I was sitting on the couch, in a bit of a daydream, wondering if I was going to go into the kitchen and eat the pizza rolls out of the trash. Would that be bad? I thought. I really thought about it and then, dude, that is a line you do not want to cross. You start eating things out of the trash, there is no going back. And I realize there are dumpster divers who eat discarded food, I’m ok with that. It’s not my thing but, I get that it is still ‘good’. I’m not judging. I also understand that there are folks out there who have needed to eat like this to survive. However, this is not the case for me. I have plenty of good, healthy food in the cupboard. I threw the kid’s pizza rolls in the trash because they are not good for me and I did not want to eat them. They burn my mouth and make me sick. I also love them and my mind wandered toward their salty, crispy, orangeness, just hanging out in the garbage waiting for me. It was a low moment in my life.
Let me give you some background on what brought me to this point. I have long used food for reasons other than nutrition. It has been my comfort, my celebration, my shame and constant companion. I am perplexed by the notion that one might stop eating just before they were feeling full. I have always eaten beyond this point. I also have eaten for reasons other than physical hunger. There is the nervous hunger, the sad hunger, the happy hunger, the bored hunger and the whatever else I can think of reason to eat. As a result of this life-long obsession and misuse of food, I carry extra weight and have recently begun to develop some health problems that are linked to poor nutrition.
I have been on every diet known to man and tried fitness craze after fitness craze. Including:
- Jazzercize- this really dates me, leotards and tights. My mom took me, when I first hit adolescence and my round figure started to develop. It was fun but, kind of embarrassing. People were on the grapefruit and cabbage soup diets around this time.
- Step aerobics- where I, beet red from exertion, fell off my step in class, causing the instructor to ask me if I was alright. We followed this class with breakfast out, usually pancakes, because- let’s face it, we earned those calories. It was around this time that I became vegetarian for a few years.
- A spell of Jogging- Mostly downhill, I do hate to sweat.
- Oh Modern Dance- I still to this day can not hear Paul Simon’s I Know What I Know without dying of laughter. I was always a beat off.
- The Atkins Diet, The South Beach Diet, Something I saw on Oprah, Something I read in Good Housekeeping, Dr Oz, Dr Weil, My own made up diet of cheese with a side of cheese and some lettuce.
- Tae Bo, Tai Chi, and any thing on the fitness channel.
- Adventures with Yoga- Not at all aerobic for me, which makes it hands-down favorite. You can read about how I equate it to napping here.
- Gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, fat free. What the fuck do I eat? diet. Which is about where I was when I contemplated eating pizza rolls from the trash.
And it is at this moment, when I am thinking of eating food from the trash, where I find this life long struggle with weight and body image, self-loathing, self-love, beauty, ugliness, societal pressures, my expectations, other’s expectations, all fade away. It isn’t about any of that, any longer. It is about feeling good. And I am pretty clear that eating pizza rolls from the garbage can is not going to feel good. And Richard Simmons’ Sweating to the Oldies is not going to be the way to move my body. I have a truer guide, a better way and it is simply to ask, “Will this make me feel good?” And if the answer is Hells yah! then, have at it! I’m calling it the Hells yah diet and fitness regime. Who’s in?