It Was Too Good To Eat….So I Ate It

I was in a coffee shop the other day and was drawn to this bad boy. A raspberry and white chocolate scone. An uber scone, a scone to end all scones. Thankfully the calorific content was nowhere to be seen, as it lured me onto the rocks of decadence. I was powerless to resist and, before I knew it, the scone was on my plate and destined for my stomach. Scones like this are the reason I run 40 miles a week.

I’m happy to report it tasted just as good as it looked although, if I’m honest, it barely touched the sides going down. I was tempted to go up to the counter for a second one, but at the last minute resisted the urge to make an utter pig of myself in public. Self control and Stephen are not normally on speaking terms, but on this occasion I reined in my baser cravings and stuck to the one serving.

I’m not very good at saying ‘no.’ I’m a creature of excess. When I drank, one or two beers wasn’t enough, I had to keep going until I passed out, making a complete idiot of myself in the process. When I took up running, I wasn’t happy at reaching 5K. I kept going until I crossed the finish line in my first marathon. And then ran another eight. So far. Number 10 is planned for next year.

The good thing about running is that I can pretty much eat what I want, within reason. My thighs might ache, but it’s worth it when you can look forward to edible treats at the end of the day. In the bad old days, I would binge eat and then crash diet, surviving on toast and Diet Coke. This behaviour was all tied into my OCD, resulting in bizarre eating habits which I found incredibly hard to shake.

Many people see OCD as a controlling mental illness and, to an extent, it is. Victims are shackled to an ever decreasing circle of unwanted obsessive thinking and irrational compulsions. We also lose control, though. Control of our lives as we succumb to the routine, always the routine. It takes control of our lives as we simultaneously lose control. It tricks, it seduces, it tears us to pieces.

OCD promises release and relief from its mental anguish if we only wave the white flag and surrender to the compulsion. The thought of even momentary escape from it, is tempting beyond belief. We are dragged, kicking and screaming, into its hungry embrace. Like my raspberry and white chocolate scone, that next pint, that next whatever my obsession of the week was, I couldn’t say no.

It was too good to eat, but I still had to eat it. The texture, the taste, it lured me to the extent where, before I know it, I’m cramming it’s sugary goodness down my throat. I cross the line, I push the button, I crave the one thing that’s bad for me, but I just have to have it. Until reality sets in. The next time I wake up with a hangover, step on the scales or fall down the OCD rabbit hole without a bottom.

I manage my OCD today through a combination of medication, having the right people around me and being transparent and accountable about it. I can never rest on my laurels, for it is a slippery and cunning enemy. All it needs is one chunk in my armour, one gap in my defences and it will pour through. It will unleash hell and I will be powerless to resist. OCD is a killer, but I’m alive today and that’s all that matters.

Do you struggle with addictive behaviour? How do you control such urges?

Where are the gaps in your defences? How do you prevent them from being breached?

24 thoughts on “It Was Too Good To Eat….So I Ate It

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  1. I do have addictive behaviors. Once they become a habit or routine, I have to struggle to break them. I used to be a smoker and I’m coming up on 10 years off the nicotine. My only way of stopping is cold turkey (tapering isn’t meant for someone like me) and I used the occasion of a very bad cold and cough that lasted five days to get a jump start. It’s important for me to start a new behavioral habit in order for me to succeed. I’ve found that after two weeks, the new habit is baked in.

    So far, so good.

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  2. I have struggled with an addiction to food! Literally! Sugar! I would binge and then want to purge to get rid! Now I am losing weight thankfully. No more binging! I have great support in friends and family! Thank god for them!

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  3. I struggle with addictive behavior but luckily age has caught up with me & I literally can’t indulge like I used to. It doesn’t matter if it’s alcohol or sweets. I am quite seriously thinking about not baking any cookies for the coming yule holiday because I don’t want to put on another 10 pounds. If they are in the house, I will eat them. Honestly, I have better luck with the booze.

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  4. I’m fortunate in that I’m not an addictive sort of person . I get into habits which take a wrench to break, but I’m aware that isn’t the same thing. My husband smoked for most of his life and wanted to give it up. We both tried… reducing the number he smoked every day and even saying ‘tomorrow,,,’ but he would panic if he didn’t have cigarettes to hand. (He also suffers a form of PTSD, which didn’t help). Hypnotism, patches and sprays didn’t work and he didn’t like e-cigs.
    I finally realised that me pressuring him wasn’t helping (I tried not to nag and he never accused me of nagging, but it was there behind me counting the cigs in the morning.)
    If he’d given as much commitment to stopping smoking as he did to hiding his cigarette stash from me, he would have beaten it.
    The breakthrough came when he was listed for hip replacements. By the time his op was due, he could barely walk and was in constant pain (although he didn’t admit to that until after the op, when it magically disappeared). He was told to stop smoking before the op. So far he hadn’t managed one day without a cigarette, never mind the stipulated two weeks. But he wanted that op, and said one day ‘I’m stopping on Monday.’ since Monday was the day of a pre-op assessment, I suggested Tuesday might be a better choice, so Tuesday it was. Thirteenth October 2015. He hasn’t smoked since.
    Trying to be supportive without nagging is a fine line to negotiate, but in the end, I couldn’t give up for him. Fighting addiction seems a lonely battle.

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  5. I can never pass up a good scone. Better than any muffin or pastry. So I don’t consider myself to have ocd but I have compulsions and like to control all things in my wheelhouse. I find that if I do not begin a task that bothers me it won’t become a compulsion. Just something that bothers me. But once it’s in. It’s like breathing. I will wipe my counter tops a dozen + times a day and straighten pillows double that. And negative thoughts.. I can obsess about a conversation when I was 12 or something equally stupid for days. To combat these things? I don’t know. I’m a very busy person so I, like you try so hard to do, just refocus on healthier things. Creative outlets!

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  6. I wonder if one of the reasons you run is to embody some mind-over-matter self-control. Like most runners, you probably find that the last quarter of a marathon is extremely difficult. Seriously painful, in fact. Persisting all the way to the finish line is far more difficult that resisting a chocolate scone when you’re hungry, a cold beer on a hot day, or whatever. But you finish the marathon partly because you can reflect back on overcoming that challenge and remind yourself that all the other challenges in life are easy.

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  7. I love reading your writing. Your turn of phrase and thoughtful descriptions invite the reader in as no invitation ever could. It’s like reading a sweet, rich, sinfully delicious desert.

    I can’t wait to read your book! Hurry please!

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