SO Saturday morning I sat down to type a blog post about my food victory of the night before. I didn’t finish it before I had to get going for the day so I saved the draft to be posted later. And now as I come back to it, the thrill of the moment in gone. Last night I fell off the wagon. Off the wagon, into a bush. Into a bush right out side of Taco Bell.
So now let me preface a few things as I recount the evenings in question:
I am a professional storyteller. In order to have stories to tell, I must spend time with people, observe them, speak with them, hear their stories. In short, I am social. The twist is I am also an introvert. As a result of my childhood (referenced in earlier post), I have come to rely on food to get me through social situations. I hang around the buffet table at parties, grabbing chips here and there, snagging an extra chicken wing or 3 when I suspect no one is watching. After a show, when friends want to get a drink, I propose someplace that is still serving food because I am feeling “peckish.”
And so Friday night, following a show, we found ourselves at a restaurant/bar and I did something I never do. I shared food. Now of course I’ve shared an appetizer or desert here or there but other than with my daughter, I’ve not shared an entree with another adult while out at a restaurant. We have perhaps ordered to meals to split, or I have finished their food in addition to my own. But sit down, order one thing and split it. This was a first. This revealed to me that I have deep anxiety about being hungry. My friends suggest we share, and I think “I am going to still be hungry” even in the absence of hunger. I am a hoarder. I hoard food inside my body. How awful is that. How CRAZY is that. I’ve never experienced famine, or the great depression, or lack of food for more than an uncomfortable few hours. So why am I anxious that I don’t know when I’ll eat again, or where my next meal will come from? Well anyway, on Friday night I get this wake up call and so I share and it was perfect. I was fulfilled, I was being social, friends were drinking merrily and I was so proud of myself.
Then Saturday strikes. Ya know what I do? I go all day on two bananas and a black tea so when 5pm rolls around I of course believe I am starving to death (I’ll remind you I weigh 298 at last count – I won’t be starving for sometime). So all the fast food lights are tempting me, calling my name, and like the addict I am I can’t resist. BUT my intentions were soooooo good. I was going to go to Taco Bell, make a healthy choice, like one of their new Cantina Bowls (w/o dressing), and continue feeling good about my lifestyle changes. I order the XXL Nachos. It just came out of my mouth, it wasn’t even what I wanted. The food came, and I was miserably disappointed. With myself, with the presentation of my food, with the taste. So I picked at it, feeling the guilt and shame of eating a 1200 calorie nacho platter intended for at least 2 people. I couldn’t finish it. I threw it out, then order the Cantina Bowl I came for in the first place. Problem is, I don’t know how to add up the calories for a partially eaten nacho tray. I don’t know how many chips went in my mouth or in the trash. So now I just feel like I’m eating two meals, the nachos and the bowl. I wanted an immediate do-over but the nachos calories were in, couldn’t reset the counter, but I was convinced “I’d still be hungry” cause I had thrown a fair portion of the meal out.
I am glad for the experience of Friday and Saturday nights because my food anxiety is coming to light. More than insatiable hunger (which is what I’ve convinced myself and others to believe for so long), it’s an OCD type behavior. I’ve known I was this way with beverages for years (that is for another – perhaps shorter blog post), I thought food was different, but now I see the behavior pattern is remarkable similar.
Today I’ll try to eat only to satisfy the hunger/needs of the moment and know that the next meal will come.
Thank you for reading.