Calories, said the country DJ whose wife evidently struggles with food as do I, are those magical little things that sneak into your closet at night and shrink your clothes. Yeah, so?
Oh, all right, the number I eat is my responsibility — to keep track of and to keep under control. The action I was most proud of this weekend just past was knowing if I stayed downstairs late Sunday afternoon, I’d overeat so I went upstairs with a book and a diet soda.
Sometimes it’s just that simple. Distract yourself. Take a walk; take a shower. Have a cup of black coffee or a glass of water. Eat a piece of fruit, a handful of baby carrots. Usually, if I can distract myself for 20 or 30 minutes, the urge passes and I can move on with my life (that thing you do when you’re not binge eating).
Sometimes it’s a matter of saying what I want/need: “If we don’t eat supper now, I’m going to go wild and crazy with the rice cakes and peanut butter.” Every day it’s a matter of knowing that there will be more days, that nothing important turns on whether or not I have some of that dessert or skip it. Other desserts and other days will come along.
Every day it’s a matter of eating calories with actual food value. One cup of perfectly ripened red fresh raspberries, for instance, on 1/2 cup lime sherbet with a dollop of reduced-fat whipped cream and ONE Archway windmill cookie. That’s about 300 calories, but I can afford it after two hours in the garden and 30 minutes tossing weights through the air. And the berries have actual food value.
Old JoAnn would have eaten all afternoon and evening yesterday after Panda, the nicest dog in the world (also the dumbest) chased a passing pickup for the third and final time. Or, as her loving papa said, “Third time that we know of,” since she was a rescue about four years ago. New JoAnn just cried and fondled her still warm ears and put a Sponge Bob Square Pants beach towel around her while the poor fellow driving the pickup dug her a grave in our rock-hard red clay. Cried more and laughed with her papa about how empty the house was last night without her sleeping, snoring, on her back on the couch and then cried some more in the shower. Damn, it hurts to be alive to love and pain and loss, but I guess it
beats the alternative of being dead fat person walking. Maybe, jury’s still out. Today I think I might prefer to be numb.