Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Abundance and Loss

Over the years I've thought a lot about food - what should I have for dinner? Which fabulous restaurant(s) will I visit in the next vacation city of choice? How about dessert? Is there any chocolate cake? I've never been fat, but my BMI and body fat percentages are higher than I'd like. They are certainly higher than they should be for running. So when I asked my coach what it would take for me to qualify for Boston, to get faster, I wasn't too surprised when she said I needed to really focus on my diet. Not diet as in, starve myself per se, but diet as in LIFESTYLE CHANGE.

Not surprised, but disappointed. I would have been happier with a response of train more hours, do doubles, get new shoes. Anything but change my eating habits. But there it is.

And I wondered as I have before, why is it that if there is a brick of cheese in the house, I think about it until it is gone, I fear for it's little life that it will get moldy and I will have to throw it out. Why is it that if there is pie/cake/chocolate (you fill in the blank with something that is fattening and/or sweet), I must finish it - maybe not in one setting, but certainly in two or at the outside three?

In a moment of enlightenment I came up with the following theory. This problem has gotten pronouncedly (is that a word?) worse since Dennis died. Then I would sit down with a box of Hershey bars (you know that box they sell at Sam's of the regular sized Hershey bars?) and that would be dinner for today and lunch and dinner for tomorrow. Then it was time for a new box. I moved away from the Hershey bars over time - though they are still a source of comfort in extreme stress. But I haven't gotten over, in fact in some ways it's worse, that need to "finish the box." So I think maybe this has something to do with loss and abundance. I had an abundant life - from the outside it probably looked damn near perfect. From the inside, it almost was. And in an instant it was taken away from me. I went from everything to nothing... or so it certainly seemed. And not to trivialize any of this, because it is far from trivial, but I think that I am using food as a crutch. Ok, I know I use food as a crutch. What I really mean is I think I look at that bag of cookies and think in my subconscious somewhere that I have to eat them all right now before they're gone. Enjoy life right now while it is here because you never know when it will all be taken away.

Now in my rational brain, I know this just isn't true. No one is going to eat my food if I don't. It will be there tomorrow if I want it to be. If it goes bad for whatever reason, I can buy new. It can be replaced. But I think I'm onto something here. I think maybe this can be the beginning of the end for me. The end of my obsession with/dependence on food. I know it's not over. I know I still have a lot of work to do in this department and I know that work will continue every day, but I think I finally have at least part of an answer.

Funny how the human mind works.

No comments: