Food

We are obsessed with food.

Good stuff to obsess about

Good stuff to obsess about...

No, wait, I take that back. I am obsessed with food, and the obsession only grows as I get older.

pizzas

...and maybe not so good

At times, I think it’s a healthy – let’s say passion, instead of obsession. My veganism is partly out of a concern for my physical and mental well-being (though Lord knows you can still eat plenty of vegan stuff that’s processed and fat-laden and bad for you). Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. It relaxes me, and when I cook for others, I feel like the time and energy I put into it is part of a gift I’m sharing with my guests. And I can get excited about a new recipe when it pops into my head, or I consider ways to adapt or tweak existing ones. It feels as creative as getting a new idea for a blog or a play.

But lately…I don’t know. As the Crisis has unfolded, I have definitely been eating more, and not always the best foods. The evidence stares me in the face each morning when I look in the mirror, or try to put on those jeans that fit fine when we got to Chicago in ’04. I suppose to the outside observer I still look “thin,” or fine for my height, but I know the flab that sits behind my sweater or t-shirt. And I know the weight I’ve lost over the years, some 60 pounds from my peak, to finally feel good about my body. Or at least better than I once did. And as new pounds appear, I don’t want to slip back to that old me I sometimes loathed.

Seven...and still growing

Seven...and still growing

I was the kid in the “husky” pants, the 12-year-old with the man-boobs, the young adult who let his live-in girlfriend cook huge and fatty meals and then eagerly engaged in seconds, and maybe just this time, thirds. I’ve always loved to eat, obviously, and having one meal at my grandparents at 11:30 and then rushing home for noon dinner was just part of my life when I was young. I know people become overweight for a variety of reasons, and I’ve wondered if my overindulgence was partly psychological, an escape as surely as drugs and alcohol are. Or the filling of needs unmet. But that pudgy kid who devoured two lunches just ate because it tasted so damn good. Right?

I feel pretty sure the recent weight gain is tied to the Crisis. It’s not subconscious: I know I find comfort in the eating, and the cooking, especially of my favorite food. I guess the obsession part has come as I spend so much time planning out meals at least a week in advance, thinking about the ingredients, looking for excuses to go to the grocery store. We have a variety of them close to us; when the weather’s good, I can walk to any of them. I feel a certain solace strolling up and down the aisles, and the various trips to the store have become a highlight of my week. That is pretty pathetic.

I know the weight has come because I choose to eat foods that I once eschewed, or ate only rarely. More white bread and vegan cookies, because, well, damn it, I like them and they make me feel good. Or those  bakery pizzas they sell at  Stanley’s. And beer, of course beer, but some nights more than I really need.

Indulging like this – or overindulging – was not an issue before. I could have a few “bad” days, the weight might creep up, but then a few days of eating just a little less brought it back down. I weighed myself regularly and saw the quick reductions, and for long stretches, everything stayed where it should. As the recent uptick has come about, I have stopped weighing myself. I do not want to know the exact damage. Plus, most of it is fairly visible. Either advancing age or increased intake have kept the pounds on this time, and I have not made the proper adjustments/commitments to get them off.

It’s not like I’ve abandoned healthy foods. Still plenty of fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, whole grains – the whole vegan smorgasbord. And I do exercise, though not as much as I should, I know. But the pleasure of eating foods I like, especially when things are not so cheery in the heart or soul – it’s harder for me to pass up.

I am, of course, making a change in dietary habits the top New Year’s Resolution. Followed by more exercise. If all goes well, you will never hear about my weight again. If it doesn’t, I might need the writing-as-therapy outlet that C?WC? provides to come to grips with a situation I do not like.

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~ by mburgan on December 28, 2008.

2 Responses to “Food”

  1. oh thank god you cropped that picture..or I would have had to do some physical damage.

  2. See how thoughtful I am…

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