Can I PLEASE Just Live in a Renaissance Painting?

Photo by  kevin laminto  on  Unsplash

Maybe trying intermittent fasting isn’t wise when I’m trying to navigate resolving internalized anger.

Yep. I’m trying ANOTHER way to get a hold of my unhealthy relationship with food. I figure having chunks of time when I don’t have to decide what to put into my body might help, because I think about it ALL the time. Intermittent fasting tells me I will lose weight and help me take some of the pressure off from having to think about it all the time. Here’s hoping.

I am so angry about how much I have to think about what I put in my mouth and how it plays out in my body. There are several people in my family who think about it all the time, too. Their readout is that they never put on weight or they are so committed to what is best, they lose social connections. In some situations when I am with those I love over dinner, it’s a constant topic of conversation, but I sit there as the overweight one in quiet anger.

In my second half of life so far, food and I are constantly at war with each other.

This has not always been the case. Eating well and enjoying it came naturally for me the first 20 years of my adult life. I’m not sure how it shifted, but I specifically remember the first time I “binged”. The first time I ate in a way that made no sense. “Oh, THIS is what some of my friends have struggled with.” Now I could say, “Me, too.”

I wasn’t conscious enough to know what was going on at the time, but looking back, I remember that I was deeply grieving someone rejecting me. Maybe that was the trigger.

Whatever it was, it set me on a path where I have yet to stop feeling lost. My relationship with food and wine used to bring me so much pleasure. Now I feel like they hold me hostage whether I indulge or not.

I know what’s “right”. But when Paleo said, “no beans”, Low Carb said, “no fruit”, and nothing let me enjoy bread anymore, I just got angry. Food pleasure became something of the past.

And the weight poured on.

I wish I could embrace, “Body Positivity”, but the reality is ill-fitting clothes and sweating between fat folds suck. I hate it. I hate that I hate exercising because I feel so bad at it. Always have. But most of all, I HATE that living in the United States means so many choices, 98 percent of which are being marketed to us by those who want our money. In a regular grocery store, the fruit has no flavor, but the ice cream is full of it. I used to feel no draw to the convenience of junk food, but that shifted and I haven’t been able to find my way back. It surrounds us all day every day even though I have a strict regime. I KNOW! NO OREOS IN THE PANTRY. THEY’RE NOT. I GET IT!!

But nothing based on my will has really worked. So I don’t know why I think intermittent fasting might. However, going into summer, I feel desperate. So I have to try.

WHY IS GAINING WEIGHT SO INSANELY EASY OVER LOSING IT??

WHY THE FUCK CAN’T I LOOK LIKE A RENAISSANCE PAINTING IN MY OLD AGE AND BE OKAY WITH IT??

AND DON’T TELL ME WHAT WORKED FOR YOU! I DON’T CARE!! I’VE HEARD IT ALL, RESEARCHED IT ALL, AND TRIED IT ALL. Carried the burden of it all…what I am and what I’m not doing right.

I am 50. I don’t want to hate my body and think my attractive days are behind me. I just don’t.*

I am 50 and married to this generation’s Dick Clark who backpacks for fun. I hate not being able or wanting to do what we used to do together.

I am 50 and will age in a culture that has no clue about its ageism yet. Millennials, I listen to your podcasts and watch your TV shows. You won’t make racial slurs and you’re so aware that menstrual jokes aren’t funny. But you are making horrible slurs against those of us who are aging. I am finally experiencing a (albeit very small) taste of discrimination and it makes me so angry. It hurts and I feel disqualified.

So no dinner for me tonight, no cream in my decaf, and thankfully, no question about whether to stop at one of the many convenience stores I pass on my way home. Luckily, Dick Clark is the only one I might get snippy with, bless his heart. I don’t think I could have done this when children lived in my home.

Trying to do the right thing all the time is exhausting. Throwing caution to the wind is debilitating, Finding a middle ground still feels impossible.

I’m not going to ask you what you do. I’m not even going to ask if you can relate because I already know you do. But I do want to know, what part of your relationship with food makes you angry? This is where I think some collective primal scream could possibly help us.

*Once on a FB meme, I said one of the things I looked forward to in my life was a passionate love affair. Oh, the pushback!! Oh, the slaps I got for my honesty. But to be desired in a way where someone can’t keep their hands off me is one of the most heady and delightful experiences of my life. I love being desired. i don’t want it to only be in my past. And I know it can happen without a youthful body, but my chances seem slimmer and slimmer, NO PUN INTENDED. For those of you who freaked, I didn’t say it had to be with someone besides my husband. I just want the FEELINGS a passionate love affair can bring. When you confronted me, I wanted to say, “Chill the fuck out”. But I didn’t. Until now.