I’ve always been a little obsessed with food. I was a picky eater as a kid and survived on a diet of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, Spaghetti O’s, and hot dogs. I hated spaghetti with a passion and also lasagne and pork chops and steak (when I was little, we ate more of this than I think the average family ate, mostly because our steak came from our cows) and my mom’s version of Chinese food and…well, pretty much everything. I remember there being a ketchup addiction in there somewhere. Ketchup sandwiches: two slices of bread, lots of ketchup. I was kind of a gross kid.
As I grew up, I began liking other foods and I stopped throwing tantrums at dinner time because I JUST WANT MY PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH MOOOOOOOM WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO MUCH???? I lived for band trips because we were usually set free on the unsuspecting residents of Enid, Oklahoma and their really sub-par mall. A mall meant a food court! A food court meant fast food, which we didn’t eat much of when I was a kid. Well, I take that back. We ate Wendy’s after family swim night (I remember sitting in the very air conditioned Wendy’s enjoying my Frosty while my teeth chattered my brain loose) and a few times a month, my very exhausted mother would get Braum’s on the way home from work. But I rarely ate McDonald’s. I never ate Chik-Fil-A (I learned very quickly that there was a good reason for that: THEIR FOOD SUCKS). Never went to Sonic.
Then I started driving, which opened up this whole new world of FOOD OPTIONS to my food obsessed mind. Somewhere in there, I went on a diet with my parents, which worked pretty well until I hit a wall and couldn’t get below 145 pounds no matter what I tried. I switched out my carrots for celery. I rode the stationary bike for an extra half hour. I ate less. I ate different things. My body was just like, fuck off, Sparkle Pants. This is where I’m staying! This crushed me, as I was still fat and as such, largely unacceptable and a ginormous reject to most of my peers. For awhile, I managed to trick myself into thinking I could be cute. I’ve always had a weird idea of what makes me look cute, so it was just a disaster to try experimenting with my look in my teen years. I had bad hair and big glasses and weird teeth and dumb clothes and lots of fat. Sigh.
I’m not sure what set off my complete dependence on food. I’m not sure when it became a substantial part of my life. I know that it’s substantial to everyone because hey, we have to eat. It probably came from reading YM and Seventeen and watching helplessly as this monster inside me forced me to eat all of these HORRIBLE foods that were just making me fatter and fatter and fatter…
[Dude, WTF. The wind blew all day yesterday and the dish didn’t mess up once. But now that the Pens game is on, it’s going out every two seconds. WTF.]
The last real diet I was on was in 2001/2002. The BFF was diagnosed with PCOS and began a virtually carb-free diet to deal with her weight gain. Our whole house decided it would be easier if we all did it, and in addition to that, I started doing pilates and this horrendous aerobics routine on tape by some Nazi who presumed she was a drill sergeant. I started doing bellydancing (on tape) and I lost weight. I felt better in my body, thanks to the pilates and bellydancing (man, I felt sexy for half an hour a day walking around in a sports bra and work-out pants. I miss those days.). The compliments I received made me feel a little…uncomfortable. They were of the “OMG YOU LOOK SO AMAZING NOW THAT YOU’VE LOST WEIGHT!” variety. You know, the ones that make you feel worse about yourself instead of better because shit, I must’ve looked HORRIBLE before.
That said, I couldn’t stand a carb-less diet and went back to eating bread and pasta and well, since I had restricted myself of pretty much every food substance I loved, I “fell off the wagon”. And then I went to Texas for three months, where our food options (aside from breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which were prepared) were a) the snack cabinet stocked by the local food bank, b) frozen fried foods, or c) whatever we managed to stock under our bunks. We all ate horribly there.
I’ve always viewed my food obsession as one of my biggest flaws. The BFF and I used to make food plans, which were basically diets, and I would freak out. I would literally lose my shit. YOU ARE GOING TO KEEP ME FROM EATING THINGS I ENJOY I AM GOING TO DIE PLEASE DON’T DO THIS TO ME. I have an unhealthy relationship with food. Or I used to. I’m not sure where I am now. I eat what I want, when I want. So I feel better in that regard.
The whole point of this post is to say that I’m still obsessed with food. I think about what I’m going to eat for lunch. I love to cook and sometimes I dream about the recipes I want to try. Today I’m thinking about all types of food: salads and hot dogs and pizza and garlic bread and steak and potatoes and chicken…because I am hungry. I am starving. Financial hardship makes intuitive eating really quite near impossible. I can’t go to the store and buy a potato or any of the things I mentioned above. My options are lunch meat sans bread, spaghetti, Ramen, peanut butter, and rice. None of those are what I want but you see, I am starving. I will eat them.
Okay, so I’m not really sure what the point of this post is. Last night wasn’t a good one in our house and I fell asleep at 10:30 this morning. Woke up at 2. My brain is kind of fuzzy and foggy and confused. I had unsettling dreams. I can’t call them nightmares because by and large, they were good, good dreams. I woke up at noon in a panic, cried my way to the bathroom. There’s a strangeness bubbling beneath the surface. But for now, I must away. Maybe I’ll talk about the strangeness later, but I doubt it.
And just for good measure: GO PENS!