Yesterday was the first time in 36 days that I ate when I wasn’t hungry. It wasn’t a binge, per se… but I went back to the container of salted cashews for a few more small handfuls knowing that I was not doing it for nourishment, but instead for the entertainment that peanut oil and sea salt provided to my mouth.
Turns out it’s a damn slippery slope too. That night, as I sat in a forward fold during a Yin Yoga practice meant to reveal negative patterns I realized what had happened. I sort of knew it in the moment, but I REALLY knew it when the backs of my legs screamed at me about it. That entertainment was a distraction from how I was feeling – which was overloaded. I had taken The Boy and his friend to the CA Science Center that day and it was loud, and dark, or sometimes bright, and crowded, and loud. Did I mention loud? I get overwhelmed very easily in big, crowded, dark or sometime bright, loud places. And apparently the one hour I spent alone in my room after we got home was not a sufficient recharge. I was feeling uncomfortable and I tried to mask that discomfort with salted nuts.
And I realized then that I had already made up my mind to have a wedge of goat brie with the fresh crackers I was pulling out of the oven in just a few minutes. I did some mental gymnastics, sitting still there on the mat until I decided not to eat. It was 9pm, dinner had been hours ago, and I had not eaten after dinner in 36 days. Why start now?
Yoga ended and I ate the wedge (albeit a smaller one than I had originally planned) and a few of the crackers. I didn’t feel any better, fuller (I wasn’t hungry to begin with), more satisfied satisfied… just disappointed. JH asked me, upon giving voice to my shame (aka confessional), if I was worried about myself. I wasn’t. I saw what had happened and I didn’t want to go back to that way of being. If I was going to eat “off program” it was going to be with intention (more about that in the coming weeks).
Apparently whomever runs the Universe thinks I needed another opportunity to see my own behavior and its potential detriments because today…
Today, The Boy (who is both allergic and addicted to dairy like his mama):
- took a discarded mac & cheese hot lunch from the Donation bin at school
- put it in his backpack
- took his backpack into our friends’ house where I was dropping him off to play while I went to an appointment
- told me he wanted his backpack because it had a toy in it (<–lie)
- and then sat outside (alone) to eat his mac & cheese (<–like the people who go on The Biggest Loser –and me– do with their donuts in the car)
Cue opening of flood gates of shame.
Seriously? I STOPPED this behavior. I am 2 fucking days away from being fully engaged in my new relationship to food (and myself, and the earth, and everything in existence) and TODAY I have to see that I somehow taught my child to behave in the same way that was killing me?
I don’t know what to do. I told him about my experiences with food and my feelings of powerlessness. I empathized with him about the discomfort of craving (especially when in withdrawal, he had just returned from his dad’s where he ate pizza a couple days before). I explained my disturbance at the lying/sneaking/hiding. I expressed my concern about his wellbeing. He doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter to him. It’s not a “big deal.”
Perhaps I am overreacting. Perhaps any given reaction is as much reaction as is warranted in the moment by the person having the reaction and to say that someone is overreacting is to invalidate their experience as a person with emotions.
It wasn’t a big deal to me either… for let’s say 25 years. Until it was. I hope he doesn’t have to wait that long.
So, now I just let it be. And I don’t eat to cover up the feelings. And it sucks. And I’m sad. And I’m worried. And I feel ashamed.
And I remember that control is an illusion.
And I search around for hope. And I find a glimmer of it.
And I keep doing my best.
And that’s all I can do.
What I ate today:
- Green drink (collards, spinach, celery, cucumber, lemon)
- sautéed yellow squash, broccoli, and two over medium eggs
- 8 multi “grain” crackers, 2 slices of goat cheddar, slice of roasted chicken, roasted seaweed
- 8 multi “grain” crackers, slice of goat cheddar, slice of roasted chicken, 3 walnuts, 3 pecans
- quinoa, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, chicken sausage from TJ’s, turkey meatball, goat “ranch”