What’s for dinner?
During this whole bizarre situation, I seem to have become obsessed with food. At the beginning, it was a brief bout with food insecurity. On my way home for my first day of quarantine (mid March) I stopped at a grocery store to pick up a few things only to discover empty shelves. Totally empty. It was the strangest experience of my life.
So for a little while, I was freaked out by the idea of not being able to actually find food at all. That did not last long, but things have certainly not moved back to normal in any fashion. After getting over the worst of my initial fears, I find that I think about food all the time.
Although I am trying to eat as healthy as possible, I find that I have defaulted to what is a highly unusual diet for me. I ordinarily avoid starch carbs and avoid eggs and dairy because of minor allergies/intolerances to eggs, wheat, and dairy. Now, however, I seem to have fallen back into old, old eating habits that focus largely on all of these foods I have avoided for so long.
Pasta, bread, eggs, potatoes, rice – all of these things that I would usually avoid – are now major parts of my diet. I think it’s a kind of comfort food craving, but one that is pervasive and not just “once in a while.” People joke about freshmen at college gaining the “freshman 15.” I fear I may end up with the COVID 15 if I’m not more careful.
The oddest part of this food obsession is the disruption in my schedule. I find that I simply don’t want to eat breakfast, so I just have coffee or tea. Then I get ravenously hungry in the late morning so I end up having lunch or brunch or whatever you call is before noon. That means that I also get hungry by the late afternoon, so I have started cooking dinner earlier and earlier – even as early as 4:30 p.m.
Of course, that then means that about 8 p.m. I find myself starving again, and fight a battle with myself about eating too close to bed time. When I lose that battle, what I eat is often carb-heavy and not at all what I should be eating so close to sleep.
To summarize, my eating schedule is totally screwed up and I think about food all the time. Today was a perfect example. A light lunch at 11 a.m., a moderate dinner around 5 p.m., then a ridiculously carb-heavy “snack” at 8 p.m.
I am not quite sure what to do about these odd food dysfunctions. On one hand, I know I am not eating in the healthy manner I would prefer. On the other hand, I need to stop saying “should” and “should not” to myself so often. In my head, I hear, “You should eat three meals each day” and “You should not eat so many carbs” and “You should not eat late at night” and “You should always have a healthy breakfast” and other things like that ad nauseum.
Who says? I guess this is a time for me to identify all of those judgemental voices in my head so that I can begin the process of counteracting them. For the moment, I am just going to be kind to myself and follow my impulses on food. Why eat when I’m not hungry? Why sit around starving just because “it’s not time” to eat?
It all comes back to the concept of being kind to myself. This whole experience of quarantine and isolation is affording me the opportunity to examine so many old habits, patterns, and beliefs – about the world and about myself. This is just another link in that chain. So for now . . .
What’s for dinner?
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.