Food and I
I have been on a low-carb diet for 3 whole days, and I think I’ve lost more of my sense of humor than weight.
Procrastination takes a new meaning when you put away exercising for so long, leaving it for the last 5 days before the event that you’re trying to lose weight for and then you know no matter how much you exercise, you’re not going to lose anything but your mind, praying and willing for inches to fall off.
I have severely exceeded my feed limit in the past few weeks, and so I am forced to go off the item I love most in the food universe – carbohydrates. Yes, I crave bread like normal people would crave chocolate, or wine, or cheese. Today, I went to a café (rookie mistake, why would I go to a café when I can’t eat bread?). I ordered some wine (some would argue I should be off-wine and not carbs, but I dismiss that on the grounds that wine makes me laugh and laughing is exercise). And then I ordered, ahem, a salad. To avoid seeing other people relish the joy of bread-ing, I selected the scantily populated outdoor seating. That, however, was not enough to keep the occasional whiff of fresh oven-baked bread heaven air from hitting me time and again. Three times of that and there – goodbye happiness. Life without carbs has been dull, but it’s not just that, I also noticed I’m a lot crankier, slower to catch or throw humor, and disoriented. Essentially then, for me, it seems, food is happiness.
Anyway, last few days have left me in a hungry daze – intelligent hungry daze because I seem to be intellectualizing everything from self-control to happiness to anxiety (you can see the disorientation). The thing is, in the past few weeks, I’ve been content and happy. Not that I’m not that usually, but there are certain points in life, when an invisible contentment takes over, hitting you randomly in a car ride, or in the shower or while watering plants. That slow simmering equilibrium that you notice even more after emerging from some form of unrest or uncertainty. This balance is blissful in that I have worked hard for it, earned it and most importantly, know how to sustain it to some degree. Don’t worry, there has been no catastrophe, I’m a drama queen more than anything else. But past few months have certainly tested patience, resilience and the efficacy of personal survival toolkit. I’m reminded of this today because I read a fellow blogger’s post on how everything eventually passes and becomes okay. Sometimes it takes longer than it should, but then nothing and no one is punctual these days, are they?
This relates to food, because in the past year I’ve discovered, that food is an important part of my glamorized survival toolkit. Whoever coined the term comfort food knew what (s)he was talking about. No matter what the situation, as long as one is blessed with penny in the pockets and the strong personal characteristic of being a foodie, one has at his or her disposable the most consistent companion of chow. A hot yummy fresh meal, served right off the oven, boasts of warmth and health for me. Sometimes also of new beginnings, hopes and even memories. I’ve thought plenty of old times, good and bad, while eating familiar meals. But every time I ate and remembered, I smiled at the memory that may have otherwise caused some cringing. When I dig into my steaming hot tom yum noodle soup, I sense the anxiety of impending elephant tasks, slowly slipping away. Think about it, when we travel to a new place, its food that first connects us to it, taking away the discomfort of an unknown territory. Maybe that’s why the basics of food, clothing, shelter are designated as basics. As we grow up, we aspire, we desire, and then perspire to achieve all that (apologies for the limerick, couldn’t stifle it), but as adults, we often forget that all our infant selves needed, was a well-fed tummy to retain those gleeful toothy grins.
And so, as I temporarily abstain from carbs, and try to wishfully shrink my waist, I’m happy to make note that as I grow older, make more mistakes, harbor more of reasonable and some unreasonable fears, step into predictable pitfalls and all that natural wonderful stuff, I am lucky enough to rely on my love for food and as I like to believe, its love for me, to get me by. Let food and I continue to be on our honeymoon, and let temporary abstinence only make us fonder and stronger.