As you have probably noticed through my blog, I can be very hard on myself. I stay so focused on where I want to go and how much work is still needed to get there that I lose track of how far I have come. It’s like I have already run 25 miles of a marathon and get frustrated with myself for tiring at the thought of the mile ahead of me. I don’t think to look back and celebrate how far I have come. I am too busy being frustrated with how far I have to go.
Thankfully, sometimes I will notice changes in myself, and I marvel at how much progress I have made. This happened last week with Halloween. For most of my adult life, I struggled with the eating disorder of binge eating. Halloween was tough for me. I had these fabulous bags of chocolate candy in the house, and I would wrestle with myself. I would want to eat all of the bags of candy but knew I couldn’t. I would sneak some of the candy bars, hoping my husband wouldn’t notice. I would also sneak candy bars between visits from trick-or-treaters.
Contrast this with Halloween this year. I knew we had several bags of candy in the house but did not care. I was not remotely tempted to have any. In fact, if I had wanted some, I would have had one or two snack-sized bars with no guilt. Since I had “permission” to eat them, they lost their appeal, and I didn’t want them. I don’t recall eating any candy, either, while waiting for trick-or-treaters. If I did, it was only one or two, and it’s no big deal if I did or didn’t.
When my son was younger, I could not refrain from sneaking candy from his Halloween stash. This year, I don’t care about that, either. My son has been sweet and offered me a few bites here and there, which I appreciate. I don’t feel “tempted” to eat it, nor do I feel like I need willpower to resist it. It’s just candy. Believe me, that was not my attitude toward candy a few years ago.
So, I am making progress. In many areas, such as with the eating disorder, the progress has been so slow that it has been in baby steps. The changes inside of me have been so tiny that they have been barely perceptible until I take a look back. There wasn’t some “moment” when I magically changed over from being obsessed with Halloween candy to being indifferent to it, and yet is has happened. It’s a miracle to me, but a very slow one.
Photo credit: Hekatekris