I’m Failing in Eating 101

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I feel like a failure tonight.  I kind of suck at being an adult.  Most days I can sort of get by, but I tend to have a weekly crisis at around 3:00 on Sunday afternoons.  (Aside: Have you ever read Hyperbole and a Half?  I can relate to this post by Allie all too well.)  I can do a few things very well:  I am an amazing employee.  I’m good at balancing my checkbook and making sure my bills are paid.  I am smart.  I have excellent communication skills.  …and then there are the things I suck at.  Unfortunately, the things I suck at are, in my estimation, vital to being a successful, healthy, well-rounded human being.  Things like eating.  Exercising.  Maintaining a clean home.

The eating problem is the heart of my weekly emotional collapse.  In my home, Sunday is when the grocery shopping is supposed to happen.  I’m terrible at shopping for groceries because I don’t know what to eat.  I want to eat healthy foods, but I lack the discipline to actually do it.  I don’t really know HOW to eat a varied, nutritious diet.  Even if I do make some kind of meal plan for the week (which takes HOURS for me because I don’t really know what the heck I’m doing), I cannot for the life of me stick to it.  Even if I could, it would still lack the healthy foods that I know I need to eat.  And so I patronize fast food restaurants, or I eat something that comes in a can, or occasionally, I don’t eat at all.  J gets really frustrated with me because I am incapable of making the daily what-should-we-eat-tonight decision.  I feel like eating should be such a simple thing.

Step 1: Obtain food.
Step 2: Open mouth.
Step 3: Place food in mouth and chew.
Step 4: Swallow.
Step 5: Repeat.

I even know (in theory) what to eat: vegetables and fruits, whole wheat grains and nuts.  Maybe some meat too, but no, that’s bad for the environment so I shouldn’t eat that.  Cheese?  Also bad for the environment, but let’s face it, I’m not going to give up cheese.

Although eating should be easy, I feel like I have a lot of things stacked against me.  For one thing, J and I both work 40-hour jobs with long commutes, and when we get home we’re both tired.  Preparing food takes time and energy…which are things I’m short on by the time I get home.  Also, I have extremely narrow food interests – there are a lot of flavors that I don’t like.  A lot.  I tell myself that I can’t eat the bad-for-me things, but I don’t want to eat the good-for-me things, which leaves….  Nothing.  And I feel stuck.  Helpless.  Hopeless.

…is this an eating disorder?

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Feelings of Impotence

Musings

I don’t know if I’m imagining it or not, but it seems life life gets progressively harder from one year to the next.

That’s to be expected early on. As children, our basic needs (food, shelter, love and whatnot) are taken care of for us. Each year we earn additional freedoms and responsibilities, so it makes sense that life would get harder. I get that.

But what about now? Is it just me, or does life get harder as an adult too? I am becoming more keenly aware of other people’s suffering with each passing day. Every day there is yet another great injustice or heartbreaking trial to add to the growing list. Human trafficking, violence, abuse, the loss of loved ones, terrible illnesses. It becomes impossible to carry the weight of it all, yet I feel I somehow must.

Is the world becoming a more hostile and painful place, or am I simply more awake to it?

And what can I do about it as an individual? How can I defend the helpless and love the unloved when the problems seem so insurmountable?