This is a difficult post to write. I just thought I'd get that point out there, as soon as I could. Because I'm not all sweetness and light, sarcasm and snark. Because Shanna and Jess showed me what baring your most uncomfortable secrets in this arena can be like - wonderful, life-affirming, and encouraging. Because it's an every day thing for me, even if it isn't caused by something outside my control as it is for Shanna and Jess. Because it scares me; it scares me that this won't be received well, that people won't understand where I'm coming from. Because facing fear is hopefully the best solution.
You see this bread that I made? I've been making bread every weekend this year, refusing to buy storebought because it tastes like sawdust and packing peanuts. And this one was a must-bake - it was Gorel's choice for this month's Bread Baking Babes, with whom I've baked for the past year or so. It was chock full of goodness - shallot and coffee and fennel and sourdough and rye.
But here's the problem. When I find myself sitting in my apartment without much to do besides read or watch TV, I want to eat the bread I've baked for the week. Too much of it. To the point of fullness, at which point I scoot into my kitchen and hunt for something sweet to balance out the bread for my taste buds. Then I move on to fruit, or crackers, or storebought (crappy) chocolate and sweets. I cycle through various snacks, certain that something there will satisfy whatever it is I think I want to eat. Raisins. More bread. Ice cream. Cheese. I end up uncomfortably full, guilty, and depressed. Near tears.
How is it that I, a person who bakes and cooks and posts about good food (or so I'd like to think), end up binging on terrible food until I reach that state? How is it that I, a person who enjoys good food, end up then restricting myself to the tiniest portions for the next few days, taking all the joy out of that food? I'm always amazed at the goodies that get churned out by all of you in the food bloggy world - is it really possible to surround yourself with sugar and spice and everything nice while still maintaining a reasonable relationship with food? And if so, why for you and not for me?
I think I could write about this for pages. My thoughts about mindful eating, about balanced eating, about my probable "addiction" to sugar. My confession that many times, I have to physically throw out the food that I'm eating in order to stop eating it. My desire to exercise as much as possible to make up for the weaknesses. My confusion as to why this happened to me, someone from a food-loving family, one unafraid of butter and cream and sugar (and, of course, the rest of the food pyramid too). My questioning of how I managed to train for three different half marathons while swinging from ridiculous caloric highs to 600 cal/day lows.
I'm not sure if getting this down in writing will help. People who know me in person might laugh at me - yes, I'm at a very healthy weight for my height, and yes, I exercise - what more could I want? Again, those wishes could go on for pages. But really, I'm just thankful if you've made it this far with me. And I'll breathe, and try to hold the tears back, and try to stop worrying about what putting this in writing means. It is what it is.