May 12, 2010
The timer goes off for the nutritious lunch I have put in the oven for my little ones. Once they are safely ensconced in their high chairs, I casually move the Ben & Jerry’s container into which I have been digging for that elusive ribbon of caramel, over to the other side of the fridge so they cannot see my gluttonous indulgence.
What I realize as I shovel in the very tasty and oh so satisfying treat, is that I used to do this in college when I was a young and angry girl. Down with every spoonful or forkful of attractiveness prohibiting food I ate, went my misery, anger, sadness, whatever the negative emotion of the day was. My lips coated in sugary caramel, I ponder that which has been eating at me (pun intended) of late. Family issues rooted in childhood. Ok, now that sounds pretty much like everyone I know, so why is this still lingering? I could answer that, but I won’t here. I already know the answer. The problem isn’t that I don’t know the problem, or the answer. It’s how it works its way into my mouth instead of out of my head.
Why then, do I not turn to something with protein, like chicken? Or steak? Food like ice cream is supposed to be bad for you, and supposedly I am punishing myself by eating it instead of working it out in some other manner, like exercise, as a healthy person might. (I do exercise, but it is just not enough to account for what I eat.) Therefore, I am indeed punishing myself. When I am at the market next time, picking up more ice cream for my husband (it was his stash I delved into), I will inevitably see a magazine with a skinny bitch airbrushed on the cover and sigh because I would give my eye teeth (what IS that anyway?) to look like that. The truth is, I would like to know what it feels like to look like that, but I am apparently unwilling to do the work it takes to get that way, minus the airbrushing. So I stand here, hiding behind the fridge, eating my punishment, which feels so much like a reward it’s no wonder women have a hard time with body image. It’s a mixed signal I am not sure I want to figure out.
Clearly I ought not be eating this, or like this, but I do nonetheless. Hypocrite that I apparently am, I sneak it thinking my kids won’t figure it out. After all, I can’t have them picking up my bad habits.