The other day, I stopped at Wegmans to pick up a few last minute items for dinner—a roasted chicken, some green beans, bottled seltzer, and a plastic tub of spring mix. While there, I was suddenly compelled to duck into the candy aisle (just to the left of the soda aisle) to get my husband some caramel creams, since he loves them and, well, I don’t.
Lo and behold, the universe always looking out for me, as I turned the corner, I found my friend Sara looking conflicted in front of the Mallowmars just a few feet away. I called out to her and, of course, we hadn’t seen each other for a while so she went on and on about how great I looked and I went on and on about how great she looked and then we skipped right over the rest of the pleasantries and got down to the business of a) weight management (and how she can help her husband manage his waistline and why she’s sometimes an enabler, hence the scowl in front of the cookie section) and b) the meaning of lost friendship (since my best friend of 40 years recently dumped me without giving me an inkling of a clue as to why or the benefit of a conversation to discuss what’s on her mind) c) and how spirits from the after-life are available to us in paperback (thanks always, Abraham), should we need help navigating such things and then some.
After 20 minutes of sharing our deepest feelings around the topics of health, friendship, and dying, the most notable takeaway for me was that we did it all in the middle of the candy aisle. Spoke from the soul in a place where all things covered in dark chocolate were, for the first time in my life, silent. Usually, they scream and taunt me, to the point of preventing me from having an intelligent thought (let alone the several in a string required for even the most superficial of conversations). And yet, there I was: undaunted. The chocolate silenced by my accidental resolve. That’s what I call it because I didn’t really think about it—or have an awareness after 30 seconds of the fact that I was standing just a few inches from several stacked bags of chocolate covered almonds and their equally voluminous and cocoafied cousins (you know, the ones that used to be my favorite in the family).
And that’s progress.
Still, with progress comes growing pains or, in my case, shrinking pains. As I said to my handsome husband the other night after the fifth night in a row of chicken and salad and my being perfectly okay with that. (So sad, really, this new peace and contentment with clean eating.)
“Everything in my world is flat now,” I proclaimed almost robotically, as he tossed a piece of avocado on my plate much like I toss the animals Pupperoni from a freshly opened bag.
“What’s at, hon?”
“It’s flat. Everything around me is flat and dull. Food is flat and dull. There’s nothing to eat anymore.”
“Oh really? Say can you put on Channel 17?”
“I mean, what is there to look forward to, now that I no longer have the fantasies of my food cravings to keep me engaged?”
“Well, there’s the Academy Awards on Sunday night, right? And hey, we can go to Marshalls tomorrow if you want.”
I let him have it. Nodded my head and fake smiled. What does he know—perpetually thin man who could always eat whatever he wanted without having to think too hard about it or suffer any consequences–still.
And yet, I feel like I’m now seeing things through glasses with a dull film of wilted romaine since I am no longer very interested in the food things that used to keep me excited like the prospect of great sex (sorry mom)…It’s the stuff I used to hang on for after a tough day, use as a backdrop to the more poignant moments (like re-uniting with an old friend, celebrating a promotion, or trying out a new restaurant experience) or just to numb out.
As a result of my almost 30-pound weight loss and the change the HCG diet had on my taste buds and metabolic psyche, I’m no longer as interested in the things that used to color my world: Like a pizza, a tuna hoagie resplendent in the proper ratio of meat to cheese to mayonnaise, or that good chocolate lava cake a la vanilla mode at that whatchamahoochie place off of Easton Road.
It’s an interesting sensation—to not have a steady stream of desire around these things any more. As I shed a dear human friend (an upsetting post that I’m not quite ready to write), I’m also shedding the culinary kind in the foods that used to soothe me (now replaced by Dr. Oz-approved counterparts). And now, as a result, I have to contemplate how to fill that long open void with something else. But what? At some point, it can no longer be cable on demand or shopping for clothes to wrap my new self.
Which brings me to the question of what to do with my larger sizes? Now that they’re swimming on me, do I get rid of them? Make my smaller self a coup for Greene Street Consignment? Or do I keep the excess of fabric that used to both choke and swaddle me in a box, in a secret location just in case my body decides to blow up like a helium balloon through no fault of my own (much in the way I found myself in my previous oversized predicament in the first place)?
Okay, okay, I’ll stop complaining. After all, I haven’t forgotten the days when these were conundrums I longed to have. But what do you think?
What kinds of conundrums are you having? How are you rising to meet them? And how have you filled a new void of late? Do tell!
And, as always, until next time!