This was the first week with food in my mealplan, and I got to eat dinner each day! I have to say that my first dinner of four ounces of broiled chicken and 1/2 cup steamed kale was one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had in my entire life. My husband served it to me on china, so that made it even better. I never realized that my teeth actually missed the sensation of chewing. It had been a while. How glorious to sink my teeth into chicken and chew and chew and chew!
This week, in my program, we talked about some of the problems people have once they start eating again after being on liquids for so long. Believe it or not, it’s actually easier being on liquids, since you don’t have to think about food at all, meaning – you don’t have to make any choices. To me, the transition felt a little like opening Pandora’s Box. Some of my old, bad habits reappeared this week. For example, I went out to eat with some friends–at a restaurant–where they ordered some great-looking hors d’oeuvres, and I slipped off the plan, almost without thinking. Here’s how it happened: after I finished eating my little 4 ounces of chicken, I found myself obsessing on their food covered in delicious-looking sauces. I finally tried a bite, and it made me want to jump across the table and eat their entire plate of fried tofu. No kidding. So, I had another little bite.
Suddenly, things felt out of control and scary. The experience made me realize that, no matter how succcessful I’ve been on this program and no matter how much I think I’ve changed, I am going to have to work at this my whole life. I can’t ever return to unconscious eating. There’s a monster in me–an overeater– a social monster at that. When I’m with friends and laughing and having a good time, the monster joins me at the table. So, unlike people who don’t have what I would consider my “eating disorder,” I have to be doubly conscious all the time about what I’m putting in my body, and I really can’t ever relax and just go with the flow, at least not now. And the good news is that I am mindful of all that.
The worst I did this week was eat two or three pieces of fried tofu when I shouldn’t have, so I can forgive myself for that. But there was a chasm there, and it was frightening to discover how easily fI could fall right back into it. In fact, there are all sorts of sirens sitting on the rocks, calling me in! It was worth it to eat the tofu because it helped me figure out some important things about myself. It’s like being a member of AA. The first step, after all, is admitting you’re an alcoholic. I am here to admit to the world that I am an overeater. No more joking about it. No more going on diets on and off – up and down – rollercoastering my way through life. This is it. From here on out, I am determined to be a conscious, careful eater, no matter what. After all, it’s my life – my choice.