I'm outright stealing the title for this post from Sheri because, well, because I can't be bothered to try to out-clever her -- I'd stand no chance, anyway -- and because I'm drawing courage and encouragement from the fact of her same titled post to write this one, which will be similar in content, if not panache.

Please, please, please do not feel obliged to read on. This is not pretty.

I eat compulsively. I got lulled into believing that was a historical truth for several years when I didn't. I just didn't. It was amazing. For a shining five years, I did not eat sweets like an addict.

But the present tense is back.

I eat sweets, especially, compulsively. Yesterday I felt virtuous for making only a quarter-batch of raw cookie dough to eat. And then, um, I realized -- even a quarter-batch of cookie dough is well over a 1,000 calories.

I've joked that after spending my days lugging around and chasing after two toddlers, I should be the skinniest I've ever been, rather than marching my way up to the fattest. But what's the joke there exactly? That I eat so much I lose all the benefit of an otherwise active lifestyle? It's not really very funny.

I extend to myself the compassion to recognize that there is very little time in my busy day for me these days and that during those glorious years when my eating was "normal," I had a lot more time for journaling/writing, daydreaming, working out, praying/meditating, reading, and performing. In other words, the space for Me in my life was ample (and -- this is key -- I used it). When I eat sweets now (or whatever other "goodie" is chosen for this effect), the most common phrase that runs through my head is, "I just need something for me." How ironic that I grow so much more ample in size, the less ample the time I spend feeling like myself. The more of my body in the room, the less me?

This is my declaration -- my-cookie-festo: I'm giving up cookies -- and not just cookies but "goodies." Which technically should include all non-sweet food choices not driven by physical hunger. But I'm going to start here:

No more:
  • cookies
  • cookie dough
  • other homemade or store-bought sweets
  • cafe (or bakery) goodies
  • sweet and creamy drinks (coffee or not)
Unfortunately, my life is not such that I am able to replace them yet with the more time for myself and more motivation to use it well that I most crave, but I will practice* being gentle with myself more of the time. I will practice* being happy. And I will practice* faith in something in which I deeply believe but have yet to fully enact in my life:

It is okay to be unhappy/frustrated/angry/bored/tired/anxious/sad/whatever unpleasant or inconvenient emotion that triggers that thought "I just need something for me." That state will pass. It will. And maybe, just maybe, if I stop reacting to every unpleasant thing as though it MUST BE MADE BETTER RIGHT NOW, and just ride its wave, I will stop feeling so out-of-control, as though I must hide evidence, and like a poor role model to my daughters. Maybe I'd even feel like me more of the time.

A girl can dream anyway.

So today I've already had a cafe baked good. But I've toured the kitchen twice now while writing this and managed to sit down empty-handed. A lot more of that would be a big, big, big relief.

I'll try to let you know how it goes.

* "Practice" as in to train at, to attempt repeatedly with the goal of proficiency


  1. Oh Phoebe I totally feel this post. We've talked on so many occassions about this. I, too, am a compulsive sweets eater. In fact last night for dinner I ate a bag of M & M's...right before taking my Nutrition test. I admire you for sharing this and know that when you put your mind to something it will happen. But don't be hard on yourself if you slip every now and then.

  2. i just had to have a little lovable laugh on this post b/c, a few weeks ago, while compulsively throwing a bunch of random b.s. i didn't need into my cart at target, i caught myself actually mouthing "and you can't stop me..." and then later, same thing while overeating something. wtf? WHO can't? me? i can't stop me? god? the world? {{sigh}} yes, yes, recognizing these things about ourselves is half the joyous fun.