I was fully planning to write about something else today. And then the dough balls incident happened.
Mama Pea writes an amazing blog that I’ve been reading for a while. She created these awesome cookie dough balls that looked delicious. I stored the recipe in my bookmarks “to make” file. I thought nothing more of it other than the fact that she might be a genius and I was definitely going to make these at some point in time.
And then other bloggers started making them. Over and over again I read posts and looked at pictures of dough ball recreations. One by one bloggers I love to read made them and confirmed that they were in fact amazing.
I had to make them too. ASAP.
I’m not sure where the thought came from since I had already decided to make them eventually. But all the sudden it was an overwhelming feeling. I needed to make the dough balls. I needed to know what they were like. I needed to eat them and share in the greatness that everyone else already knew. Within the space of a few days making the dough balls became a thought I couldn’t shake. I had to make them and eat them. It was that simple.
It became less about the actual product and more about the compulsion to make them. I had to make them just so I could stop thinking about making them. I had to make them and eat them to be done with them. It was the same feeling that used to accompany the thinking that “I need to eat all this food just to get rid of it!”
I don’t struggle with binge eating like I once did. The binges that do occur are much fewer and farther in between and what I now consider a “binge” is more like “overeating.” Back in the day a binge would be thousands of calories and now it’s more like hundreds (which technically isn’t binging but still feels similar to me). But the compulsive desire to make and eat these dough balls reminds me of the compulsive eating that was intertwined with my long period of secret binge eating as a teenager.
I ended up only eating four dough balls and a couple bites of dough before I baked it. There wasn’t a binge, but there were the same compulsive feelings before and the same feelings of guilt afterward (mostly because I didn’t need to eat dough balls for a snack, I’m doing something against my goals, I wasted food on making dough balls). These feelings took most of the joy out of the process because I was instead so focused on getting rid of those feelings by making the balls and consuming them. Once again, this wasn’t even about the food.
So the experience left me with a ton of personal questions I’d rather not answer. Am I substituting baking for company? Am I eating away my loneliness? Do I need to stop reading these blogs? Should I take a step back from blog land and focus on myself instead? It’s hard to blame other bloggers and I’m in no way doing that, but I am questioning my own sanity if I continue to read blogs when it prompts me to return to compulsive thinking regarding eating. Maybe I shouldn’t be reading blogs about food before I’ve fully worked out my own struggles with food.
In many ways focusing on food has helped me. I’ve learned to create delicious food and how to make good choices. I’ve stopped stuffing myself with substandard, less-than tasting food in exchange for eating smaller portions of rich and delicious food. These have been good changes and I’m glad I’ve been able to focus on food in a good way.
But I think the focus on food (and reading food related blogs) has also hurt me, as seen in situations like this. I might need to take a break and readjust myself and my thinking before I can continue to read blogs about food as much as I have been. I might need to refocus myself and put less emphasis on foodie content.
Or I just might need to run away from anything with the words “cookie dough.”
ps – This in no way is to be negative toward Mama Pea. She is in fact a genius in the kitchen and I can’t wait until her cookbook comes out. And the dough balls are amazingly good (accompanied with the right mindset) and I’ll most definitely make them again one day.