I was so proud of myself. I had managed to get through my Thanksgiving holiday without even flinching at neo foods. Even when my oldest brought out the largest tub of cool whip I had ever seen I didn’t even want it. I was completely content with my delicious Paleo foods. I even caught myself bragging about it on Twitter. “I had a 100% Paleo holiday! Yay me!”
Then it took me the entire day yesterday to mentally and emotionally recover from the catastrophe that was Saturday.
It started off as a normal Saturday morning trip to the farmer’s market. I usually fast on Saturday mornings because I’m anxious to get out and get my Paleo food shopping started. I don’t know why this Saturday should have taken such a horrible turn. For some reason, driving back from the farmer’s market I became terribly hungry. I was so famished that I couldn’t even bear the thought of having to cook when I got home. The old, familiar urge to drive to McDonald’s came over me. But I’d done it before. Pre-paleo, certainly, but I had eaten there a number of times after eliminating grains. It can be done.
So that was the rationalization that took me through the drive-thru. I had already decided that it had been two months since I had eaten regular potatoes and surely that one lowly hash brown in the Big Breakfast wasn’t going to do too much harm. (The fact that I had no idea what unearthly kind of oil that lowly hash brown had been drowned in never entered my mind.) As for the biscuit, I would just do what I had done before – toss it into the garbage. Eggs, sausage, hashbrown. I had bottled water at home. This would be sufficient. I even made a point of specifying “NO hotcakes” since I certainly didn’t want to pay for something else that I would have to trash. Imagine my shock and dismay when I arrived home and opened my container and discovered that beneath my egg and sausage were piled three glorious, golden brown hotcakes.
It was like running into your old dealer and discovering later that he had slipped a freebie into your pocket.
I was not prepared to deal with it. I tossed the biscuit without a second thought, but then biscuits are to hotcakes what caffeine is to cocaine. The former does not embody the totality of desire that the latter inherently possesses. Even if you have never experienced what it is to be an addict, if you’ve read “The Host” you get the idea of what it feels like to have your will subverted. I felt completely helpless as the addict within began suppressing my logical control and left it relegated to the role of hapless observer. I maintained control long enough to eat the eggs, sausage, and hash brown as slowly as possible hoping that once I was full I would have the strength to destroy the demon at my table, but alas…I did not.
In the frenzy which accompanied the takeover I was able to snatch two of the hotcakes and toss them in the trash while my inner Gollum screamed and wailed at the loss of “The Precious”. But then Cheryl, the Paleo Princess, was gone and only The Addict remained. She quickly plated that last surviving hotcake and slathered the oily “butter” substance that her “dealer” had supplied onto it. She rushed into the kitchen and panicked as she couldn’t get the lid off of the sticky maple syrup bottle. I could feel her tears as she choked, realizing that this moment of weakness might allow me to take back control, but then as she grunted with fury the lid gave way and she laughed madly and triumphantly. The now syrup-soaked cake went into the microwave for the few seconds it would take to make it the warm sin it needed to be for complete satisfaction. These few seconds were interminable. Nails tapped feverishly on the counter as the timer counted down. It hadn’t even finished beeping before The Addict had the devilish dish out and was shoveling it in her mouth as if it someone might take it away from her. The fact that it burned her tongue was of little consolation to me, the helpless watcher.
What had felt like an eternity was over in moments. My demon, The Addict, was gone and I was the one left riddled with guilt, self-hate, and a gut full of poison.
And the day had just begun.