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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Conversations With Myself.

I talk to myself, sometimes out loud, mostly in my head, about food choices. As a formerly sick obese person, I’ve spent the last 15 months changing and adjusting my relationship to food. It’s been hard. Mostly I don’t give in to those obsessive thoughts screaming in my head, “eat it, eat it, eat it, you’ll feel SO much better”. Of course, I have collapsed like a house of cards more than once in the last year+, and I pay the price with gas, bloating, pain, and diarrhea. Like my own one-person Schick Center (if you don’t get the reference, Google it. It’s basically Pavlovian.)

This was driven home to me yesterday when I was at the dollar store. I had a therapy appointment, then my husband needed to go over to a government office to see about us getting some health insurance now that he’s been laid off and our insurance ends July 1, so I asked him to drop me off at a strip mall that had a Panda Express, Dollar Store, Wal-Mart, and a frozen yogurt place.

I had hot and sour soup—gawd I love that. I love vinegary stuff even more now than pre-DS. Olives, pickles, peppers, beets, sauerkraut (what! I wouldn’t touch this before! LOL) you name it. If it’s in vinegar, I’m having it.

I then read for a bit (Bourdain’s KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL), then I ate the spare ribs I’d ordered—super good, so tender—and boxed up the green bean chicken for later. It’s still in the fridge. Then I walked, in 105 degree heat, in a sundress, sunscreen firmly in place, over to the dollar store to get some orange oil spray cleaner. It kills and repels ants and is not dangerous to pets like pesticides.

We have been invaded with ants. Lots and lots and lots of ants. Evidently they don’t like the heat either. Yuck. But the orange spray keeps them off the counters, and when I looked for it at Tarjay last week, they didn’t have any.

After the dollar store I walked over to Malwart, still 105 F and blazing under a relentless sun (and it felt good to me, skinny me), and cashed a check. My husband caught up with me there and brought good news about the insurance—we are on the right path.

So since our budget has been tightened to the extreme since 1. My FIL died (he allowed us use of a credit card within reason) and 2. My husband got laid off, so I was only going to buy the orange oil spray ($1.00) and get out. Then I saw they had a freezer case. I thought I’d peruse it looking for high protein dairy foods like cottage cheese or heavy whipping cream. You never know what they’re going to have there.

And as I stood there, peering in, my reflection squinting back at me, I saw a box of frozen chocolate-covered eclairs. I LOVE those. Then I stopped and asked myself this simple question:  Why?  Why do you need to buy these probably less than stellar, low quality, frozen desserts? Anthony Bourdain would eat these. But wait, you idiot, Anthony Bourdain has a different metabolism than you, never struggled with obesity. probably  has a full switch in his brain unlike yourself, exercises more probably. You are NOT Anthony Bourdain. *rolleyes* And besides...what are you going to do with them? Walk around outside until they defrost and then eat them while squatting on the curb? Why do you want them? 

And the answer came:  I’ll feel better. For that one moment, that brief slice of time that the éclair is in my mouth being chewed and enjoyed, all will be right with the world. But after? After comes the guilt and the shame and maybe diarrhea and gas and weight up a pound. Oh fuck that.

And then I asked myself why I needed to feel better?  Well, I’m stressed. Trying to get a cancer or not diagnosis before insurance runs out both metastatic eye and gynecological; husband out of work and under my feet (O.M.G.); death of FIL and access to emergency funds if needed; drop in income; mother with rapidly encroaching dementia; going blind; my body looks like an elephant, covered with saggy skin.

So yeah, no stress.

I was stressed so therefore I wanted food. I was full of Chinese food and I couldn’t fit in even one éclair, even if I wanted to.

But I wanted something immediate that would make me feel better.

I walked away because I knew it wasn’t really going to help, that I’d actually feel worse after I’d eaten it. I also reminded myself that I’ve eaten enough eclairs for a lifetime and that’s how I ended up over 300 lbs with Type II diabetes. Uh, yeah.

So not only can I make better choices now, I can analyze what I’m doing so I can adjust for future food decisions.

I’m not perfect, sometimes I may eat the éclair or whatever, but mostly I don’t. And I truly know why I want it and why I walk away.

My life depends on it.

It was a very intimate moment of clarity. Instead of telling myself, “You don’t eat that anymore. Bad. Run away.”, and which has worked in the past, now I knew why I both wanted a treat and why I could walk away.

It’s kind of liberating.

I still have treats, I just make them low carb. I may be personally keeping the almond flour market alive just by myself. Sometimes I have ice cream, full fat and sugar, and there are no side-effects including weight gain. Can I do it every day? No. But once or twice a week? No worries. And in this weather, I’m often unsure if I want to eat or wear the ice cream *sweating*.

I’m glad I’m still able to learn new lessons. Maybe there’s hope for me after all.

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