Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mindlessness: Cunning, baffling, powerful

Friday night, I dutifully ate my dinner at the dining table. I tried to eat slowly but that just seemed a way to prolong an unpleasant task. I was hungry, I needed to eat, I had good food to eat, but there was no enjoyment. It seemed weird to sit at the table by myself and watch myself eat. That's the way it felt. And I was glad when it was over and I could turn on the current spy series I'm watching on Netflix.

I'd love to be able to say that I stopped eating after dinner, mastered my restlessness in front of the tube, and lived slimly ever after. No such luck.

For the first hour, I reined myself in, then got up and ate a low-fat granola bar in front of the computer. Then another. That's my limit. I noticed that I was eating them really fast so that I could get back to the TV. I watched the episode for another 20 minutes or so then remembered there were some Cheetos left in the cupboard. I got up to get them and the next thing I remember was getting up for the second bowl and realizing I had eaten the first bowl in front of the TV. I had no memory of sitting down in front of it, no memory of eating any of the Cheetos, only the telltale orange-smeared paper towel on the chair for cheesy fingers. No memory whatsoever. I ate the second bowl in front of the computer.

Yesterday I snacked all day: grapes, the rest of the Cheetos, granola bars, nuts, you name it. If it was here, I ate some of it. I couldn't seem to get full, to get satisfied. I was working on a hard project--preparing for a 3-day writing teaching gig for a new client. Did I register the stress? Nope. I registered hunger and restlessness.

I finally stopped working about 5:30, turned on the TV. I ate my dinner at the computer, ate the first three snacks at the computer, watching myself wolf them down in emotional starvation as fast as I could stuff it in and then I said to myself, "Self, this isn't working." And I let myself eat in front of the TV and the frenzy slowed and the eating stopped. I'm having to rethink this.

1 comment:

LC said...

You are going to find something that works for you. When my mother entered the widowed state, her coping mechanism she finally hit on was to sit in my father's chair. And she always had a fresh flower or greenery on the table. I know that doesn't apply to your situation, but there is something that will. You are in my thoughts!