Food Sober

At this week’s Slimming World © meeting, I reached a landmark in weight loss---I won’t tell you what it is because, well, just because. But it is a good feeling. I can now shop in my closet to wear clothes that have been hanging there since I let the weight sneak in. Some of the clothes are even baggy. Now, that’s a great feeling. I was chatting with my friend Trina at the meeting and she had a fabulous idea. We get stickers for weight loss, which is great. (I don’t think we really ever get over getting a gold star to attach to our work.) Trina suggested that we get stars for maintaining goal weight, like the folks in AA get a chip for so many months or years sober. We called it Food Sober.

We all have coping mechanisms, things that we use to protect ourselves against whatever pain or trauma we have experienced. Some drink, some gamble, some shop, some smoke, and some of us eat.

When I was growing up I didn’t care much for food. Really. I pretty much lived on milk. My father said I was a bargain. I was healthy, rarely got sick, and I didn’t cost my parents much in food. As long as the milkman kept delivering those gallons of milk (I am one of six kids) I was happy.

So, what happened? Well, it’s sneaky, you see. I have four children and of course you have to have snacks in the house when there are four kids. They were active, healthy, robust and lean children. They burned all the calories they took in. I, however, wasn’t out playing capture the flag or hide and seek with them.

When we moved to Texas I discovered tasty seven layer dips and chips and various Southwest foods.  We had lots of social events to attend. Plus, it’s darned hot in Texas. And you have to drive everywhere.  So who’s gonna’ go out and walk in 100 degree heat when the car is in the driveway and I can turn the A/C full blast?

That explains some of the transformation. That got me to plump (pleasingly, so my husband tells me).  The real problem came in the last few years. We had several family and personal traumas to get through. Seemed like shotgun blasts one after another. I didn’t take up drinking (I really don’t like headaches and vomiting). But it looks like I took up eating. Not on purpose. Just ‘cause. Just ‘cause the sauce on the chicken marsala was so tasty, and here, try this delicious cheese cake. Just ‘cause when I couldn’t stay asleep a cookie or two in the middle of the night seemed to help. Just ‘cause the food was so tasty and, dammit, I need something to make me feel better.

It’s all a process.  I think you have to be ready, have some kind of wake up call, or hit some sort of bottom to change your life. In getting on the wagon of healthy eating I have discovered more about myself. I am more conscious, more aware, more honest, and--- thank God, food sober.