Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Little Is Enough

Thanks for the posts of support. Everyone always has such insightful comments and are such a positive force. It helps a lot.

I survived last night. For a while I thought I was doomed; my MIL called and invited us over for a typical German-American meal: pork and sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and corn. Part of me wanted to take this as my surrender signal-- just go ahead and eat. But my stubborn streak broke through and saved me. I munched on some fresh veggies before we went to dinner, then I skipped the starchy vegetables and loaded my plate with sauerkraut -- only 27 calories a cup! -- and shredded a small portion of pork into it. The final touch? Brown mustard.

My sister-in-law looked over at me and asked me for the mustard. "It looks so interesting, I have to try it." She did and liked it.

SIL and I tend to dread these meals because MIL is definitely a food pusher, which I think is pretty typical of a lot of our mothers. We survived, however, although we caught ourselves picking at the leftover sauerkraut on the platter. She was feeling guilty about it until I told her how many calories it was, and we both went on to pass on the pieces of candy apple MIL cut up and passed around the table for dessert.

I went home then, calculated my calories for the day and allotted myself two blocks of dark chocolate. Hershey's has this new dark chocolate bar that has almonds, cranberries and blueberries in it -- a delicious antioxidant treat. And the great thing about the dark chocolate is that it's so intense that a little bit goes a long way.

Oh, how I try to convince myself that a little can be enough. I've always loved the Pete Townshend song "A Little Is Enough," which is about this subject (here's a portion):

"I'm like a connoisseur of champagne cognac
The perfume nearly beats the taste
I eat an oyster and I feel the contact
But more than one would be a waste
Some people want an endless line that's true
But all I have to have's a little time with you
A smile sets me reeling
A kiss feels like stealing
Your love is like heroin
The addict is mellowing
I can't pretend that I'm tough
Just a little is enough"

I don't think Townshend meant this song to be a lesson to those of us with eating issues, but it does apply to that, along with addictions to alcohol, shopping, sex, etc. There's this need within so many of us that we seek to fill with all the wrong things, and way too much of them. Do we spend our energy limiting ourselves, or do we search for other things to fill that void? Or, do we try to figure out why we have this emptiness in the first place? Whichever path we take, it's not the easiest one to travel.

While I struggled and succeeded yesterday, I don't feel a whole lot saner today. I'm still craving what I shouldn't and begrudgingly doing what I need to do. But I'm doing it anyway. Do I always feel enthusiastic about brushing my teeth? There are days I have no desire to shower but drag my carcass in there anyway. Eating right is something I need to do to maintain my health and appearance, just like dental care and personal hygiene. It's not always fun and exciting, but in the end it's worth it.

1 comment:

Vickie said...

I had that exact same thought about brushing your teeth and showering this morning - Only my thought was about exercising!