"Have you ever thought about seeing a therapist?" He asks
I'm about to smile and chuckle at him, before I see his expression and realize: he's serious.
"I'm sorry?" I ask, still unsure where this is going
"Well, people who tend to 'love to eat' are usually trying to replace something else in their life"
Huh. That escalated quickly.
It was about mid-morning and I'd just told a regular how I just felt like going to the gym. I said I love to eat and I know I can't eat the way I wanted without paying for it. I was half kidding.
Of course I assured him I was quite mentally stable. I did -not- tell him I was already on an anti-depressant so a shrink wasn't necessary at the moment.
How did he go from me enjoying the gym and loving to eat to having a sort of eating disorder. I gained twenty pounds in two years. Which is the crazy thing. So I modified my eating habits slightly and upped my gym visits. I kept track of my eating and worked out and the weight slowly came off. Which is exactly how I planned it.
I didn't eat only salads, or cold pressed juice or grapefruit, or whatever trendy thing is going on at the moment. I ate like I always did. Just instead of five mac and cheese bites I'd eat one or two. Instead of four pieces of toast I'd have two. With a heck of a lot less butter but ample sprinkling of Everything Seeds.
Still trying to figure out how "loving to eat" is a direct sign of an "issue". I love to eat. I just love it. Textures, smells, taste, mouth feel. How your body utilizes it. It's. Just. All. So. Good. And meanwhile, I sort of went to school for food, so while I might be slightly more obsessed with it than the average person, I am neither drastically over or under weight. I don't think I ever was.
Twenty pounds over weight was more of something that needed to be "modified" than anything else. Both sides of my family seem to have some sort of Scary Medical Issues and "Losing the extra weight" and "Keeping active" and "Not eating so much butter" seemed like a reasonable thing.
Eating! Oh! The food. The cutting and prepping and cooking. The process of whipping and beating and baking. The end result of something to be proud and excited to eat. Eating is so satisfying. Eating makes everything better.......Okay, so that may sound like something a person with an eating problem might say.
But really, it does. Especially when it's been busy all morning and all you want to do is eat your toast. Then when you get to eat it, (cold and slightly soggy with delicious butter) a chemical part of your brain seems to relax. Ahhhhhhhh. Food! I can now function again.
But enough about food.
Maybe he was more concerned with the fact that I enjoy the gym. Or at least, "justify" eating habits by working out. But calories in, calories out, right? I cannot literally have my cake and eat it too.
But I like the gym.
God help me, I like the gym. I like having an audio book and zoning out for 20-30 minutes. I don't have to think about who was late to work or who clearly isn't pulling their own weight. Or cranky customers. I don't think about anything. Just my audio book, or whatever drama is unfolding on Dr. Phil, or new music on my iPod. Or just how damp my t-shirt is getting.
It changed my habits over the past few months. After a particularly stressful Saturday at work, my first reaction was
"I need to go to the gym and blow off steam" where I'd usually eat. And then take a nap. But working out feels so much better. I can go to bed and sleep well. I feel calmer. The endorphins! "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands."
Between eating better, working out and keeping on Prozac, I just feel better. So yeah, it's worth working out a few days a week to enjoy the things I want to enjoy in my life.
Anyway, his comment got me thinking. I did not think and still do not think there is anything wrong with me, my eating, or my working out. I always make sure I am eating enough calories. I go to the gym 4-5 times a week and know my limits. I like sleep as much as I like eating and the gym.
There's this one girl who looks to be in her twenties who I see at the gym literally every single time I am there. I don't know if we have the same exact schedules, but she is always there. Her upper arm is only a little bigger than my wrist. My calf is probably larger than her thigh. I think that is a problem. Whenever I see her, I worry about her a little. She's just so thin and working out so hard. I will never be that person. You see these people on TV shows and you cannot believe someone is that thin. And when I see her, and just how skinny she is, I still can't believe that someone can have such a sickly thin body and still be functioning.
I know it's probably contradictory to say his comment didn't irritate me, because I am writing a rather long post about it. I honestly thought he was kidding. Because any one else who really knew me would find that funny. Most people know I just love food. I love everything about it. I don't think I'm offended or hurt by the comment. I just find it so absurd.
With that said, it's time to eat!