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The Easter 12

When I was 12 years old, I was in what was to be one of the many commercial diet clubs I’d try during my lifetime (this particular time was almost exactly 33 years ago to the day, by the way).  I obviously did not yet have enough “food smarts” to wait until after that annual chocolate-fest called “Easter” (back then, that’s about all the meaning that holiday held for me).  The week before, I had lost 7 pounds and got my obligatory round of applause from the group.  But a couple days later, with the visit from the Easter Bunny fast approaching, I had to face the candy dishes of chocolate eggs and the check-out counters of strategically placed Easter treats,..and I caved.  After all, if I didn’t get them NOW, they would be gone for another ENTIRE YEAR!  Eventually I convinced myself that it was practically Easter morning, with those baskets overflowing with irresistible goodies that I already knew I would be devouring, so why even bother trying to be “good” now?  I was off and running.

On Easter morning, I never cared about the colored eggs or the jelly beans, or even the gifts.  All I wanted to know was, “Where’s the CHOCOLATE?!”  From the moment I got up on Easter morning (which was at the crack of dawn), I would eat it as a pre-breakfast snack, as my breakfast, as a mid-morning snack, as an appetizer before the big Easter ham dinner, as dessert AFTER dessert, as an afternoon snack, as an Easter-leftovers supper side-dish, and as a midnight snack.  I would not be able to sleep knowing that there was chocolate in the house.  I would trade my sisters all my lame, hard, chewy, fruit-flavored candies for anything of theirs that was chocolate.  Then I would gorge myself and wonder why my candy was gone and theirs was hanging around for literally weeks to come.

Right around this time was when I discovered that I could actually buy my OWN food, and it was this particular year that I was introduced to the magic of the 50%-Off Candy Sale.  The Monday after Easter, a friend of mine (who had older and apparently wiser siblings) told me The Legend Of The Cheap Chocolates.  I was hooked.  That very afternoon, we scraped together our change (and probably some that wasn’t ours) and walked to the nearest drug store.  In a matter of minutes, we walked out each holding two over-stuffed bags of discounted candy.  It was almost TOO easy!  We giggled and yelled and ran to the back of the store, sat on the loading dock, and ate until we were almost sick.  We threw whatever we could not finish away, much too guilty – even at that young age – to bring any evidence of our bender home with us.  Then we each went our separate ways and never spoke of it again.  I don’t remember walking home, how I felt afterwards, or ever doing that again with her (or anyone else – – after that, I did all of my serious, premeditated binge-eating in secret), but I do remember the horrible mix of compulsion and self-disgust that settled-in as I bit the heads off at least a half-dozen chocolate bunnies chased by at least a dozen other chocolaty treats.  And I remember every ounce of the pain and embarrassment of that next weigh-in.  I had gained a whopping TWELVE pounds in one week!  The woman doing the weigh-in was sure that I she had made a mistake and asked me to step off the scale so she could do it over again.  I was mortified!  I knew the number was right.  Again the number showed a twelve-pound gain.  She said loudly, “That can’t be right.”  “Yes it can,” I said in a voice so quiet I don’t know how she even heard me.  “Oh,” she said, staring at me in disbelief.  She wrote the number on my card and handed it back to me.  I dutifully sat through the rest of the meeting with my mother (whom I had begged to join with me), knowing that I would never be back.  And I wasn’t,…until a couple years later, and a couple years after that, and a couple years after that,….

April 4, 2012 This post was written by Categories: Tales of Terror: My Days as an Active Addict Tagged with:
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