Why, I wondered, was trying to decide upon clothes to bring for three days at a friend’s parents so extraordinarily difficult? Then I realized: I still pack like I’m going to binge.
It’s been more than 10 months since my last binge, and yet still packing isn’t just a question of weather – incredibly variable this time of year, particularly in the country – but of what might still fit and when. I can easily bust out of clothes in a weekend, particularly at my current size, which, by my estimates, is separated from the next one up by maybe half a stone. (Side note: Why can there not be fewer pounds between sizes when you’re bigger and probably most need the thrill of a smaller size to keep pushing forward?)
I talked myself out of bringing a bigger pair of jeans, but I did bring a backup outfit for Sunday, when the plan was to wear a fairly unforgiving sweater dress.
I ate a little chocolate when it was offered, which is to say, approximately five times a day. I had layer cake and crumble (with custard and cream) and biscuits, also when they were offered. I didn’t exercise (apart from a little walk on Sunday). Only once did I eat something sneakily: an extra mini egg with caramel. And every day I could wear the outfit I planned.
Coming home yesterday I felt such a huge relief not to have to be fighting the urge to keep bingeing (and likely losing) as I know I’d have done if I’d been bingeing all weekend. I got back at lunchtime and felt slightly too hungry to first go to the supermarket and get proper food. And then I realized if I ate something hodge podge I’d spend the whole afternoon regretting it and replaying it and wondering if it were enough or too much. And so I went and got my prick-and-ping lasagna. My jeans felt a little bit tight, but not panicky-tight.
I threw out the Easter chocolate I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like (um, in my as-yet-unwritten book, “lime” and “caramel” should not be in the same sentence). As I did laundry, I had a little fight with myself about retrieving it from the bin. But I didn’t.
This morning, the urge to eat chocolate at every legal opportunity (basically, for every snack and after every meal) lingers, but I know it will pass. This, for me, is one of the biggest differences between life now and life pre-June 4 – the near-total lack of panic when I want to eat off-piste or to binge. It’s the ability to sit through the discomfort and to trust – really trust – that it will end. It will return, of course – usually at incredibly unwelcome times – but then, if I sit long enough, it will go again.
Three hundred seventeen days without a binge (or according to my trusty app, 10 months, 1 week, six days, 23 hours and 30 minutes).