Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 23, 2011 ~ Day 318
Refrigerator Rebel

Vegetables and I are having a little problem at the moment.

Sugar and I are having a problem too.

Unfortunately, they're different types of problems.

Lately I've fallen into a Brokeback Mountain "I can't quit you" type of affair with sugar.

I've been married to protein and vegetables for about four years now, and I KNOW it's not a great idea to keep reaching for the French Meadow Yellow Cupcakes.

Try as I may though, I just can't seem to stop. It's that insanely delicious frosting... gets me every time.

After going a long while living with very little sugar, lately I've fallen into full-on addiction again.

I wish I could blame this lapse squarely on stress with the kids; but the problem really goes way beyond parenting. Cupcakes might've been my gateway back into the world of dessert but honestly, it didn't take much of a push to get me swimming in syrup again.

Here are some of the things I find myself gravitating to -

Cookies. Pie. Cake. Muffins. Frosting. Ice cream. Whipped Cream. Meringues. Fruit.

Meanwhile, my always tenuous but once promising relationship with vegetables is really kind of pathetic right now. Lackluster at best. I find myself not caring if the carrots turn yellow right in front of me.

I just don't seem to be able to force myself to eat more than two servings of veggies a day, despite the fact that I really do want to live well into my nineties.

(I really want to set a good example for my children, too!)

* * * *

It isn't that we don't have vegetables in the house.

I buy them. I buy tons of them!

When I go to the grocery store I spend a lot of time picking out bunches of organic kale, collard greens, Swiss chard and green beans. We get a lot of Brussels sprouts, carrots, zucchini. Plenty of mushrooms, sweet potatoes, bell peppers and snow peas.

I select them carefully. Pay for them with money we've worked hard to earn. Bring them home and store them immediately in the cool, crisp refrigerator drawers.

I really plan to eat them, too.

What happens, you may ask?

Well -

I get hungry.

Not like, "I think I may be hungry in three hours... time to start cooking."

Hungry. As in, "Shoot, I have exactly ten minutes in which to cook dinner before my children begin melting down."

Hungry. As in, "Drats, I have exactly eight minutes in which to grab some food before I go to tutor for the next four hours."

Vegetables are not fast.

(I am not a Raw Food lover. Raw broccoli - or any kind of fibrous vegetable for that matter - will nearly send me to Urgent Care with its potent effect upon my intestines.)

My vegetables, then, are not fast.

My vegetables take time. They take thought. They take preparation.

Do you know what happens to my vegetables? I'm sure you've guessed.

Some of them actually get cooked and eaten. The others wilt in our refrigerator on a weekly basis. They'd make great compost for your garden.

What then, you may ask, do I eat?

Oh, you know...

Tortillas. Beans. Cupcakes. Sugar sugar sugar sugar sugar sugar.

* * * *

Honestly, I'm so mad at myself about this!

Sometimes when I'm feeling philosophical I ask myself why I have so much darn trouble lately eating well.

The answer that comes to me from the depths of my subconscious is so ironic.

Here it is:

I'm frustrated with eating healthy food, because I'm tired of having to think all the time about whether or not what I eat is going to make me ill.

I'm so tired of worrying about allergies. So bored with stressing over how what I eat is going to impact my health. I'm tired of thinking about being healthy, wishing for health, wishing for normalcy.

I'm mad that I know so much about good nutrition. It's not fun right now.

Tired of having to explain my food situation. Tired of being so skinny, and looking like a skeleton in my photos. Tired of eating thousands of calories and still having my family tell me to eat more because I look like I'm about to vanish.

I don't want eating to be such a chore.

I don't want eating to take up so much of my time.

I just want to live.

So I'm acting like a rebellious teenager... willfully (and stupidly) ignoring the kale and gluten free whole grains in my refrigerator.

Chowing down on all of the stuff that I know can't be good for me...

Eating entire gluten free lasagnas, entire batches of gf cookies and muffins. In one sitting. By myself.

When I eat like this, alone in my kitchen, inhaling in food that I know I shouldn't... it feels SO GOOD for about a minute.

Sixty seconds or so later, the guilt comes.

"What did I just DO?" I shake my head. "I'm never going to make it to 95 on cupcakes."

I feel terrible and stare at the remaining cupcakes in the box.

And then, to emphasize just how awful I feel - and how hopeless I feel -

I eat another cupcake.

By this time, I don't even WANT the cupcake I'm now eating. The sugar doesn't taste good any more. Which doesn't stop me from finishing every bite and licking my fingers. Explain THAT one.

I can't.

* * * *

I wish I understood what is really going on with me in the kitchen right now.

I love to eat. I like to eat all foods, always have.

These days I look at sugary foods and know they are not good for me. Despite this knowledge, I binge. I then feel guilty. Remorse washes over me.

Then I eat some more, to assuage the guilt...

Somehow this behavior has got to be a metaphor for life, and yet I think overall I'm living an honest and truly blessed existence. There isn't anything awful or secret happening with me that pushes me to snack on sweets. I'm not depressed or overwhelmed right now; if anything, I've been a lot happier lately.

I don't know why I'm struggling to discipline myself in the kitchen.

I wish I found vegetables to be more inspiring!

Let me know if you've got any secrets for greening one's diet, or breaking a sugar addiction. This blog post is my silent cry for help ;-)


  1. As you know, I struggle with this myself, but to a much lesser extent these days. What I tell myself when I am drawn by the gravitational pull of sugar is that those cupcakes are not worthy of me. I am enough even without the frosting on top! The other thing I do is allow some sugar each day in the afternoon or evening. It makes it less forbidden and I don't end up with a sugar high. Be gentle with yourself, my friend! For me, it's never about the sugar. It's about a sweetness that is lacking in my life. xoxo

  2. Story of my life! I constantly struggle with this... living with diabetes and insulin injections my body naturally craves sugar. I have to keep switching things up when I see myself falling into these sugar binging routines. Lately, I've been making large pots of veggie soup (onions, celery, tomatoes, chicken stock, cabbage), it is quite yummy and always there to grab in a hurry. When I see the pot is getting low, I take some time to add different veggies to it to shake things up a bit (mushrooms, kale and red peppers for example). This works for me for right now...but like I said, my constant struggle is food and making healthy choices. I wish I was a kid and didn't have to think of what to serve myself!