, and I still fell into the trap.
What's scary is that it started with a very small cube of cheese fudge - Alcohol doesn't reduce my inhibitions the way sugar does.
Hubby has been very supportive, and is helping me do another pantry purge. He's offerred to get rid of his treats (which we were mostly keeping out of my sight - except the ones I didn't have a problem with until Sunday night and Monday during my sugar binge). He's not willing ot "hide" them, but he is willing to not bring them into the house.
We both will be healthier for it, but I still feel a bit guilty. I know I shouldn't, especially since I know my hubby isn't in control of his own carb intake as much as he claims (though he's far better at it than I am).
I have to say that a lot of this is wounded pride, because my eating habits have always been far better than my husband's. I wasn't even usually tempted by his junk - but without the "real food" carbs in the house, I resorted to the junk pretty darned quickly.
I'm back on track today, and hubby threw out the Nerds, and I'm even down 2 lbs - although I still have some of the "hangover" symptoms.
Now I have to decide which of the carb-rich foods can stay. The millet, quinoa, wild rice and oatmeal can stay, but I'm not so sure about the cold cereal and the white rice noodles.
Hubby's willing to get rid of anything I want to, I just don't know where to draw the line. I can overeat even fruit and whole grains. In fact, that's where I started my binge on Tuesday - with all the easy "good carbs" in the house (pomellos, apples, greek yogurt, whole grain cereal).
I'm really tempted to make the house entirely Paleo, but I know it's not the WOE hubby does best on mentally (physically I think it would benefit us both, but I've been happy with us both doing better, rather than trying to be perfect), and I don't really want him to have to eat half of his meals away from home.
I don't feel hopeless, so I'm not in any danger of giving up, but I am disheartened. I haven't had an out-of-control binge like this since last Christmas when we visited my family in Illinois (and there's so much food in their house at Christmas, and so much pressure to eat that it's obscene).
It also disturbs me that after eating so well, for so long, that it's the foods that weren't a temptation for me, even at my highest weight that have been my downfall. Of course, to be fair, if my old trigger foods had been in the house I would have eaten them first, which only would have solved part of the problem. I wouldn't be feeling quite so crappy, but my weight would still be yoyoing, and the water retention would still be a problem. My face would still be itchy and puffy (but not nearly as itchy and puffy).