I ate a lot of food yesterday. I felt the normal pangs of guilt, self disgust and disappointment because I had a free day and ate until I was stuffed. This morning I kept thinking about what had happened.
If I have a couple of alcoholic drinks, I get drunk very easily. This is because I drink so rarely, that my alcohol tolerance is very low. Do I have a problem with alcohol because when I drink I always get drunk? I don't get drunk by consciously making a decision to do so, it is a consequence of a small amount of alcohol in my system. The difference between sober and happy is one drink, between sober and pissed is only two.
I am thinking that I have the same low tolerance to food. Because I eat such small controlled quantities of food most of the time, when I eat 'normal' portions my stomach gets full long before I have finished enjoying what is on my plate. I am so used to eating the same simple staples that when I eat anything at all processed or sugary, my body has a reaction to it. I feel hot, sweaty, my heart races and eventually I feel sick and disgusting. I wake the next morning with a 'hangover'.
Are any of these symptoms an indication that I am eating too much food? I am eating normal portions, eating the same way my husband and work colleagues eat every single day and yet I beat myself up for eating like a piggy. Are the symptoms nothing more than a low tolerance to a standard diet?
I don't beat myself up when I have two glasses of wine and get pissy by telling myself I am an alcoholic and I need therapy. I recognise that because I don't drink frequently, when I choose to do so, I will react more quickly than others.
When I eat like a normal person, I need to remember that it doesn't mean that I am engaging in unhealthy binge behaviour. I need to recognise that when I choose to include food in my diet that I don't frequently eat, my body will react with a full bloated stomach, uncomfortable physical changes and a hangover the next day.
In the same way that an occasional drink is well deserved, so is a day full of delicious treats. If I can stop translating the physical feelings of discomfort into a sign that I am letting myself down then I might be on to something. A day spent eating the same food my husband eats will leave me feeling like I've just been through a family Christmas with all the trimmings. It doesn't mean I've been on a binge and therefore self flagellation is no longer required.