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.

I'm a novelist, short story writer, and I currently serve as CEO for L. Cooper Press, a service for writers. Thomson-Gale bought one of my novels, With Full Malice, for their 5 Star Mystery line, then Harlequin WorldWide Mysteries bought the mass market paperback rights. I lead a novel critique group in Redlands, CA, so if you're in the area and writing a novel, join us: When I can't attend, Amy Fletcher leads the group. You can always contact me through my websites:

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Posted in My Blog, Observations
5 comments on “More Suffering
  1. Alice Duncan says:

    You have my utmost sympathy, Brenda. I had a huge, gigantic change in my life a few years back, which left a big hole in it, and I stuffed it with food. It took a long time, but most (not all) of the extra pounds are gone. Good luck!

  2. Brenda Hill says:

    Very encouraging, Alice. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Alice Duncan says:

    Well, it’s not easy, but I do recommend not torturing yourself. Very gradually cut down. It hurts much less that way 🙂

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