My parents are out of town for the next week, and I'm on my own in terms of food and eating. Well, not completely on my own, because I have some leftovers, and I have a book full of meal ideas that are meal plan compliant. There's plenty of food in the house, I shouldn't have to go shopping for anything other than produce or milk. So I'm pretty much set in that respect.
What has caught me off guard was how much harder it is to eat by myself. And not just eat, but decide what to eat, and then prepare it, and clean up after it. Not having to be in charge of all of that when my parents are around, I forgot just how much thinking all of this really required.
I can't help but think how easy it would be to start cutting corners. Not that I went into this week looking forward to the opportunity to restrict, which is something I would have looked forward to not all that long ago. I haven't even been having urges to restrict. I don't necessarily want to eat less. Yet somehow I've been finding it hard to eat enough.
Part of me is just tired at having to think about food so much. I haven't really been thinking of food in the starved, obsessive way that I used to, but I do still deliberate about what to eat much more than most people. And I'm really not totally comfortable making those decisions. I still wouldn't mind having someone pick out my meals for me (assuming I have some input and I wouldn't have to eat anchovies or anything). It's still just very overwhelming, all the food-related things to think about.
Yesterday, I was juggling about four different writing projects, and I really didn't want to have to plan in lunch and snack and dinner. I had lunch at about 1pm, which was pretty normal for me, but then I put my nose to the grindstone, and all of a sudden, I looked up and it was 4:45 and I hadn't yet had my afternoon snack. The last thing I wanted to do at that point was stop what I was doing, go downstairs, and find something to eat. I really wasn't hungry and I had piles of work to get done. In another life, I would have put my head down and bulled on through until someone came and got me for dinner.
I have to remember that I don't live that life anymore.
I did go downstairs and get a snack and take a breather and then I went back to work until it was time for a bike ride and watering the plants. Still, preparing and eating meals doesn't feel completely natural to me. I have the let's-refill-the-coffee-pot thing down pat, but serving myself food feels stilted and awkward. I'm aware that some of this awkwardness has to do with how long it's been since I've actually served myself a full-on meal. But I also can't shake this shame that I'm eating and consuming something. Or that my being in the kitchen and putting stuff on my plate is somehow abnormal and wrong. Logically, I know that there is nothing wrong and that people don't live on air. Yet I'm still embarrassed that someone will see me in the kitchen, actually getting something to eat.
(But if I wasn't getting something to eat or drink, why in the hell would I be in the kitchen anyways?)
It's obvious that I eat. I'm alive, therefore I must eat something. I also don't care what other people eat or judge them for it (unless they smack their lips when chewing. Then I do judge and I don't care.) I'm trying to trust that the horrible kitchen awkwardness will pass. I'm trying to take this one meal and one snack at a time.
I am eating. I am doing okay. And however hard and itchy and awkward it may be, I am doing what I need to do. I have my slips, my moments of not-so-accidentally-undereating. It's hard to give up the idea of the perfect recovery and get back in the saddle again. I'm tired of thinking about meals and snacks. But I have so much going for me now that thinking of food is really a small price to pay for the rest of this.