I’m not sure why it’s been difficult, but today has been pretty horrible. For no reason that I can discern, I’ve felt an overwhelming compulsion to eat on a number of occasions. It’s a feeling that I’m familiar with, as it’s been a fairly regular visitor for as long as I can remember, and it’s quite difficult to describe.
It’s not a craving, or at least it’s not in any sense that I’d understand. If I understand it correctly, when people talk about experiencing cravings, they’re referring to an urge to eat a specific food. This isn’t like that. It’s not a craving for anything in particular – just a compulsion to eat. That’s what it feels like anyway.
From previous experience, I’m aware that all isn’t what it seems in this situation. The compulsion doesn’t disappear, no matter what you eat, so it probably isn’t even a compulsion to eat at all, but that’s definitely what it feels like. It’s like an itch that needs scratching, or an emptiness that needs to be filled. It’s odd actually, because it obviously does disappear at some point, but I’ve never actually noticed when it goes, just that in the past I’ve piled food down my throat in response without noticing any relief from the compulsion.
Whereas historically, this would definitely have ended whatever diet attempt I was making at the time, I haven’t let it stop me shrinking just yet :-). My immediate response was to grab a biscuit (albeit a low points Weight Watchers biscuit) but that didn’t change anything. That’s where I would normally dive into anything that I’ve got in the cupboards and keep on eating, but instead I reached for the fruit bowl and grabbed a banana. Oddly enough, eating something healthy seemed to do the trick for a while, although I’m not completely convinced just yet, as there’s another angle to this that I need to consider.
I drink a lot of diet coke. And I mean a lot. I’ve never tried to keep track of the amount that I drink, but I’m aware that I drink too much of it to be healthy, particularly bearing in mind the caffeine content. One of the things that I didn’t have in the house today was diet coke, and I think there’s a possibility that a lack of either Diet Coke itself, or perhaps the caffeine it contains might have something to do with the compulsion. It may just be coincidence, but the other thing that I did after I’d eaten my banana was take a walk up to the local shop (not a drive I hope you’ll notice) and buy some Diet Coke.
That suggests that there are possibly five things that dealt with whatever that compulsion was all about:
- That glorious banana
- The walk to the shop
- The Diet Coke
- Anxiety about not having any Diet Coke
- The walk taking my mind off of it
It’s come back a few times throughout the day, and I don’t have the faintest idea whether that makes it easier or more difficult to pin it down, but it’s been manageable.
What I do know is this. Something that I can’t really define or explain that often happens to me, that when it happens usually puts a halt to any attempts to lose weight, happened today. And I didn’t let it stop me shrinking.
This is undoubtedly a good thing.
The Shrinking Man