Marble Rye

I had a lunch at my dear friend, Kay’s, today. Kay is one of my favorite people on the planet – loving, easygoing, generous, honest, good. And normal about food.

As we were eating and chatting, Kay said, “this bread is so disappointing.”

Her husband had picked it, marble rye bread. Not her first choice, but she gave it a try. And it just didn’t cut it.

Her commented interested me. It’s been a long time since I’ve considered wheter was as good as I’d hoped it would be.

Kim loves food – eating it, cooking it, baking it, feeding it to others. She grows vegetables and love wholesome, healthy meals. For Kay, each meal can and should be joyous – even the lunch she packs for work each day needs to please her.

For me, as long as it doesn’t taste bad, I really don’t care. I don’t ‘love’ food, not anymore.

But did I ever love food? Did I ever actually enjoy it? From a very, very early age I shoveled it in mass quantities to soothe myself. As I grew older, food became my everything – I lived to stuff down my feelings. Later, I lived to restrict. I either binged or starved; gorged or withheld; all or nothing.

But did I ever love food for food? Did I ever eat slowly enough to enjoy it? Could I appreciate one warm slice of freshly baked bread? A perfectly ripe peach? A small scoop of ice cream.?
That would be NOOOOO!!!

Kay and I don’t eat same the way. For her, food is lovable. For me, it’s just food. For Kay, marble rye is disappointing. For me, it’s just bread.

It beats food as EVERYTHING. I’m cool 🙂

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When There’s No Time to Eat

Today was a day when there was no time to eat. Not a minute. Forget peeing.. But that always came second to food.

At around 3;30 pm, I realized I had a terrible headache. Why? Did I have sinus problems? Was I squinting at the computer too long? Were my tooth still sore from yesterday’s dentist’s visit?

Nope. I hadn’t eaten anything all day. And I hadn’t noticed. I’d been just too busy.

But when I did realize I needed to eat, I remembered that my food was still in the conference room where the big bosses were having a meeting with clients. I wasn’t getting in there!

Finally, I found a hard boiled egg I’d left in the refrigerator and ate that. It wasn’t scintillating, but it was fine.

There was a time in my life where minutes couldn’t pass without thoughts of food and eating. And if there wasn’t food readily available, panic mode set in. WHERE WAS I GETTING MY NEXT MEAL? HOW COULD I SURVIVE?

Today, I really didn’t know where or when exactly i was getting my next meal, and it was fine. People all over the world live chronically hungry and without any idea at all when the next nourishment is coming.

I can get through a few hours.

It will never stop being weird to me that this is how I think and live now. How does that happen? For someone like me, who dropped out of college 5 times because she COULD NOT STOP EATING?!!!!

Miracles happen. And I truly believe that if they can happen for this lifelong compulsive eater, bulimic and anorexic, they can happen for anyone everyone.

My Truth About Food

I believe it is vitally important to know our own truth about ourselves and food. I have friends from my 12th Step Fellowship who never ever eat sugar or white flour or processed foods. They commit what they are going to eat each morning and weigh and measure every ounce they consume.

They are delighted with this approach. They are clear with what they are going to eat each day and then they get on with their lives.

I work with many women who stick to this approach and others who follow some combination of the above and still others who eat like I do – no hard and fast rules – but still following our own truth.

When I first started to get well, I ate 3 meals a day and nothing in between. I tried my best to eat normal-ish meals and sometimes ate more and sometimes ate less. But I never beat myself up about it.

Once I got used to eating just three times a day, I was able to figure out precisely what works for me. Having been on some kind of diet most of my life, I could really discern a normal portion. For breakfast, I ate some protein, a small carb and a fruit. For lunch and dinner = some protein, vegetables and a small carbohydrate. It worked for me.

I also made sure to be present at meals – i didn’t read or space out. If I was eating with others, I paid attention to conversation and tried to add value or to just listen well. I’d note my surrounding, what people were wearing, what hung on the walls…

Throughout the process, I never lied to myself. I didn’t pretend that a giant baked potato was a small carb; the hungry man burger was not ‘some’ protein and a whole canteloupe didn’t serve as one fruit. I also never consumed unlimited veggies. Nothing in excess.

These days, after many, many, many years, I don’t really follow any rules, except for the truth. Sometimes, if I’m hungry, I will eat small bites through out the day. But truly small bites. Two saltines can well be sufficient.

Most importantly, of course, I faced what was underneath that CONSTANT desperation to stuff my face with food. And then, of course, there was no need for mass quantities of food.

For those of us who used or use food as the solution to all our problems, we must face the problems and find true solutions. And then food’s just good old food again.

And that’s my truth

A Day In Bed

I woke up with the worst cramps that I can remember. Well, I think they were this bad in high school (before the invention of Advil) but it’s been four decades….

So, I decided to spend the day in bed. (It’s Saturday.)

I had a million things I’d planned to do today – and plenty of them seemed like they really absolutely needed to get done.

Tough. I firmly planted myself in bed.

Every time I thought I should get up, I asked myself, why? Why not just lie there, snoozing and daydreaming and taking more Advil.

Plus, I have the best little heating pad – kitty Rebecca curled into my belly and purred up a storm. She gets it – nothing wrong with napping all day!!!!!

It’s 6:30 pm, and my dumb brain is telling me to do something productive – go to the grocery store, throw in some laundry – at the very least, head to the bookstore!

Nahhhhh, I’m going back to bed. 🙂

Life/Food/Truth/Life

I haven’t written in a couple of days – so much going on. An intense time – we all have them.

It’s been hard to focus – typical of me, but multiplied galore. I’ve found I don’t want to read (!!!) and my thoughts seem clogged.

But, but, but – no desire to overeat. No desire to use any substance to make me feel better.

I know that nothing from the outside will make me feel better on the inside.

And that, quite simply, is because of the 12 Steps. Seeing the truth and changing.

I told a sponsee, who might be reading this, not to talk about being abstinent from certain foods. That sounds like deprivation. Instead of saying, I was abstinent today, why not say, I was honest today

Honest about the truth about me and food – by nature, I don’t see food as fuel, I see it as relief. Food was my primary ‘relationship’ for most of my life. I ate when I was lonely, tired, scared and sad. I ate when I was happy, celebrating and perfectly fine. Food was more than food. It was everything.

Now, because of the Steps, food is food and I face life.

But life is not always easy or comfortable or joyous or anything like I want. But I still have to face it and deal.

And that’s what I’ve been doing. And ya know what, my answers are coming – none of them easy. But they’re the answers. Time to take action.

Crazy, Like Me

I know I am getting my period when I give the finger to any and all fellow drivers. I simply become a crazy and maniacal woman.

Here are just some of things I have done while under the duress of PMS;

quit my job

broken up with my boyfriend

stormed out of a hair salon

thrown books at the wall, wishing it were human

and so on…

I spend my post-period time making amends. It’s exhausting. If I have PMS and it’s a weekend, I try to keep myself hidden from humanity – my innocent victims.

Is anyone else as off-the-charts whacko as I am while hormonal?

It would really be comforting to know if you are.

P.S. to my sister if you’re reading – my fortune cookie says, ‘it is most gratifying when a goal is achieved through one’s efforts.’

Huh, what does that mean? 🙂

Stress and Food

I know I’ve mentioned that this hasn’t been my favorite month. I am dealing with stressful stuff on multiple fronts.

However, I’m still amazed (and always will be) that none of this makes me want to eat. It doesn’t occur to me. Quite the opposite, actually, (which totally astounds me) I have no real desire to eat at all. Because I am troubled!!! That’s so wild. Me, a woman, who couldn’t STOP eat for decades…!!!

Today, I found myself having to force down crackers, because i knew I had to eat, BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO. I was telling this to my best friend from childhood, Frank, and he – a 100 % normal eater – feels exactly the same way when he is stressed!!!!

Now, I will never, ever, ever call myself a normal eater – I’m not that crazy However, because of the 12 Steps, I know the truth about food and me — it’s got to be fuel and nothing else.

I am also amazed that even though I’m struggling, I’m still okay. I realize I’ll get through it. AND I KNOW THAT I HAVE IT BETTER THAN SO MANY PEOPLE ON THIS EARTH. Most people would dream to have just my problems.

I love this one – if I had to put all the problems in the world into a bowl, wouldn’t I pray to pull mine out. Yes, indeed!!!!

I have dear friends who are very ill. I have dear friends who have lost those closest to them. There are women on this planet who aren’t allowed to show their ankles.

I’ll take my problem please, and hold the hot fudge.