Every few days, I go to the Brookside Market and buy bags filled with healthy food. Carrots, celery, fruit, eggs, tofu, GF bread, rice cakes, sugar snap peas, grapefruit juice, and oranges; all the delicious components of a slenderizing, vegetarian diet.
A week later, I pick through everything that didn’t get eaten and berate myself for wasting time and money.
I actually only eat eggs, rice cakes, hummus, and apples.
I’ve reflected on my eating habits for hours on end. I understand the dynamics of the single person’s culinary style. It took a few months for me to stop making enough food for a family of four. When I realized what I had been doing, I stopped eating at home altogether. I spent hours at Panera’s with my laptop and my grandmother’s stash of handkerchiefs, under the sympathetic gaze of a woman named Tierra whose happy place, as described by her name tag, was home with her dog Jazzy.
I lost fifteen pounds in six weeks.
My weight rises or falls in a weird dance with my emotions. One year, sadness sends me to the fridge; then a wild swing not to happiness but deeper sorrow draws me to the dark and I have no appetite for days. Of course when the pendulum goes full swing, the pounds pile around my waist and my gut churns. I’ve struggled with this pattern for the last twenty years, going from 90 to 180 to 100 and then climbing again. This time, I’ve managed to stop myself at 120 and start the slow descent back to what works for my frame and disability.
In the kitchen this morning, I hovered in the chilly air drifting from the refrigerator thinking about breakfast. I knew that eventually, I would scramble two eggs, pile the perfect pillows of richness onto a piece of toast, and nibble at the open-face sandwich while sipping micro-waved coffee. I tell myself that this week will be my time to throw out all the uneaten carrots and vow to buy only what I actually need and want. I’ll send a donation to Feed The Children to remind myself not to be so wasteful. At lunchtime, I’ll slice an apple and eat the little wedges with hummus, a combination no one but me enjoys. In the evening, I’ll put deli-made guacamole on rice cakes and take it out to my porch. I’ll let the evening breeze wash over me. I’ll watch the sun set, ignoring the branches cluttering my sidewalk after the most recent storm. When it grows too dark to see, I’ll sit for a few minutes, then go inside to wash dishes. In the kitchen.
Where I feel so terribly alone, like no place else on earth.
It’s the twenty-fourth day of the forty-fourth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.