A story about ice cream.
Just a few short months ago I would have agreed that there aren't much things better than ice cream.
When I was a kid I used to sneak into the ice cream in my parents freezer. I remember being fairly young when I would lightly skim the top of the half gallon with a spoon, hoping that nobody would notice. That's one of my earliest memories of sneaking food.
Ice cream has been one of my go-to buffers for a really long time. I used ice cream as an escape, as a buffer, as a distorted form of pleasure. There was some sort of comfort I felt in the rich, creamy goodness. And folks, that is emotional eating. That's how it starts.
In more recent years I would go for ice cream once a week with my family. It was our thing to do, and the kids loved it. In the early days, when my kids were really little, I always had to get the biggest cone, or a sundae. When my kids didn't finish their ice cream I would finish it for them. It's always been my favorite pleasure food. I couldn't get enough ice cream. As I think about this, I can see there was a genuine fear of not having enough, or of missing out. I needed more, as much as I could get. This has been a theme in my life for a very long time.
When we first visited Georgia we discovered Bruster's Ice Cream. Oh my! In my opinion it is the best ice cream ever. It's a combination of hard & soft serve. It's super creamy and delicious. When we eventually moved here we started going once every week, as per our norm. Sometimes, we went twice. I would get wicked cravings. I wouldn't eat just any old kind of ice cream. It had to be the good stuff. It had to be worth it.
In recent months though, something started to change. The larger size servings were just too much, and I would feel sick after eating it. I started asking for a small cone or dish, even baby size. Sometimes when we went I didn't get anything. That was a total shocker for everyone, including myself.
Then, we started going less frequently. Sometimes it was every other week. Today I realized we haven't gone out for ice cream in over one month. It's not because it's forbidden, or because it's bad. It's just because it's not in the forefront of my mind, of our minds, anymore. The ice cream has completely lost its sizzle.
My thoughts about ice cream have changed, because my thoughts about pleasure have changed, and because my thoughts about myself have changed. I rarely think about ice cream anymore, because I have found other things that bring me joy that don't involve food. I don't have the same sense of missing out. I'm learning that I have enough. The scarcity mindset is changing.
I don't get cravings for ice cream anymore, or for anything. I recognize cravings for what they are, an opportunity to buffer. I don't have to buffer anymore.
I'm not saying I can't have ice cream.
I'm not saying I shouldn't have ice cream.
I'm saying I choose not to have ice cream.
There's a difference.
I'm in charge.