If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you know I used to eat Goldfish crackers by the bagful(s).
They were usually accompanied by a bottle of wine and followed up with something (a lot of it) sweet. I was a binge eater and while I also binged on other foods, Goldfish crackers came to symbolize the issue for me (and so what that means for purposes of this post is that when I write “Goldfish crackers” it might also mean some other binge food).
Ten-ish years ago, when I decided for the millionth time that I wanted to lose weight, I told myself I couldn’t have Goldfish crackers any more. But I often found myself buying them in secret and bingeing on them anyway. There was a lot of shame and desperation involved. I tried to stop myself, but damn! I loved Goldfish crackers!
And then one day, a few years ago, I decided that instead of trying to restrict myself and then hating myself when I “gave in,” I would just give myself permission to eat Goldfish crackers whenever I wanted and love and accept myself at the same time.
Slowly, over time, my binges became fewer and farther in between and the amount I would eat became less and less. For sure, I’d still buy Goldfish crackers and sometimes I would eat more than a serving, but I did it in a much more mindful way. A bag might last several days instead of an hour.
Goldfish crackers became something that I believed I would always love, might sometimes choose to have, and even might sometimes choose to binge on, but they slowly lost their hold on me. And I chose to learn the lessons that I could only learn when I paid attention to the thoughts I was thinking as I reached the bottom of the bag.
And then, about a month ago I was at a party (my grandson’s second birthday), and there was a HUGE bowl of Goldfish crackers on the table. I hadn’t had them in quite a while. I turned to him and said, “How did you know that Boo-Boo LOVES Goldfish crackers?”
I scooped up a handful and popped a couple in my mouth…crunched them up and after a second or two, realized that they didn’t taste nearly as good as I thought they would. In fact, I’d have to say I didn’t like them at all. I had the opportunity to have them again recently, just had to have a couple, and sure enough, I found them almost repulsive.
Boo-Boo does NOT love Goldfish crackers!
I’ve written about this phenomenon many times over the years. It’s not about white knuckling it and being in control. It’s about taking control out of the equation. Goldfish crackers do not control me and I don’t have to control Goldfish crackers.
This might not be your desired way of approaching a similar issue in your life, but I have found great peace in taking baby steps. It might not be sexy. It might mean that certain goals take longer to reach. It probably won’t attract the media. Whatever.
If change was supposed to happen fast, children would grow up in 12 months. Patience and process win in the change game. ~ Susan Giurleo