Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I can't eat like other people.

I misplaced my driver's license and haven't been able to find it again. Mr. Salted and I tried to go in on Saturday, but there were probably 200 people in there and three customer service windows open. We lasted about an hour. We waited. We read the paper. I found a chair (my ankle is still in a boot). We listened to a teenage girl whine to her mom (in several different octaves) how hungry she was. We listened to an irritating woman on her cell phone, and another, and another. We listened to our butts grow. Finally, I said to my beloved, "I'm not a patient woman. Let's roll." He's not a patient man, either, so he was happy to oblige. (I knew I could come back during the work week since I'm part-time.) We went to Shari's, where I enjoyed some loaded baked potato soup (I got a couple of meals out of a bowl) and discovered they sell both marionberry and apple pies with no sugar added. (I'm in charge of dessert for Thanksgiving, so guess where I'm getting it?)

This DMV office was closed on Monday, so I stopped in this morning on the way to work. I had to wait about an hour, but there were only 13 or 14 people ahead of me as opposed to the 80 or so people ahead of me that there had been on the weekend. One of the employees came out and said the computers were down, but I stuck around on the outside chance that they could replace my license for me--they were moving people through, albeit at a drunken snail's pace. I had my passport, Social Security card, and the old temporary copy of my license that they had given me before. Because I had that old temporary copy, they could hand-key all my information in and give me a new license! I was actually one of the few people they were able to help. Apparently the DMV computers went down for the entire state. (The moral of the story is, save that paper one--even after you get your permanent one in the mail--in case something like this happens to you!)

I wanted a new driver's license picture because I have lost so much weight, but I had lied about my weight on my license by so much that I couldn't even put my true weight on the damn thing (after losing 80 pounds from my heaviest weight) because I was still 20 pounds from the false weight. I had to laugh at my own foolishness, but the difference in my face when comparing older ID photos to the one taken today is considerable.

When I arrived at work at 9:45 AM, the office was not only locked, but dark and deserted. There was some restructuring that took place without warning yesterday--several people were laid off--which made us all uneasy, and this didn't help. It was a bit eerie. I looked at the common calendar where our department notes our vacation days and such; a large offsite meeting was noted, which explained the dark, empty office. I breathed a sigh of relief. And to my surprise, relief smelled like peanut butter cookies.

Oh, snap! The smell of relief was thus because a heaping plate of homemade peanut butter toffee-chip cookies lurked in the nearby darkness, front and center in our common workspace. Each cookie on the plate was at least four inches in diameter--larger than the plates I eat dinner on these days. It was as though the evil part of my subconscious had made those cookies materialize; I've been thinking about peanut butter cookies often the last few days, wondering if I could maybe locate a recipe for some good sugar-free ones. I adore peanut butter; these days, I eat it on sliced apples or whole-grain crackers. I used to insist on Jif Extra Crunchy, but had to switch to creamy Jif post-WLS.

Dammit. I felt like killing something. I so did not need this temptation. I was hungry, too. No one was around. I decided that I had to eat one.

My first thought, of course: "I could dump." Then I thought if I ate one cookie sl-o-o-o-ow enough, I probably wouldn't; they looked and smelled so good, at this point, I was past caring. So I took one, and nibbled at it until it was gone. My stomach rumbled unhappily for the better part of the afternoon, but I didn't dump.

I had to use the fax machine a few times, and the cookies were right next to it. At one point, I was waiting for a particularly long fax to go through, and I drew a little skull and crossbones on a folded piece of paper and wrote, "(My name), This Means You" which I stuck on top of the pile. I groused about it to my coworkers when they came back from their meeting, and we all laughed about it. For me, it's like having a free plate of cocaine, and I said so, which people found funny. But it's also true. I suddenly felt great kinship with folks I know who struggle to maintain their sobriety. I've always known addiction was addiction was addiction, but I had to truly occupy that knowledge today.

I'm annoyed with myself for eating that cookie; I'm annoyed with my stomach for tolerating it, but it tasted really good and I did enjoy it--I cannot tell a lie. But it was ONE COOKIE. I can't let it ruin my life or impede my progress. And today wasn't like my bulimia, where I would have eaten the entire plate, been sick for days, diving into a vat of self-hatred with a garnish of suicidal ideation. I know I can't bend the entire world to bend to my will or give even the most microscopic shit about my personal struggles, but my God, do you have any inkling how many cookies, cakes, drinks, and various and sundry delicious foods I've passed up? Trust me, it is a huge amount, and I am a mere three months out from surgery. The difference between me and most other people is that I could probably remember each and every time vividly if I started listing them out--and I'd feel at least a little pissed off, or sad, or tired and resigned about each and every occasion.

OK, I get it, universe. I can't eat like other people.

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other words...life.
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