Sunday, April 01, 2007

My Own Thunderdome

Nothing like a solid dose of disappointment to snap a girl back into reality. And regretfully, the reality is I haven't posted in a week. Do I have an excuse? Would, "It’s not you, it’s me" work? No… hmmmm… it never does, does it?

What matters now is that I’m back and I have a story—a hard-learned lesson if you will—to share.

Today, feeling mildly disappointed, I headed to the grocery store. Now, history would suggest that feelings, particularly those that are not—let’s say—desirable, lead to eating something "bad" in an attempt to feel—let’s say—better. I believe the technical term for this self-sabotaging behavior is "emotional eating." Me… I have been known to eat a pint full of feelings disguised as Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked. It tends to be a problem.

However, today I had no intention of taking my disappointment out on some poor, innocent, unsuspecting comfort food. Today, I simply needed something to eat… and paper towels (I ran out of paper towels about a week ago and have since been using regular bath towels as napkins… true story. Sometimes my inability to live like an adult even surprises me).

But then, out of the corner of my eye as I was picking through the buy one, get one free cases of strawberries, I caught a glimpse of the refrigerated case that displayed Oasis Hummus. It was one of those moments—the containers of hummus appeared to be illuminated by a halo of light and heavenly voices sang a single note, "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

Nothing short of magical.

And then I realized. It was the thing that had been missing from my weekend. Oasis hummus, black bean dip, and a package of pita bread would make everything better. It would make me stop wondering, stop analyzing, stop thinking. Momentarily anyway… and sometimes it’s the instant gratification that one feels she needs. Just a moment of pure, complete complacency. Then… reality (Crap. There it is again!).

I made a beeline from the strawberries to the hummus and I stood there… wondering, “Was it worth it?”

I picked up a container and scanned the nutritional information as though my desire might be strong enough to will the label to change: 0 calories, 0 fat. I put it down. And I stood there. In that minute or two, I attempted to convince myself that if I bought it, I wouldn’t actually eat all of it immediately. But, my lie to myself only thinly veiled my recent history of devouring six pitas, a container of hummus, and a container of black bean dip in one sitting.

Finally, sans hummus, I walked away.

It occurs to me that maybe now—maybe finally—I get it. It’s not worth giving up what I really want, for what I want now—or for what’s easy, what’s familiar, what’s comfortable, what’s safe.

So there it is. Lesson learned. One (wo)man left.

And that’s all I have to say about that.


heidikins said...

welcome back. and kudos on the hummus battle... a weaker woman (i.e. me) would have lost without any kind of fight!

Nikkie said...

Ok, we may have been at the same grocery store at the same time yesterday. I wish I could've seen you contemplating the hummus, but I was waiting for the produce guy to unload the fresh onions.