Monday, March 19, 2012

Fast Lessons

Saturday night was a celebratory dinner event for Forbes and me.  My pick was Flat Iron Kitchen where I ordered the vegetable plate off of their new Vegetarian menu.  The meal combined cauliflower, mushrooms, roasted corn, green beans and much more in a very delicious way.  The flavor and texture were divine.  After the same 7 foods for weeks, my mouth partied a little bit on Saturday.
But here in lies the problem.  I came to a strong realization of the role food plays in my life while in the midst of this fast.  When my birthday rolled around and I just never got excited for the day it seemed something was entirely wrong with me.  Maybe after 28 years birthdays just aren't fun anymore.

Several more days into this fast and we received good news from our taxes and all I could think about was going out to eat and having a glass of wine.  I celebrate with food and drink.  That is what I do.  Then it occurred to me the enormity of this problem.  Is it impossible for me to celebrate without food and drink?  Is it simply the opposite of drowning your sorrows in food and drink?  Those who do that are usually considered "problems" but why is it ok then to experience other emotions, even positive ones in the same way.  I began to dissect my theory.  Is it possible that I only experience emotions through eating and drinking?  Is it possible for me to celebrate without?  My emotions are charged when I am sitting down to a great meal, or sipping a glass of wine.  I feel energized and excited.  But without either of those on my birthday I felt lackluster.  Perhaps I drown even my fun emotions by eating and drinking.

On our way to fellowship group that evening I presented my idea to Forbes.  He agreed, the theory was pretty legit.  So I posed it to my girls at fellowship.  Elizabeth forwarded me this blog post from a friend the next day that spoke exactly to how I was feeling.  She didn't reference who wrote it, so for now this is anonymous:

My body started talking to me.

You've got to trust me.

When I am hungry I will tell you.
You'll hear it in chambered echos, grumbles and moans.
DON'T FEED ME, until you hear my call.

When I am lonely I will tell you.
A lump will well up in your throat, like you've swallowed cotton and tears will form in your eyes.
DON'T FEED ME, try making a connection with the fine collection of friends you love.

When I am anxious I will tell you.
Your heart will beat fast, your breath will struggle to leave the lungs, and you might feel full of fire.
DON'T FEED ME, instead sit down and fight for those breaths, let the oxygen pour into you--clearing the veins and vessels, close your eyes, identify the fear that is squeezing you.

When I feel depressed I will tell you.
There will be a significant lack of energy, a slumpy reaction to bed-leaving, my mind will slow down and thoughts will become like black puffy clouds.
DON'T FEED ME, instead fill your head back up with new thoughts, ideas from books and discussions. Replace the dirty fuel in your mind with clean energy.

When I feel stressed I will tell you.
Like rubberbands squeezing around your cranium, your head throbbing, your stomach turning, your muscles tightening.
DON'T FEED ME, instead write it all out, everything you are feeling, look over the list and examine.

When I feel sick I will tell you.
Fevers, aches, pains and physical discomfort.
DON'T FEED ME, take care of me, bathe me, give me lots of water and put me to bed.

When I feel happy I will tell you.
Goosebumps infiltrate your skin, you will feel light and airy, propped up on energy, buzzing in your blood.
DON'T FEED ME, use the excess vivacity to spread your sentiments to someone else.

When I feel sensual I will tell you.
Your skin will turn pink and glow. Your mouth will involuntarily smile, your body will hum with awareness.
DON'T FEED ME, you know what to do.

When I need exercise I will tell you.
Your legs will ache to be walked, your back will beg to be stretched, your heart will ask to be throbbed.
DON'T FEED ME, walk me. And don't exercise me until I say so, please, or we will battle.

When I feel lazy, content, competitive, peaceful, overwhelmed, snippy, snappy, hot, cold, tired, frustrated, thirsty, full, beaming and bright I will tell you.
DON'T FEED ME, none of these sentiments require food. Excess surplus will have to be stored. I will have to make more of us--human shelves in rolls and lumps--to organize the overflow intake. Don't make me do that, please. There are babies to feed, children to squeeze, a husband to kiss. Right now, we don't have a lot of steam to become a storage facility as well.

But when I feel hungry I will send you a message of emptiness of stomach, dizziness of head, a sensation in your mouth extending into your throat that reads, I NEED FOOD, PLEASE DON'T STARVE ME.

Last night I finally had that spaghetti dinner I craved last week.  The fast is so totally over!

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