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Is This Normal?

Today was a really weird day, and I thought early on that it may take a sour turn when I ate my breakfast and all I could think was, “What’s next?”

I always eat breakfast, and I’ve tried different combinations to find something that would last until lunch. While it may be physically possible for me to go snack free in the morning, you really don’t want to be around me if that happens. The two-year-old toddler rages about 10 a.m. regardless of what time I eat my breakfast.

I’ve tried skipping breakfast or gorging on huge morning feasts and everything in between. What seems to work best is to eat a little something – like a piece of fruit or an egg white on an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin around 6 a.m., and then I take oatmeal with me to eat at my desk.

Around 10 a.m. I generally have some kind of protein and some raw veggies. That will hold me until about noon. I try to eat another snack – a piece of fruit and yogurt – around 3 p.m.

This morning I ate an apple and went to work and almost immediately snarfed down my oatmeal. It didn’t feel like I even smelled it. I don’t always know what makes one day any different than the next, but thankfully I dug into work and eating was no longer a priority aka. an obsession.

What I found odd was that after being so hungry in the morning, I skipped my morning snack. I kinda like when that happens. Forgetting to eat, even if it was because I was super busy, makes me wonder if I might be closer to normal than I might think. I used to hear people say things like, “Yeah, I got so engrossed in this project, I forgot to stop to eat lunch.” WHAT? Are you kidding me?

My eating timetable is more regulated than the train schedules in Tokyo. I can only think of one time that I ever skipped a meal in my life, and it was not my choice. And, actually I didn’t skip that meal; I simply ate it at 11 p.m. with a group of people in the south of France. And if I had that to do over, I wouldn’t have let them order me the sausage and duck cassoulet. But I digress…

After my hectic morning with no snack, I had a lunch appointment with a sales rep who I’d never met face to face and only talked to a couple times on the phone. I plopped down and ordered one of my favorite salads with grilled chicken, dressing on the side and half a pita, dry. When the salad arrived, I picked off the croutons, drizzled a teaspoon of the salad dressing over the top, but not before dousing it with vinegar and a little olive oil. Yum.

As I was finishing up, the woman blurts, “Are you on a diet?” I told her that several years ago I lost 100 pounds so I watch it pretty close, and I like to splurge more on desserts than salad dressing and store-bought croutons. “I would have never guessed. You look so thin.” I could have kissed her. I still might!

It was yet another example of feeling pretty normal. I make good choices, but somehow I’m not sure if I identify with “normal” as it relates to food, or if I even know what that really is. I still find myself very guarded most of the time around food or completely out of whack, needing to be “super good” because I ate something I “shouldn’t have.”

Does this perpetuate the five or 10 pound yo-yo? Is it one more way to embrace the never-ending dieter because that is who I am? That is certainly not what I want or what I profess, but is that how I conduct myself? That doesn’t’ sound normal. How can I put an end to the cycle?

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