Hi, my name is Emmie and I have a pizza problem.
Well, I guess I should say I HAD a pizza problem as it's under control currently. But a rapid-fire sequence of events happened recently where I was able to identify and correct on a past destructive behavior that usually would have led me back to binging behavior, something I (thankfully) haven't experienced in over a year. Big hat tip to my friend Emily of Fit and Free with Emily for her post on Abstinence that got the wheels turning on this post.
Pizza is a trigger food for me. If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, pizza would be it. I can eat it in mass quantities every day, for every meal.
With Hashimoto's (auto immune hypothyroidism), I can't eat gluten (I've been 99% gluten free since July). Pizza is a gluten bomb, so it was easier to avoid. I knew if I ate it, I would feel horrible physically. All was good until I learned that a local restaurant had gluten free pizzas. So I ordered it a couple times when I was out with friends. I then got it for carry-out a couple of times. The pizzas were reasonable in size and were somewhat “gourmet-ish” with local fun ingredients on them, so I justified eating them. Plus, it was kind of expensive and out of the way, so it still took a concentrated effort to procure, which helped me stay away. (Also a reminder that I need to write a post about access to food and how it's a double edged sword)
Then I learned a chain pizza place started selling frozen gluten free pizzas. In my excitement and with my old binge habit of buying in bulk, I bought several of them and ate one every couple of days. It was getting to the point of excess.
So I tried to self correct again. I decided that I would be better off if I made my own gluten free pizza crust and pizza from fresh ingredients. I ordered some GF pizza crust, thinking that if I made it at home, I was at least controlling the ingredients. Since I ordered the crust from Amazon, it came in a box with 4 bags of the mix (each bag made 2 crusts). Right before Christmas, I noticed that even though it took me well over an hour to make each pizza (make crust, let rise, bake crust, add toppings, bake again) – I was still eating it about every other day.
This entire pizza saga took place in a matter of 6 fast weeks. Warning lights went off in my head at every step, and when that last bag of crust mix was gone, I knew I had to cut pizza out entirely. I've written about my problems with moderation before, and pizza is one of the most extreme examples of losing all control. I can't have a little. I don't self-regulate. I have no other option but to abstain from it. This means even if I go out to eat and GF pizza is an option, I cannot partake. It's like playing with fire.
One of my favorite mottos is “if you don't buy it, you can't eat it.” It saves me in the grocery store 95% of the time when making food decisions. Same with going out to get food (I think I'm addicted to that ritual as well – another story for another day) – if I don't go out to buy it, I simply can't eat it. My body needs food that is JUST FOOD to me. Not a comfort mechanism or a way to avoid other things. My house is filled with those foods that are JUST FOOD to me, and that's how I have to keep it.
Do I wish I could be a moderator? Of course. But recognizing my binge eating past and trying countless times to cut myself off at a reasonable point, this is just how it has to be. Eliminating gluten was so much easier than I ever imagined because I knew how bad it makes my body feel. So, sayonara pizza: I'm done with our toxic relationship.