Help for the Helpless?

Woke up this morning without a thing to do.  Aside from a good deal of eating, breathing and bathroom duties-my schedule is WIDE open.  Typically, I relish in these low-key days.  Unlike the rest of my family, I’m not what you’d call a “Busy Bee” by any strech.  However, today’s seemingly stress free agenda was just a tad stressful for some reason.  Do you ever have those days where the minutes pass as though youre moving through a flip book at a page an hour?  What bothers me is that I really could use this unrestricted schedule to really try to tackle my whole “rushed eating” issue.  Yes, I have the absolute WORST habbit of inhaling my food with zero intention and appreciation (or dislike) of taste.  I’m completely convinced that this habbit is one of the biggest stepping stones in my eating disorder recovery.  I love food.  I love reading about it and the poetic nature that so many of my fellow food bloggers or NYT Dining journalists describe their nibbles.  I want SO badly to put the amount of thought into my actual consumption of my eats that I do into preparing it.  I could analyze this up the you-know-what, but the most obvious and unfortunate reason seems to come down to fear.  Doesn’t it always?  Well with me it does at least.  What am I scared of?  If I’ve overcome the fear of actually putting the food into my body, why not enjoy the ride and god-forbid taste the lovliness or disgust that moves through my palate?  If you were to ask me how I enjoyed something, I bet you nine times out of ten I wouldn’t remember and recite the automatic response of  “it was fine.”

Take this morning’s glorious bowl of savory oats.  Not your average quaker express on the fly-oh no, this bowl of goodness took a lot of thought and patience beginning with lightly toasted irish groats simmering oh so gently on the stovetop overnight in its cozy bath of cream, milk, a pinch o’ sel, and a tiny sprinkle of both cinnamon and cayenne (I swear this smooth operator is so fine on its own, a poor man would think he was eating “Wagyu” with tuffle butter and gold leaf (look up “wagyu.”  and no, I haven’t been fortunate enough to put that baby to my lips).  So after the typical wake-up, use the loo, cleanse, brush, etc. routine; I enter the kitchen to a faint yet seductive smell of oats and spices.  The memory warms my heart.  But this pot wasn’t gussied up enough for my belly (or my caloric needs) quite yet.  It needed a lil extra lovin in the form of a baby pat of unsalted butta, a single perfectly poached farm fresh egg, a touch more sea salt and pepper, a few droplets of sriracha and a light sprinkle of crunchy maple pancetta bits (make more for snacking, trust me on this one) and a few grates of fresh parm.  I’m hoping my description will suffice as I haven’t the monetary funds to purchase a camera to have snapped a photo of this bad boy.  Food-gasm up the woo-hoo, right?  Wrong… I am so embarassed to say that for the several hours that went into preparing for this spoonful of goodness, it took me roughly three or four minutes to consume… and I didn’t taste a THING!!!  Travesty much? 

I can only conclude that it goes back to my fears.  The phobia at hand being my fear of enjoyment.  Sure, my T and I have established my intense fear of pleasure and comfort and downright happiness in the forms of relationships-but I conveniently carry this ridiculous fear into my relationship with food.  What if I like it?  What if I hate it?  What does it MATTER??!!  Lord almightythis is a problem.  It’s already 2:00pm and I’ve consumed two meals and snacks and I have little recolection of how any of it tasted.

I apologize immensely for this long-winded rant about my struggles.  I SOO wish that I could be one of those incredible food bloggers who whip up culinary masterpieces (or failures) and follow with the appropriate critiques.  But I can’t seem to reach the point of critiquing.  I might be a helpless case, but I would love to hear from y’all (or the one or two who might read this) about your own sturggles or even better, how you train yourself to eat with intention.  Let it be known that I have tried my fair share or reciting mantras and breathing prior to consumption, but as soon as the eating utensil crosses my lips-I go numb.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. 

Namaste, lovelies!

Mary Ann



  1. January 6, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Thank you so much for your comment on my blog 🙂 It warms my heart whenever I meet someone new! You nailed my situation right on the head… logically I know exactly where I am disordered and what needs to change, but hard as I try there is always something in the way.

    I can’t wait to keep reading through your blog… I love the way you have with words and I can relate to so much. I have huge issues with enjoyment as well. I eat incredibly SLOWLY to savour every last bite, but I rarely allow myself to eat foods that I am truly craving. This drives me insane to say the least.


  2. Lo said,

    January 6, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Mary Ann . Your comment seriously was te best one I have ever received. You are so thoughtful and I would love to road trip and visit you. Thanks fo reading and enjoying my style, as well as my weird ass comments on Kale’s blog.

    all i can say about your predicament would be to treat eating as tho you are wine tasting—use all 5 senses and slowly go through it, remembering what you see, smell, touch, taste, hear..etc. Writing it down may also help?


    • lilpauladean said,

      January 6, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      The senses are magical indeed. One of my fave (be it strange) things to while practicing my meditation is to single out each of the senses and hone in on their subtlties. Its a glorious and powerful thing, you are so right on. While Im pretty decent at doing this with vino tastings and daily meditation… food stresses me out-and then Im further stressed out by the FACT that food stresses me out. I preach quieting of the mind while I teach my meditation classes yet I completely fail to practice what I promote when food enters my mouth. Lo, you rock sister. Drink your heart out and be merry (despite what anon commenters say). Just don’t drink and drive (or ride a bike, I say this from experience)

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