Sunday, April 24, 2016

Changing the question I ask about food

Last weekend I was a guest speaker at a wonderful's women's 12-step retreat in Springfield, Illinois. I met so many great people and had a lovely time. However, the food was quite a challenge. Because many of the attendees were in AA, I wasn't surprised to see a lot of demon foods in the hospitality room (chips, snack bars, candy, cupcakes and cake). I knew I'd have to avoid them and was feeling pretty strong about my abstinence.

The real challenge was with the meals. I know that I live in a paradise of good food. Portland is a huge foodie city with restaurants and breweries and coffee galore. And our grocery stores are equally fabulous and the amount of local produce and clean meat is a real gift. And I hadn't given too much thought to the institutional food that the retreat center offered us. Well, it was plentiful but not much of it was what I typically eat: fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, buttered corn (the only veggie at that meal), a taco bar. Salad was iceberg lettuce. I did the best I could. I had a heaping plate of iceberg with a few tomatoes and cucumber bits with my taco meat. I ate the buttered corn and took the fried off the chicken. Fortunately on the second day, I met a woman who was eating differently and bringing her own food from home and she gifted me with red peppers, cucumbers, and celery.

I stayed abstinent: no sugar, no flour, no snacks. I didn't have my scale with me but I used the one plate rule of foods I could have and I realized that the question I ask myself about food when I'm away from home is changing. It's no longer What do I feel like? What do I want? but What can I safely eat that is available? A big change for this addict.

1 comment:

HaeriMai said...

Wow, surviving Midwest chow. Those people will deep fry anything that doesn't move fast enough and serve it with that wedge of iceberg lettuce with that pink dressing. Congratulations. I experience the same reaction now, too. So far I've been able to find a few leaves and some of those token celery sticks at even the most hardcore AA potluck. Also, I generally have a couple of "safe" foods stashed in my bag. I'll be in Oklahoma City in July; Pray for me.