Monthly Archives: September 2013

More Suffering

I’m in agony this morning. While I’m thrilled the temps have cooled enough to open windows and doors, I’m also suffering the tortures of the addicted. Food addiction.

Ever since my life drastically changed a few years ago and I moved from MN to CA, I’ve comforted myself with food – fast-food, slow, home-cooked delights, and most deserts. Nothing was a bigger comfort than Haagen-Dazs bars, thick rich layers of chocolate covering ice cream. And not just one, but two or three boxes at a time, and they come three bars to a box.

And since I was severely traumatized, I couldn’t be around people, so I seldom left my new home except to get into my car and explore at night, driving on a new road, highway, then finding a place to stop and eat. I still consider that great fun.

The result? I made it through that lost time, but I packed on the weight. A lot of weight. So now I’m trying to get it off, and for someone who dearly loves food, that’s suffering. To top it off, I’m also breaking my addiction to diet soda.

Now I can’t diet like a normal person. When I try to ‘eat healthy’ like the experts say, I’m hungry all the time and all I think about is food. About the only thing that does work is the low-carb plan. Only problem is, like most people, I love carbs, and after a few weeks on the diet, I’m hating meat. Never thought I’d say I can’t stand the thought of another chop, steak, hamburger without the bun, or cheese. I want potatoes! I want pizza! Even a simple BLT would be heaven.

But I’m an addict. One bite of the forbidden fruit would melt all my resolve and put me right back on the weight gain track. So, I’m doing without. Most of the time I can get through the day.

Until today.

With the lower temps and doors and windows open, the smell of my neighbor’s cooking wafts in, and although I’m trying to ignore it, the aroma is driving me wild. Since I’m such a food lover, I know exactly what it is – fried potatoes with onions. My mouth salivates. I’ve tried to concentrate on my writing, but that scent lingers and teases me with visions of fresh fried potatoes, crispy on the outside, the insides soft enough to melt on the tongue. I can taste them, taste each little strip of potato. Maybe she’s having them with eggs, and I can picture the dish with crisp toast on the side, the cut corner dipping into the soft runny yolk. I like to dip the toast first, then mix the egg with potatoes for that perfect bite.

Or maybe she’s having them with a roast beef sandwich with rich, creamy gravy over both?

Oh, I’m going mad. I don’t have potatoes in the house, so I’d have to go marketing, then come home and cook, which sounds horrible when I’m so hungry. Maybe I could dash out to the drive-thru at McD’s for a breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausage, and the potato patty would calm my craving, and one little break from my diet won’t hurt, that is if I can be strong the rest of the day. I’m almost convinced – until I glance at the clock. Too late. Breakfast is over and I don’t feel like going through the ritual of making myself presentable enough for a regular restaurant. So what to do?

I go to the fridge and stand, door open, looking over the contents, examining each item as if I didn’t know what was there, hoping by some miracle something looks good. It doesn’t. So I make an omelet: eggs, cheese, onions, some ham. More cheese. Not even appealing now, but I prepare it and I’ll eat. One thing about food – even if it’s not what I crave, I can better resist temptation when my stomach is full.

And I’ll close my door.

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Giving Up Things I Love

Well, today is a landmark day for me. It’s been one full week of no diet soda – actually, no soda at all. Won’t mention the brand, but anyone raised in the South can guess.

I’ve been addicted to the stuff, regular first, then the diet version ever since it was introduced in the ’80s, drinking several cans a day, then later switching to the 2 ltr. I’d panic if I could see the bottom and didn’t have an extra, so it was normal for midnight runs to the groc to get my fix.

But in recent years, I’ve noticed a downturn in health, so I started reading the labels. Scared me to death at the idea of what I was drinking, but not enough to stop. I tend to go overboard on things I like, so it’s a good thing I’ve never cared for alcohol or I’d be standing in front of a room declaring my addiction to everyone and trying to follow the 12-Step Program.

Last week when I took a good look at some changes in my body and emotional state and reread the warnings, I decided then and there it was time for a change. So I quit. And I also gave up fast food, which I love nearly as much as the colas, and I still crave both as much as I craved cigarettes when I gave them up in the ’80s.

But I’m trying to put health first, hoping that the sacrifices will pay off.

I just wish that trying to be healthier didn’t hurt so much.

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