Raspberry flavor sounded interesting to me, so I ordered it. It was bright purple ice cream with big chunks of chocolate in it. And it was so good. I left the restaurant feeling very satisfied because I’d found a way to have a delicious treat without going overboard or feeling bad about myself.
A few days later, I found my car driving itself towards Graeter’s in uptown Westerville. “No”, I kept saying. “Yes”, said a familiar voice coming from that part of me that is weak and needy, that wants what it wants right now instead of being able to wait. The part of me that doesn’t give a crap about consequences and just wants to eat ice cream. Yeah, she’s still there.
So I went in and got a scoop of creamy, chocolaty chunky purple raspberry ice cream.
A few days later, I was doing my grocery shopping at Kroger. Had my cart filled with apples, cucumbers, cabbage, red peppers, almond milk, granola, two kinds of lettuce, brown rice, tuna, egg whites, etc. and I was scanning the ice cream isle for that yet-to-be-invented concoction that tastes amazing but is actually clean eating. I didn’t find that, but guess what I did find? I didn’t know this, but they carry Graeter’s in pints at Kroger. So I bought one. Black raspberry chocolate chip.
“No”, I whispered.
“Oh heck yeah”, she said back.
Do you know what a ½ cup serving looks like? Stop reading right now and go to your utensil drawer and pull out your ½ cup measuring cup. It is tiny! It is four bites of ice cream. But I was determined to control this, so I scooped my single serving into the ½ cup and ate it right out of that. I made sure it was level and everything.
One half cup. 270 calories. 3 miles of walking.
Those of you who know me well know what happened next. I ate another ½ cup!
Once I go this far, I usually give in and eat the whole thing right out of the carton. My justification is, “I have to get rid of this.” Like spooning it down my esophagus is the only option. I swear, I waste money on the dumbest things, but I will not throw perfectly good ice cream down the drain.
I wish I could tell you that was the end of it. I actually bought a second carton a week later and ate it in a day and a half before the strong side of me had had enough. It is not the ice cream that’s the problem, it is knowing I am doing something destructive to my own body and soul, and feeling unable to stop it. The shame is immense.
I did the only thing that has ever worked for me. I sat with my feelings; my out of control, never enough, internal battle, fear-based feelings. And I sent them love. Not hatred, love. Not condemnation, love. Big, big love. Bigger than ice cream ever can be, love. Then I prayed. “Holy Spirit come. Please help me get out of this binge and bring me back to my right mind. Calm my spirit. Remove this sugar craving. Please send Your grace and peace.”
I repeated that prayer while I prepped my healthy food for the week, I went out for a walk, and I got back on track with my soul intact. I am allowed to make mistakes. I am allowed to blow it sometimes. It does not say anything about who I am. And it does not say anything about who you are. You are a woman of great worth and strength. And perhaps you blow it sometimes. That is OK. Grace is here for you. Love will always bring you back to who you are. It’s time to let it reign.