This will be another post about food. Since most of you who read my blog know me personally, I will not go into too much detail regarding my recent struggles with disordered eating. For some reason, when it comes to German literature, I become a method reader. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that translating each word is such a process that I become very invested in its meaning. In any case, while Anti-Heimat Literatur had me thinking a little too much the shortcomings of human communication and the peace of death, Franz Kafka had me fixated on bodies. Eventually, that fixation turned towards my own. Of course, it’s unfair to blame Kafka for all of it. Lots of other stuff in my personal life combined to distort my view of myself. I internalized everything, and without the help of my steadfast friends and my own incredible (if I may say so) will power, it had the potential to get exponentially worse.
Here are the facts you need to know now: I am eating three full meals a day again, sometimes four if I’m working late. I have gained back the weight I lost last year. I have rediscovered stress-eating. The numbers are good, but they don’t feel good, especially when I’m left to think for myself. For example, I still blame my regained weight for my failed romantic endeavors. It sometimes takes me longer than necessary to choose an outfit or leave the house, not because I am vain, but because nothing I own “fits properly.” It’s a healing process, and I understand this, but I am impatient with myself. I should know better. In some ways, looking back is really painful. I remember the things I had when I was “skinny” and see the things I don’t have now. But in some ways my past with food is empowering. If I don’t look back, there’s no way I can see how far I’ve come. It can get frustrating, but the fact that I can finish an entire burrito and then eat a side of chips and half a brownie, when I remember how hard it was to even take a bite of toast with hummus, makes me feel pretty darn proud.
So, today I’m participating in a meme I’ve seen a few of my blogger friends posting. It’s called ‘What I Ate Wednesday,’ which is pretty self-explanatory. I want to celebrate the good things that food has brought me to today. It begins at midnight, when I ate a handful from a bag of chips. I was hanging out with a friend I adore, and I was walking her home from her co-op where we’d been snacking. On the way, there is a pond and it was full of the humming, oscillating harmonies of the American toad (Bufo americanus). Confusingly, when I reached my hand into the algae, I pulled out a green frog (Rana clamitans), which sounds decidedly different and wasn’t what I was hearing at all. We played with our amphibious friend for a while before putting him back in his home and continuing to hers.
I was heading towards my own home when I realized I’d irresponsibly cast the bag of chips in the grass when I went in to catch the frog. I turned around and that’s when I noticed there was someone else by the pond! I went over unabashedly, which I am prone to do at surprising moments, and let him know that the cool sound he was hearing were really horny American toads on the prowl, which I could see clearly now (still not sure how I managed to catch a frog instead of a toad when the pond was teeming with the little Bufos). We were standing, but as our conversation continued, we sat down, leaned back, and just enjoyed the night. I had dropped my nachos in pursuit of a frog, returned in pursuit of my chips, and discovered, instead, a new friend. What a food journey already, and only in the wee hours of the morning!
When I woke up, I went downstairs and ate breakfast with my housemate who works for the College. I ate strawberry yogurt with Honey Nut Cheerios. One part (the yogurt) was an old friend, that I’ve enjoyed since probably before I could chew. The other was a newfound discovery, after years of detesting the smell and aftertaste of Cheerios. There’s just something about the honey-nut taste that makes these stand out. Before I went upstairs, I also ate an apple.
Between breakfast and lunch, I practiced dance as much as possible while being distracted by a major and slow-rolling storm. Each time I would complete a step without stopping, I’d dash outside for a few blissful seconds of the sweet sounds and smells of rain. Unfortunately, the Internet and the dreary state of my room later bogged me down in laziness until I finally peeled myself off my bed to make myself lunch. I made pasta, this really thin kind that’s really jiving with my eating habits. It’s thin enough that when I need something to nibble, I can munch on it raw without worrying about my teeth. It’s also light and cooks quickly. I tore up a slice of colby jack cheese (my favorite) and poured on some tomato basil sauce. I also chopped up a cucumber I bought on Saturday at the Farmers’ Market and drowned it in salad dressing. A failed addition to this meal was my sauteed asparagus. It tasted alright, but I realized after I’d eaten half of it that it had some weird black flecks on it, which were either carcinogenic bits of the teflon pan, or weird food residue from the previous user’s meal. Either way, it wasn’t something I wanted to risk, so I bit the heads off (the best part, in my opinion) and tossed the rest.
Feeling invigorated by my lunch, I worked on an oral history interview transcription I’m doing for a professor here. It’s really cool. I feel like every interview I transcribe is like listening to an NPR radio show. I’m really learning a lot about her project and different ways to look at American history, especially an era that isn’t exactly my forte. Unfortunately, I had to jet in order to get to my fencing class on time. At this point, it was 4pm and it was so dark outside the street-lights had been turned on. Talk about an ominous storm! Thankfully, the raincoat I’d yanked from the lost and found at work (it’s not stealing if your boss is gonna throw it away) was still waterproof. Alas, my poor hiking boots probably had their last wet run. Needless to say, it was an uncomfortably damp class.
Afterwards, I met another friend for dinner at the Mandarin, a Chinese restaurant with a lot of tofu options. I love tofu, and I’m not ashamed. I only wish I knew how to cook it for myself. I ordered the sesame tofu, which came with white rice and about four pieces of broccoli. The tofu was really firm and had just enough chewy/crunchy texture to make it a real treat. I could only eat half, the portions were so big, so I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow! Since my friend and I live next door to each other, he came over for ice cream on the way home. It was a gift from a different friend as a reward for my hard work on an interview transcription that ended up being 26 pages single-spaced. He got me dinosaur sprinkles and the shell chocolate syrup. Oh my wow, it was so yummy.
And that, folks, is what I have eaten this Wednesday. It is 11:09pm right now, and I can’t forsee any snacking in the near future. I am full as a flamingo and pleased as a pickle. It’s not been the best day, but food and the events that surrounded it have been surprisingly class. Thanks for bearing with me. I’ll see you soon with a serious post about jobs, I promise. I know I owe you one.