Eating Disorder Treatment, Binge EatingOrange County, California, Eating Disorder Treatment ProgramEating DisorderEating Disorder

Grocery Shopping During the Holidays

Chocolate-Pecan Pie.  Pumpkin Pie.  Buttermilk Pie.  Apple Pie.  I have a weakness, and it is pie.  And, as Thanksgiving is fast approaching, there seems to be pie everywhere!  At the grocery store this morning I found myself in a whirl.  I tried to just shop the outside rim so that I would stay focused on what I was there for carrots, spinach, yogurt, bananas, almonds, chicken, and tea. 

But in looking at fruits, I saw apples and immediately thought of pie. Next to the fruit are the veggies.  Next to the veggies are pumpkins… mmm pumpkin pie.  I scooted over to dairy and instead of picking up yogurt, I stood staring at a carton of Buttermilk and thinking of different ways to make buttermilk pie.  This went on and on…almonds next to pecans, even tea led me to pie because it is next to hot chocolate and chocolate went directly to pie.

“Oh, come on!” I said.  With each minute, and with each step, I thought more and more about pie; how to eat it without anyone knowing, where to dispose of the evidence and when my husband would be away so that I could purge it out.   I played it all out in my head; I had a plan.  I just had to grab some dog treats and then I would slink past the bakery and slide a pie into my basket.  I didn’t even care which one.

Got treats for Audrey and turned the corner towards the purgatory known as the bakery and out of nowhere a woman offered me a sample of pie.  “You have got to be kidding me,” I thought; but there she was, not just offering a little pie square, but she was pushing it towards me.  I must have looked like a ravenous hyena because once she handed me the plate she drew her hand back quickly.  Within seconds, the pie left the fork and hit my tongue and I wanted to spit it out. 

I hadn’t had time to chew much less let the guilt set in; so this was not guilt, this was an awful piece of pie. I mustered up the politeness to chew most of it, went around the corner and spit into a napkin.  Still scraping my tongue to get rid of the taste, I paid for my goods and left the store.  It wasn’t until I was in my car and pulling out of the parking lot that I realized that I had not scooped up the “secret” pie I had been pining over. At this point, and with that dreadful taste still in my mouth, the thought of pie just made me ill. As I drove home, I felt guilty and discussed with myself. I cried. I laughed at the absurdity of it all. I cried again. I prayed. I reached out and asked for help.

I now realize that the real reason I for my obsessed was not my love for sweets but for my grandmother. Although she would rarely eat them, being the nurturer that she was, she always had something to offer guests. I am going to sit and hold love for her in my heart. Just as I can love a friend or family member who is not present because they live across country, I can love her. Holding that love will get me more satisfaction than chasing emptiness in food of any sort.

A few key ingredients to the sweet taste of abstinence and recovery are:


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Unlike the she-devil in the bakery, we won’t force anything upon you and we don’t require strategic planning and secrecy. We’ll are here to support you, give you a chuckle or two and reach back when you ask for help.


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