My problem isn’t that I overeat. It isn’t that I mindlessly binge or don’t work out enough (although I could be a little more active). My problem is that I see eating as some kind of moral failing.
“Food is fuel.”
“Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”
“A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.”
“Why am I doing this to myself?”
I think about all of these things as I serve up that bowl of hobo alfredo, packed full of whatever frozen meat and veggies that were left in my freezer. A hamburger and fries could be a turkey burger and broccoli with a few sprinkles of cheese. That could become a turkey burger patty and broccoli with just salt and pepper. That could become just broccoli with a protein shake on the side.
There is always something better.
There’s almost always a slightly healthier choice I could make, and—when there isn’t—I berate myself for not riding out the hunger.
“I lost 20 lbs in 2 months after the divorce.” When I was too poor to buy food.
“I got down to the 150’s and felt so good about myself!” And I was still looking for ways to get thinner.
People say to “love yourself.” Does that mean to make excuses for what you are? I think it does. I think it means to be okay with settling. I know that’s not what it means, but that’s what I think it means. If I love myself, I’m saying it’s okay to be flabby. If I love myself, I’m saying I don’t have to push myself to be better.
“Saying you did your best is just an excuse to say you didn’t want to try any harder.”
This is another thing I tell myself—an adage from Dear Old Dad and my childhood.
Those chicken strips and fries could be a meal-prepped yellow chicken curry with asparagus. I can use my break to write something—just a quick paragraph. That curry and asparagus could be a hard-boiled egg, with some cheese and fruit. I could use my lunch hour—I need to finish that blog post. That could all become a nibble of chicken jerky throughout the day. I should finish this series so I can edit it and turn it into something better—more cohesive. 350 calories crammed into an hour, or stretched out into three? It’s looking like a novella. I should sit down and finish this all on Saturday. I can deal with the hunger if I remember what it will bring me. I’ll never get published if I don’t improve my writing.
There’s always a better choice.