• Day 214: I Slipped. I Fell.

    Date: 2010.09.24 | Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

    Did it have to happen?   No, but it did.  After I had an appendectomy on Sept. 7, I went home a few days later feeling great.  Keyhole surgery is a wonderful thing – except it can fool you from realizing you just had major surgery!

    I have a lot of energy which makes it hard to rest, plus I already had one friend in house with another  expected in a couple days and two more within a week.  So I dove right back into life.  Then on Sunday night Sept. 12, I felt a cramp on my right side.  It really hurt – and I started thinking, what if it stays like that?

    I got worried about my health even though I hate being the weakling invalid with friends around who are here for fun and holiday.    So I decided to force myself to rest at home and just eat comfort foods.

    Comfort foods?  What’s the first thing that came to mind?  Rice pudding.  Not even a particular favorite of mine, but it began boring a hole in my brain.  Rice pudding.  That’s the ticket.  It will help this stomach cramp.

    I know!  If you’re going to slip during a year off candy then why not with a big slab of Swiss milk chocolate, or profiteroles, or even bake a gigantic tray of my ultra-favorite, chocolate chip cookies?

    Yes, but you have to go with the cunning and baffling logic of addiction.

    When I went down to the nearest epicerie, I went right over to the familiar tubs and containers of rice pudding.  The most popular type in France is called Riz au lait nature. That word “nature” was key to my decision to buy some rice pudding.  Even though it has sugar added to it, the word nature over here means even more than “natural” in English.  It can imply (to my appendectomy-addled brain that is) that it’s sort of like plain yogurt.

    Except it isn’t.   Yogurt isn’t a dessert to me ( and this is my addiction and my blog after all.)  I’ve written before that I’ve eaten sweetened yogurt during this Year Without Candy but I don’t eat it very much.  I don’t crave it, I don’t think about it and I don’t need to have one every day.

    Enter rice pudding.  I bought my first container about a week ago.  I’ve had it every single day since.  I ate what I intend to be my last rice pudding last night as I confess all here.

    But it was a humbling experience.  I have an old friend with many years in AA who calls falling off the wagon doing “field research.”   You go out and realize that you do have a little problem after all.

    Interesting since my slip (which I wasn’t thinking at first was a real slip,) came just before one of my friends went to the Jeff de Bruges chocolate shop here in Nice and dropped 50 euros on mouthwatering chocolate.  I enjoyed being in the chocolate shop with him.  I didn’t feel tempted to break my chocolate fast.

    But I found myself fantasizing: When I’m done with this year off candy, I’m going to be one of those moderate people who have some incredible, high-end chocolate once a week or so.  I’ll be like my friends who go weeks without ice cream or candies and can keep fantastic chocolates and other wonderful sweet treats in a kitchen cabinet and just bring them out for special events… Yes, I’m really quite sure that my days of gobbling Swedish fish and Snickers bars are far behind me.

    Not so fast.  Once I ate the first rice pudding, I noticed a pattern.  It was as if I opened up a hole in my armor and addictive feelings whizzed through it. As soon as I finished the rice pudding, I thought about buying another so there’d always be one in the refrigerator.

    During my seven months off sweets, I haven’t craved them that much.  I even noticed that at times I didn’t want to have cereal (even muesli) in the morning almost because it seemed too sweet to me and I felt myself moving toward more savory foods.

    Don’t fool yourself!  Once a sweets addict , probably always a sweets addict!

    I didn’t feel physically different after eating the rice pudding but it began to dwell on me that it was a slip when I began to focus on it and go back to the store everyday.

    Then I began to feel bummed that I’d fallen off the wagon, because I knew I had.  Even if it seems like in a small way.

    I know I did because I started bargaining with myself the way I always did when I was on candy and sweets.  I’ll just buy one more rice pudding today and that’ll be it, I said to myself. That’ll be the last one and I’ll start fresh tomorrow.

    I can’t tell you how many Last Suppers of candy I had, usually on a Sunday night. It’s a bittersweet symphony this life…

    And I hate that!  I hate the bargaining in my head. I like it when the Decision is Removed.  When all I have to do is say No.  The minute I say Maybe, all bets are off. If I keep saying maybe to rice pudding, then we move to chocolate and vanilla pudding next week, then bars of chocolate, then Haribo Polka candies and then I’ll be fully back at the Candy Races.

    I feel better adhering to life without candy.  Self-discipline = self-love.

    I ate rice pudding last night.  I am not eating today or the rest of my Year Without Candy.

    If I slip again, I’ll tell you.  But believe me, pigs will fly before I consume rice pudding before Feb. 28, 2011.

    Pray for me,