Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Eat It • All By Myself & Corporate Skullduggery • Binges• Poison

Four things:
1 • Why is it that the little ladies will turn their little button noses up at food when they are in their high chairs, but as soon as they are released and free range again, they will gobble up food from the floor as if they are starving? I really do have a hard time understanding the capricious food whims of children. One day peaches are coveted and eaten with relish (not relish relish, but relish) and the next the carefully cut up peach ends up in the garbage. Pizza seems to be a consistent hit, as well as pasta with red sauce and ricotta. Everything else is on their Thanks For Making Me Chicken Cutlets, But You Can Just Throw That In The Garbage Because I Don’t like It Anymore list. I cannot handle food waste. It seems so…wasteful.

2 • Why is it is took Nicole and I thirteen months to realize that we are not always in after-work, end-of-the-day sync? After a day of being with the girls allllll byyyyyyy myyyyyselffff (that song is in my head), I really look forward to the paradigm shift that occurs when the other mommy comes home. I like the company and family time, first and foremost. But I also like the help. Having the chance to do something while the girls are completely occupied and out of my eyesight is an amazing luxury. Instead of a half hour to fold the laundry, I can power through that task in 15 minutes. I can make dinner without having to relocate little girls who like to get underfoot, literally. I can run down to throw laundry in without strapping a baby on my chest and strapping one in the stroller and dragging the heavy hamper with one hand while pushing the thrashing-about baby in the stroller with another. I can put things away and organize and clean up without feeling like Sisyphus.

But but but, and this is important, after a day of dealing with corporate skullduggery and pressures and hassles, Nicole just wants to come home and not get swept up into the Chores Olympics. She only has about an hour with the girls (if that) before they go to bed and corralling them away from whatever I am doing is not top on her list. I can see that, because as soon as the girls figure out I am doing something as fantastic as folding laundry in the bedroom, they MUST be involved and will bang on the door until they are let in. It becomes an exercise in Relocation and Attempted Distraction, which usually doesn’t end well.

3 • Why is it no one has written the article “Anatomy of a Binge?” If I could magically drum up an extra three hours every day I would write the article myself. Maybe I will. Maybe I will dust off my old journalism credentials and sharpen my pencils and flip open one of those Reporter’s Notebooks and start making some phone calls. Maybe maybe maybe.

The article would talk about how “binge” is relative, so while on one hand, eating 15 pounds of candy for one person might qualify as a binge, eating two big pieces of cake might qualify for another. And both are equally traumatizing for the binger. What I find so interesting about binges is that they are single moments and decisions that set forth a gush of motion that is hard to stop. So after a bad day someone might eat half a pint of ice cream, then go to bed. That’s not so bad, right? But what is bad is that is sets off three weeks of bad choices, misery, despair, feelings of being out of control, depression, and apathy. Well, at least it usually does for me.

I am not in a binge mode now. At the tail end of vacation, I did overdo it on donuts, which lead to the next day of overindulging in my own way, which lead to a third day and maybe a fourth, I don’t remember. And my binge is not textbook scary. But for me, it represents no control, and that is not good. But it is over and done and I have moved on to normalcy and control. I don’t always. Usually I hit the Fuck It wall, and it is a really hard wall to scale.

This phantom article might dissect the reasons why people binge and explain how to get back on track quickly, instead of lingering in that bad place for weeks. Most important, it will explain how a day or two of binge eating (or gym skipping or any unwanted behavior, really) will not destroy your health or body or sanity or mind. We can bend without snapping. That is what I am trying to learn myself.

4 • The final piece of my random pie: Why is it we humans are so drawn to dark, toxic, unsatisfying relationships? I am a participant in a toxic relationship that rears its head every now and then. And when it did rear its head this time, I wanted to rear back in a negative and unhealthy way. But I didn’t. I just left it all as if and walked away. At least for today I did. We will see what happens tomorrow and the ext day and the next. It is so easy to get sucked into the undertow of negative. But for now, I made the right choice.

Pictured above, the donut and cake that spurned a few days of bad choices. It’s kind of pathetic to say that my mind thinks “Well, since I ate two slices of birthday cake, I might as well eat everything until I explode” but I would be lying if I pretended that thoughts like that didn’t cross my mind from time to time.


ann (fchen) said...

the cake is cute, but that donut is SCREAMING my name. cut in half like that, to show it's delectable insides, it looks irresistible.

Lynnbug said...

Funny, your post is right where I am at on poor choices--especially the eating and not exercising. It helped--well maybe just a little.

As for the kids not eating unless it is on the floor? I was the same way when I was little. My mom had to through my baby aspirin on the floor so I would take it.

Kathleen said...

Uh, yeah, now that you posted that picture of the donut would you by any chance share its origins? I live in Northampton and would be really really really happy if it was accessible. Like today.

rebecca said...

i really sympathise on the food wastage. unfortunately it just gets worse. (unless you are blessed with non-picky eaters.) when my stepdaughters are with us we spend more than twice the money on food and i swear they eat about a quarter of what we do. so much goes in the garbage/the dogs.

Anonymous said...

1- that is a tasty looking donut.
2- I've been meaning to post this for a while. I sometimes struggle with food stuff in a similar way to you and found this piece of writing kind of helpful... Anyway- sorry, it's kind of long.

Definition of "Normal" Eating
Normal eating is being able to eat when you are hungry and continue eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it--not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is being able to use some moderate constraint on your food selection to get the right food, but not being so restrictive that you miss out on pleasurable foods. Normal eating is giving yourself permissino to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good. Normal eating is three meals a day, or it can be choosing to munch along. It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful when they are fresh. Normal eating is overeating at times: feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. It is also undereating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life. In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your emotions, your schedule, your hunger and your proximity to food.
-How to Get Your Kid to Eat...But Not Too Much (pp69-70), Ellyn Satter ©1987