Thursday, October 09, 2014

Day 3: Why, then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

Smoothie: Mixed greens, spinach, banana, apple, blueberries, flax seed, protein powder

Taste: Totally decent

Mood: Tired and phlegmy (Allergies? Toxins working their way out?)

Smug points: 32

Have I told you how I spent a lot of my time in high school?

Not on sex and drugs and rock 'n roll, sadly. This a fact that I totally regret.

No. I spent a tremendous amount of time on not eating. And exercising. Because anything I did eat, like food, would instantly make me fat. Which would be terrible and nobody would love me. So I would immediately have to go for a run. Because for God's sake, my thighs were huge enough as it was.

I don't know if you've ever done a bunch of not eating, but if you haven't let me tell you: when you are trying not to eat, food is ALL. You. Think. About.

So I wasted all this time and energy trying to avoid food, which is pretty hard, really, because most people have meals three times a day and snacks at other times. And also, food is delicious. And important for your muscles and your brain and so on and so forth.

This meant that I was almost always tired, plus I was a teenage girl, so I wasn't necessarily the most emotionally stable person around. I once burst into tears and asked my dear friend Kris, "How did I get so fat so fast?" Kris was and still is gorgeous, tall, and willowy, but she also had body dysmorphia and as such was always happy to compare enormity of thighs with me.

All very helpful, yes, yes.

In fact, when I saw her last year, one of the first things we did was compliment each other and then we reached over to squeeze each other's stomachs to insist that the other's stomach was not squishy like she claimed.

Old habits die hard. In fact, maybe they never completely die.


Now I can look back and say that when everything in your life is out of control, like if you're a first-born rule-following teenage girl in a crazy household and other people have all the power, the one thing you can control is your food intake. Unless your parents are willing to hold you down, shove food in your mouth, and make you swallow - and mine weren't - nobody can actually force feed you.

You might not be pretty enough or smart enough or whatever enough, but you can eat less than everyone else, which means you can be thinner. Which is still not thin enough. You can feel momentarily better about yourself when you see someone eating a cookie and know you want one but are strong enough to resist.

And then I went off to college and fell thoroughly apart, and all the control I had over my eating went straight out the window and I gained 40 pounds and hated everything about myself.

So fast forwards a couple decades and a lot of therapy and here we are, with Nick and me doing a lot of not eating.

For Nick, this is something completely different, in that for the longest time he was athletic and could eat whatever he wanted, which was a lot of everything except fruit and vegetables. He was big and strong and he burned all those calories without trying. And then once he started sitting at a desk all day, he still ate whatever he wanted. And it all caught up with him.

For me it is something completely different, in that it is a temporary choice. Normally I eat plenty of real food and I know that at any moment I could walk down the street and have a chocolate milkshake and it wouldn't affect my outer attractiveness or how much people love me.

Although if I did that right now, what it would do is really piss off my husband, because we have seven more days to go. And we are in this together.

Mmm, detox tea!

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