I bellowed, “You did this. It’s your fault. I’m fat, and it’s all your fault.”
All the while I am grabbing my belly, which now lies around my lower abdomen like a giant unbaked croissant, and shaking it at him.
I don’t remember exactly what provoked me, but this outburst was probably brought on by him either suggesting a Dairy Queen Butterfinger Blizzard, asking if we could go through the Indi’s Chicken drive-through on the way home, or dropping a stick of butter in something I was cooking that was otherwise healthy, which he does often and defends by saying, “But, butter makes everything better.”
YES, butter makes everything better which is why I have a closet full of caftans, which I attempt to claim are a fashion statement and not the only thing that I own that fits anymore.
I recounted the incident to my next door neighbor, Renee, who may be a witch…but a witch in the best way. She’s the kind that knows herbs, communes with nature, understands the workings of the world, and is centered in the power of her womanhood.
She explained, “I know it is counterintuitive, but you must love it to lose it. You must embrace your stomach.”
“Duh…I did. I embraced it with both hands and shook it.”
“You know I didn’t mean literally. I’m just telling you what worked for me.”
Now, Renee has successfully lost 60 pounds without succumbing to any crazy fad diets or hours of exercise. When asked how, she says, “I simply redefined my relationship with food. I actually started tasting it. Just slow down, taste every bite, and stop when you’re full.”
I can genuinely say I have NEVER been full. Not after Thanksgiving Dinner, not after inhaling a whole large Good Fellows pizza by myself, not even after winning a Twinkie eating contest…Never! Food always swears if I just eat one more bite I’ll feel completely satisfied…food lies. Another friend, who has also lost in the 60 pound range, suggested low-carb, so I went to the grocery and loaded up on string cheese and broccoli and lunch meat. Then, Monday morning, my first interview of the day was with the guys that own Lexington Pasta. They are just as charming and handsome and generous as you would expect two half-Italian, half-Spanish men from Venezuela to be. When I left, they sent me off with a bag of fresh pasta. Fuck Low-Carb! I prepared it just as they told me to—boil two minutes, drizzle with good olive oil, and top with Parmesan cheese. It was a revelation in a bowl.
I realized the only way I am ever going to have the healthy relationship with food that will lead to only eating as much as I need is to stop treating it like an abusive boyfriend who apologizes and sucks me back with promises of deliciousness. I am going to treat food like a friend. I have decided, like the chick in “Eat, Pray, Love,” I am going to give myself one month to eat whatever I want, and actually enjoy foods company. I am going to try to actually taste my food without imbuing every bite with guilt. I am also going to be kinder to my belly. I will look at it in the mirror without cursing. And, I will not shake it.