First my dirty little secret. I like The Vampire Diaries, the story line is decent and the eye candy alone makes it worth tuning in each week. And because I’m seeing me in him, or him in me, some background is needed. The premise of the show centers around Damon and Stefan Salvatore, two vampire brothers who were turned in the 1860’s. Stefen for years has lived off a diet of animal blood rather than human blood. And Stefen is in love with Elena, a human girl. Two episodes ago Stefen had to drink from Elena, it was the first time he’d had human blood in many years. The final scene showed Damon walking into their living room, Stefen is sitting on the floor hunched over a bag of blood from the blood bank with empty bags strewn about. The scene made me think of a junkie breaking down and giving into that desire, into that craving for a fix and damn the consequences.
This past weeks episode focused on Stefen’s continued struggle to resist that which he desires and is longing for. This final episode showed Damon leaving Stefen alone with a glass of blood. Stefen picked up the glass, looked at it, raised it a bit and then gave in to what he was craving.
So why am I telling you all this? Because Stefen is my mirror image right now. No, my desire and craving isn’t blood (gross!). My desire and craving is something probably far worse for me, something that can ultimately be dangerous and is totally, 100% legal and therefore something easy to have whenever I want. The image in the mirror is of me, eating. I’m not sure how, I never expected this, but somehow this silly little piece of fiction is showing me myself.
When it comes to food I know exactly what my problem is. I don’t eat because I’m bored, I don’t eat to hide feelings. In fact, I can’t really even say I eat, it’s not really the amount that I eat (although yes, that does play a role a lot of the time), it’s more the choices I make. I make the choices I do because they taste good, I want them and I’m just lazy. I would rather swing through Wendy’s and get a yummy burger than go home and make a sandwich. I’d rather have cookies than take 5 minutes to prepare a bag of veggies to snack on at work. And making this change, re-setting my thought process is a daily, hourly, minute by minute struggle.
Confession, I called Carrabba’s on the way out of work tonight and ordered lasagna for pick up to have for dinner tonight. I feel like I should be ashamed, but I’m going to do what I do best when it comes to food – rationalize (although in this case it’s not so much rationalizing as explaining). I’m on Weight Watchers, journaling what I eat works for me. Weight Watchers works for me, because it means I CAN HAVE these little splurges, I CAN HAVE those cookies if I want. So today I made the decision I wanted what I’ve been craving for a while now, lasagna. I tracked what I’d already eaten, I found nutrition information and I have the room to have it. I made that conscious decision to go ahead and fulfill that desire, and I don’t feel guilty or ashamed about it. In fact, I’m sure I had an expression of pure bliss on my face while eating it.
What I do feel guilty and ashamed about is the strange desire to hide it. I actually really wanted to go get it for dinner last night despite the fact I had a huge lunch and I was absolutely not hungry. None of that mattered to me, all that mattered was getting that taste into my mouth. A part of me was even hoping that J would leave earlier than he did, that way I could indulge in my dirty secret with no one the wiser, except the car-side to go person and my bank of course. I don’t even know why I feel like I have to hide it, I know J isn’t going to judge me, he’s not going to love me any less. I KNOW this. But for some reason I felt ashamed at the idea of him knowing I was planning on going to Carrabba’s and getting this not-really-so-good-for-me meal. That’s a feeling I don’t like, a feeling I don’t want to have around. Because I am afraid that if I continue to harbor that guilt and shame it’ll derail my efforts. And I’ve worked so hard to get to this point; I still have a long ways to go. And I want to get there. No matter how much easier being lazy and fat actually is, I don’t want to be here, I don’t want this. I want better. I want a different image looking back at me in the mirror.