Here’s what I had for lunch yesterday:
- 1 1/2 c Romaine lettuce salad mix with 1 boiled egg sliced on top
- 1 Tbsp White Balsamic Vinegar & 1/2 tsp honey with salt & pepper as dressing
- 1/2 green apple
- 1 chocolate graham cracker
All in all, this clocks in at about 200 calories, give or take. So why is it, as I sat and ate my food, that I felt like people were watching me and thinking I was a glutton?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt self-conscious anytime I put anything in my mouth. Now, here I am 102 pounds lighter and WELL within the normal-American range of weight and I still think my fellow diners are secretly judging each meager forkful of lettuce with vinegar that I’m shoveling* into my pie hole. And even further into this insanity, I worry that those who are in the know about my surgery are judging me if I’m having a planned indulgence, like last night’s cheesesteak wrap that I had as a very late dinner. Yes, it was fatty and cheesy. But it was also packed with protein, and since I only ate half it was about 375 calories and well within the 450 I had left in my daily 1035 calorie budget. And let’s be honest people, I’m eating 1000-1200 calories a day with an occassional treat – I’m definitely not pigging out.
*for the purposes of this post, the term “shoveling” will be used in place of “delicately placing and chewing to a liquid-like consistency”, as is the actuality of how I feed myself to prevent overloading my teenie stomach.
Even still, as I sit here and look at my 4 calcium chews which I am medically required to eat today, I feel a little guilty because they taste like tootsie rolls. How is it possible that I have reached a point where I am comfortable with the amount and variety of food that I’m eating; I am able to allow myself occasional indulgences, yet don’t overdo it and always find the calories within my budget to do so; and I am actually healthy about all of this, and I still feel like a fatty??
I know my mind will take years to catch up. I know this is a case of, “you can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl” and that even though I’m not fat, per se, I am still thinking like I am. But how will I ever outgrow this? And furthermore, should I? Maybe that fear of judgement is what’s keeping me on my toes. Perhaps being complacent in gluttony behind closed doors is what really made me gain all the weight.
It’s weird how anxious food makes me. I feel like eating it is such a social activity. Such a necessary evil. Such a pain in my ass. Earlier in this phase of post-surgery life I used to forget to eat because I didn’t feel hunger. Now that I’ve reached a point where I understand what hunger feels like to my new digestive system I sometimes feel comforted by the rules that surround how I eat. Still, I wish that, for each “stare” I think I see, I could remind myself of how it felt to weigh 20 pounds more. I would love to see 88 pound Kristin Chenowith standing there with my 15 pound cat Bender and think to myself, “You have lost the entirety of THAT!” instead of wondering if the double deuce-sized man next to me eating shrimp fried rice thinks that I should have stopped at 1/4 of that pear instead of eating half of it. I’m insane, I know. But this is what we former fatties go through. I think in my mind I’ll always be a fat girl. At the very least, I’m keeping the cynicism….. and the cats.
Thanks for reading. – A
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