I love comfort food: potatoes, cake, pastries, chocolate, Italian everything, aged cheddar, homemade from scratch white bread, ice cream, baked apricot brie with crackers....
I could go on.
I love food. I enjoy preparing lovely dinners worthy of candle light, cloth napkins and dessert.
But I have to stop doing that. Cooking big, satisfying meals and spending a long time at the table.
There's only so many miles a person can run to balance this trend towards eating for comfort and luxury. So I've adopted a new attitude. It's based on a single word "reduce" and it is intended to help me be extremely satisfied with a lot less. During this time of "reducing" I'm learning that training myself to eat very small portions is the key to altering my overall lifestyle. So far I'm down four pounds, which makes me feel great. I was hoping to lose more than that after 25 days, but I'm going to follow Elliot's advice and stay positive.
Reducing is working. It's working also because instead of running to the kitchen every time I feel a little emotional disturbance or experience stress, I remember that there are other ways to find comfort in life besides food.
Like listening to Mozart's Concertos for the French Horn in my re-made, recycled chair that Richard helped me alter into a swing.
Or building a terrarium in a bottle.
And taking a walk in the woods.
I'm learning that while I'm reducing, it's important to keep asking myself what brings pleasure to my heart. Sometimes it's as simple as taking a hot bath or a nap. Solitude helps too. For me, eating, especially over-eating, is a social activity. Lately I have been avoiding restaurants like an ex smoker avoids parties or bars. I'm very nervous about our upcoming trip to Las Vegas because by nature it's a culture of excess. Once a plate of food arrives, I'm not sure how I will navigate sitting at the table for the duration of the dining experience without over-indulging.
Maybe I will just order strawberries. Strawberries saved my life during the months I was breaking my nicotine addiction.
It's not easy to turn this ship around, and so far I don't need to buy smaller pants.
But maybe on this journey to finding new or reclaiming old pleasures of the heart I might. It's the kind of journey that no one can see, the kind where a battle is being fought on the inside.
We have a cousin in Richard's family with a health condition that will not allow her to eat for the next 15 years. For this young woman, nutrition now comes only through a bag.
I have been praying for her and thinking of how extremely difficult this journey must be, when the world around her goes on eating, consuming, advertising, cooking....
It's actually incomprehensible to me how she manages to choose life over eating, every single day. Her name is Rachel, and any prayers you might say for her are much appreciated.
Thank you friends, for always being a wonderful support for me, and for Elliot and Richard too. I have felt uplifted by your visits here and count you among those who bring pleasure and joy to my heart. If you are also battling an inward fight, or taking on a challenging journey, I'm sending positive intentions your way.