Feb 14, 2012
My mind is rebellious. If there is something on my mind, it refuses to release thought power until I’ve addressed that thing that’s on my mind.
Four years after bariatric surgery, I wonder if I will ever find peace, a happy medium, a calm and quiet space in even a small corner of my mind.
I manage. I do ok. But I am not “normal.” There is no “natural balance” and there is no “moderation” for me.
Because moderation suggests the ability to moderate. To give validity to both sides while showing favor over neither. To this day, I still cannot do that with regards to food. Either I eat a lot or I eat nothing. I really and truly still do not understand eating just enough.
And at this point, of course, I have to ask myself why. A lot of it has to do with my personal past but today I’d like to speak about environmental challenges, because they are very, very real.
My least favorite saying of post-ops and dieters is, “Food is for fuel only.” That’s a damn lie. Food is for more than fuel. If it were only for fuel why would we bother trying to make it taste good? No, we eat for enjoyment also. It’s built into us as humans and it’s one reason we are still on this planet and not extinct.
And like it or not, food plays a big part in life around us. People use food to connect with one another (family dinner), to mark milestones (the birthday cake), to celebrate tradition (the Thanksgiving Turkey). We use food to express emotions (chicken noodle soup when you are sick) and to pass on culture (Southern food, collard greens, etc.). We even use it to express our faith (Shabbat, Seider, etc.).
So what your surgeon, your support group leader, your psychologist didn’t tell you was this: by attempting to reject food as a central part of your existence, in many ways you are rejecting your own humanity.
That sounds deep doesn’t it? It isn’t that complicated a concept to understand.
It’s the awkwardness you feel when you go to a family dinner and refuse to eat anything. It’s the hurt in your mom or your aunt’s eyes because of that. It’s the confusion people feel on your birthday (after all, if they don’t get you a cake, what should they get you?). It’s the pressure you feel to live healthfully in a way that doesn’t alienate everyone else in your life.
The whole world isn’t necessarily food obsessed. But I am. And because I don’t have the ability to moderate, I have to place myself outside the parameters of community and society to manage my health. That stings a little bit.
This past year I’ve allowed some food tradition back into my life. I’ve always held strong to my weekly church supper, for instance. It’s the carbiest meal ever each week, but it’s a meal shared in fellowship, with people who care for me. And it isn’t about the food. I really don’t care what they serve. It’s about breaking bread together.
I don’t have any conclusions on this post. I’m just getting the thoughts out there. I’m not sure I’ll ever learn to balance naturally. I do want to note, however, that I DO balance, but it is an effort. It’s foreign. I see it as an imposition on precious mental space and I often resent it. I don’t want to wake up in the morning and think about what I’ll eat. I’d like to trust that as I go through my day I will eat the right things.
So anyway…just my rambly thoughts. I think I will post to this blog more often.