This morning I passed a woman mainlining a Magnolia Bakery red velvet
cupcake as she walked down the street, and felt a surge of something.
For once it wasn’t jealousy or resentment or despair – or a craving for
one (or four) of my own.
It was gratitude. Seriously. That for today that is not my life, and
that it hasn’t been for the past four months (today, I think, is day 117, though
I’ve basically stopped counting after 100 days).
That doesn’t mean I’m not going to eat Magnolia Bakery cupcakes again –
though weirdly last week, after months of walking by and practically licking
the glass, the smell actually nauseated me. But at least for a few minutes, I
genuinely couldn’t imagine cramming a cupcake in my mouth, at least not before
11 am. (This isn’t to say I’m not absolutely overcome sometimes with the urge
to binge. It is there, to a greater or lesser degree, almost every day, which
may be part of why I was so grateful to find myself without it, even for a few
The idea that I have gone an entire summer without a binge is unbelievable
to me. I think this current binge-free period may in fact be the longest I’ve
gone in my adult life without bingeing, restricting and/or exercising for
hours. I can’t quite explain it. I’m still sometimes as cranky, depressed,
despairing and every other thing I ever was, but occasionally the gratitude
bubbles up as if from nowhere and I am, dare I say it, almost overcome. So
overcome – or at least, wise enough – that the other day I turned down an
extremely well-paid, high-profile assignment… because it involved doing a juice
cleanse. I felt a tiny bit of regret (and a dash of despair), but mostly just
the sense that no amount of money was worth what a juice cleanse might do to my
And the $64,000 question: Weight. I have been weighing myself once a
week, in the gym, after breakfast, which I know is not ideal but seems better
than having a scale in my apartment. I don’t scale hop any other day but
Wednesday (weigh-in day), though I’m nearly always tempted, especially if I
have been out for a lot of meals that week (or eaten particularly cleanly).
Right now it’s hovering about 20 pounds lower than where I started a
little over four months ago, and about seven pounds above what Weight Watchers
would name as the top of my desired weight range. Most of my London clothes
still don’t fit, and I’m not delighted to consider that they may not ever,
because I am not sure I’m willing to eat less than I do now, and exercising
more is not a good idea. (I’m already at six days a week.)
But I know this for sure: However I feel about it, bingeing certainly
isn’t going to help.