Friday, April 1, 2016

my work in progress: eating, part two

This is continued from last week.  It's long so I decided to split it up.  

Eating, Part Two

As you’ve read so far, I snacked an awful lot as a kid, added tons of calories by way of chips and mayo without any thought about calories, begged for fast food before dinner, and ate second helpings at dinner quite often.   Even though I played outside a lot and rode my bike, I was never able to work off enough calories, so my weight steadily climbed.

As a teenager, I would get fast food when I went over a friend’s house.  Cindy and I lived only three houses apart, so when her parents went out on a Saturday night I often slept over.  The added bonus was that her parents would buy us fried chicken from Roy Rogers before they left for the night.  We would eat our dinner and watch TV.  Then later on we might have some ice cream.  The next morning her dad would get up early and get us chocolate muffins for breakfast.  Sometimes we had cereal, too.  At another friend’s house, her mom always ordered pizza when I came over.  Once I got a driver’s license and a job, I really shoveled in the fast food; we were close to McDonald’s, Burger King, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

What I ate greatly depended on several factors.  Was I alone or with someone?  If I was with someone, was I was comfortable being my "eating self" with that person, or was it a stranger or acquaintance?  Was I eating out in public, or was I at home?  If I was at home, was I alone or was my husband home?  All of these factors greatly affected the type and quantity of food I would eat.

If I was home alone, I ate whatever, whenever; it was almost like a vacation or a special treat.  One of the things I always looked forward to, whether I was a kid or an adult, was having the house to myself.  It was basically a license to gorge.  As a kid, those times when I was home alone were usually after school and maybe sometimes on the weekends if my parents went out.  As soon as I got home from school I would fly through the cabinets and fridge at top speed, searching for anything I could get my hands on.  I don't mean I would grab a bottle of ketchup and guzzle it.  I'm talking about chips, candy, snacks, crackers, etc.  I'll add that usually the reason I did that after school is because I would eat just some toast for breakfast (I never got up on time and would have to grab something fast) or a Pop Tart. At school I would eat my lunch my mom gave me, but lunch was very early, usually around 11:30 am or so.  That's pretty early when the school day ends after 3 pm.  In high school I normally skipped lunch, so I would go all day without eating.  I usually ate something small at home in the morning, but that’s it.  Although, many times I would go to the school’s store and buy a ton of candy.  I would often walk out with at least three candy bars; they would all be gone by the time I got home.  And when I got home, I would eat as much as I could in the short amount of time I had alone.  I didn’t want anyone to see that I was eating the equivalent of a whole meal before dinner.

I met my husband at the ripe old age of 15.  Our “dates” consisted of driving around in his 1988 Plymouth Horizon—that was a fun car!—while listening to music and drinking; Bob was 21 so he was able to buy alcohol.  We almost always went out to eat, either to the diner or for fast food.  Since we saw each other almost every day, that was quite a bit of eating out.  And, typically, when he drove me home, we would stop at 7-11 and I would buy a Slim Jim, a 7-11 cheeseburger (those things are so addictive for some reason), and a Nestle Quik.  (Nutritious meal, huh?) I think that’s when I really started to gain weight.  Eating out was something we both enjoyed, and since we didn’t have all that much in common, eating was what we did for fun; it was our common bond.

When Bob and I got married and bought our own house, I had much more time to myself.  Bob often worked nights, so I would get home and just raid the house, just like I did after school when I was a kid.  But now I was working and often bored, so I would order out sushi, Chinese, or pizza.  Or I would go to McDonald’s, which, unfortunately, was at the end of my street.

And then there were the times when Bob went camping for the weekend.  I would plan my eating while I was at work.  As I said before, having the house to myself was a license to gorge.  I would plan to order sushi usually.  But I would stop at McDonald’s on my way home from work to get started. I would order the sushi.  But not just sushi.  I would usually add a Chinese appetizer—the restaurant I ordered from sold both Chinese and Japanese food.  The following day, Saturday, I would go grocery shopping and buy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and brownies and M&Ms for topping the ice cream, which would all get eaten that night when Cindy came over for a girl’s night.  Oh, and of course I would stop at McDonald’s for breakfast on the way home from the grocery store.  Sunday morning I would get up and drive down to McDonald’s again for my breakfast. Then Bob would come home and we would usually go out to the diner for a late lunch.

If I was eating out, I would normally order an appetizer for myself, plus my meal.  Bob would get his own appetizer and meal, also.  Depending where we went, sometimes there was a bread basket, or chips and salsa, or sometimes even popcorn. We would eat all of that. Then we would eat most of the appetizers.  When the meal came we were able to eat about half our meal and the rest would go home with us.  I often ate my leftovers later that night, but sometimes I would eat them the next day.  Oh, and I would have lots of diet soda with my meal.  I didn’t usually go too wild when I ate out, since I was in public and didn’t want to embarrass myself.

If I was eating with someone at home or at a friend’s house, how much I ate depended on how comfortable I was with that person.  Most of the time I was with Bob, so I would eat several cheeseburgers for dinner, along with some type of side dish.  A little while later I would have a snack.  And then another snack a while later.  Then maybe another mini meal after that.  If I was with Cindy, or over her house or a family member’s house, I would usually limit it to one cheeseburger and the side dish, and then maybe a snack later.

When eating with an acquaintance or a stranger, such as at a business lunch or a seminar for work, I would eat a “normal” portion, but I was usually thinking about a big steak the whole time. And I almost always finished my whole meal.  I was used to eating huge portions, so it took me a lot to feel full, or what my definition of “full” was at that time.  The whole time I would feel very self-conscious, wondering if I was, in fact, eating like a “normal” person, or if I was being a pig.

To be continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment