My mom’s side of the family had early Thanksgiving this weekend, because my cousin, his wife, and their son came to visit from Virginia. I had never met his wife, and none of my family save the immediate ones had met Dana. We had a great time meeting, greeting, and eating… and eating…. and eating… and then we got full, so we had to give up eating entrees and switch to dessert. And then second dessert. And then coffee, and third dessert. Then we took some dessert home.
It was beautiful.
I seriously could have eaten three more slices of apple pie. And then, when I started to get full from that, I could have just started eating the apples out of the crust with a spoon. I don’t normally eat like that, which is what made it special. I’m usually very health conscious- in some ways, anyway. I don’t care how many fat grams or carbs something has. I just try and make sure that my outgo exceeds my input. This was much easier when I was a cook. I ate like CRAP, but no one noticed because I was running up and down stairs to get staples from storage and doing the inevitable shift-long dance that occurs when you’re ten tickets deep. It was hard to keep calories on back then.
I haven’t gained much weight since I’ve been home, but the little that I’ve gained has been good for me. I look like I’m the size I’m supposed to be, and not like I’m about to be diagnosed with a horrible disease. Therefore, I still eat what I want, within reason. When my clothes start getting tight, I eat less and burn more. I know it sounds incredibly simple, but it’s not. Willpower is difficult, and it doesn’t help when people are convinced that because you’re small, that means you need to eat a lot more.
No, it’s the opposite. I’m small because I watch what I eat… but I don’t obsess over it. For me, it’s just simple math. People go by my desk at work and look at my candy bowl and won’t touch it, because it’s sugar free LifeSavers, Jolly Ranchers, and Caramel Apple Werther’s. People ask me why I need sugar free candy, and I tell them the truth. I’m on the phone a lot, and it hurts my throat. I don’t want to rot my teeth out and swallow a bunch of empty calories trying to protect my voice.
Apparently, that is not as important as the fact that sugar substitute will kill me… and it will, if I inject it like heroin. But sugar free LifeSavers aren’t making track marks on my arms quite yet.
I am also a big fan of eating A LOT. The way I do this is to fill my fridge and pantry with stuff that is meant to be eaten in large quantities, such as grapes and plain popcorn. I have been heavy before, and I didn’t feel good about myself. Part of the reason I didn’t feel good about myself was being heavy; the other reason I didn’t feel good about myself is that I worried over every calorie.
Worrying about every calorie will kill you, either in mind or in body. Life got so much better when I started looking at what I ate over a week or two, rather than every meal. I felt more secure in myself when I realized that of course I could have a cheeseburger when I wanted- I just needed to balance it out.
I sit in the break room at lunch with women that are taller and thinner than me as they talk about the “monstrous” portions that they eat. One of them even had, *gasp* a third slice of pizza. The worst is sitting next to someone and eating a slice of cake (or whatever) and hearing, “well, I guess you can have that because you don’t have to worry about your weight.” It’s a backhanded compliment because women want to have an excuse for beating themselves up over what they eat. It’s ok for me, but it’s not ok for them, because I don’t worry about my weight.
And they’re right. I don’t. I just count the calories. There’s no emotion in it at all.