Before we lost our friend, D, to breast cancer, we all used to sit around and talk for hours about - well, everything. But one of the things we remarked on was how similar our psychology was around food, and yet how differently it manifested in the world. D was bulemic and had been since she was thirteen. She had also been anorexic at one point. And had ballooned up to 180 pounds and then the bulemia "fixed" her weight problem. That's where she got stuck.
Harley and I - we're compulsive overeaters. I wouldn't vomit by choice even if you offered me a million dollars and promised me a lifetime's supply of chocolate. Harley thinks vomiting is ridiculously stupid - why would you waste the food you just ate? He doesn't "get" anorexics and bulemics. I do. I get the inclination, anyway - I'm just not in for the actual acting it out.
But even though we have the same issue, Harley and I, we eat totally different things to get where we are. Me, I'm a sweets/carbs eater. Harley's philosophy about food? Meat+Heat=Eat. And the 2nd part of the equation is optional. He just eats vast quantities of whatever it is he's eating. I cook enough for two families most nights. He eats for one of them. Me and the kids eat the other meal.
Me, I will forgo a meal to eat a candy bar. In fact, if I could live on candy bars, Doritos, and various nefarious junk foods, I would. I mean, if the guilt didn't get to me that I'm not eating "healthy" food. So I force myself to sit at the dinner table and eat a few bites of the "real" food so I can later gorge myself on cake. WTH? I know, it's all very twisted. Welcome to the world of a food addict.
But the underlying emotional stuff? That's the same. Different, of course, in its particulars (kind of like the food!) but at the core, it's the same. We hide how we feel. Me, I'm so disconnected, I don't even know most of the time what I'm feeling. And I don't want to know - so I bury it in the food. It's truly no different than any addict.
And I know what I'm addicted to. It's the sugar. Like any white powdered substance - cocaine, heroin. No difference. I know my body is actually, physically, addicted to the stuff, because I did go off it once. The only diet I was truly successful at for an extended period (about nine months) was a low-carb diet that cut out all refined sugar and carbs. Harley and I did the Protein Power Life Plan and we both lost weight. Those size 22's in my closet? I was considering actually going shopping for a size lower because they were getting loose.
The withdrawal from sugar was evil. I was sick, lethargic, nauseaous. I should have been in a detox center somewhere, it was so awful. But after a week or so of that, I felt fantastic. And suddenly food that had previously been nowhere near sweet enough (blueberries or a cantaloupe, for example) were bursting in my mouth with sweet flavor.
Harley wants to do the low-carb thing again. I have to make all sorts of mind-leaps when I'm doing it. I can eat bacon? Heavy cream? Cream cheese? Butter? Steak? But I can't have a cracker? Or a baked potato? Or spaghetti? Hmmmm... But it actually works. I know, because I've done it. Part of me just doesn't like it. Or think it's fair.
It's true... there's a little kid in me stamping her foot and whining, "But it's NOT FAIR!" Harley gets to eat what he LOVES - meat. Me, I have to cut out everything I love and eat the stuff I hate. *whine* How come? Why me? What kind of plan or system is that, who thought it up, and where can I set up a meeting with them so I can punch them in the face? Huh?
And secretly I believe that if I have to suffer during this diet thing, then Harley should have to suffer too, right? It's only FAIR!
I know. How twisted is that?
Logically, I know it's the right thing to do. I feel better, I lose weight without even thinking about it. And I'm not eating all the junk food that I intellectually know is not good for my (or anyone's) body. Emotionally, however, I'm dealing with a huge internal protest, and I know I'm going to have to dig deep and locate my adult-self to set some boundaries and put that little one in time-out for her temper tantrums. *sigh*
And, of course, I'm not looking forward to the sugar withdrawal. *shudder*
Can't we start Monday? No? What do you mean there's no time like the present? But I have all this sugar and flour in the house, and... and... and... *sigh* Time to clean out the pantry again, I guess. Last time we did this, I gave away probably $200 worth of carbs. Wonder how much I'll end up donating this time?
Alright, alright. I'm going already.