Confession. A very non-paleo thing touched my lips today.
Peanut gallery, I’m single and home alone. I’m talking about potatoes.
When I diet, something happens inside my brain. I become the overbearing draconian parent who drives their child to addiction in later life because they were never good enough. Oddly enough, I’m also the addict. Hell, I’m an entire dysfunctional family all in one and the psychological lashings happen frequently.
Like today. I was ravenous; my stomach had gone inside out on itself and before me was a beef skillet something or other from Sanford’s. There were potatoes in it. I wanted so badly to eat it like a normal person (potatoes and all), but I couldn’t. In my mind’s eye, a shadowy figure stood over me with a ruler (because those types of beatings still exist) only to make me feel more like an incompetent child who can’t do anything right.
So I sat with my face over the plastic container like a disgusting crazed animal, mouth ajar several moments before the fork was due to make entry so as not to miss a morsel. Using my fork as a broom, I swept potatoes this way, and meat, onions and peppers that way, trying to segregate as best I could. But the meat and potatoes in this dish, engulfed in a secret love affair, refused to let go of one another; and far too often, a chunk of meat enveloped in potato mush would fall prey to my fork’s prong, sending my heart into a fluttery excitement. I’d quickly peek around to assure there were no witnesses and that it was safe to savor the tiniest bit of potato I’d so carefully forgotten. I may have even closed my eyes once or twice, but I can’t be sure.
I cannot believe I literally sifted through the hash like I sort through fucking laundry; making piles of lights and darks, putting them in their appropriate corners. Let’s be real. We all know I drop off my laundry because I’m no good at it. I mix colors. There’s always some random sock stuck in a pant leg, or chapstick in a sweater pocket; and it’s all getting washed.
Now I feel guilty. For knowing those potatoes were really delicious, for liking the way it felt to eat a forbidden thing, and also for being the enforcer of my own guilt. I feel guilty for playing this foolish game with myself at this age and for trying so hard to be anything other than me- this dichotomous being: one who is hungry and one who oughtn’t be. Either I’m on a diet or I eat potatoes, not both. They are mutually exclusive entities in the Book of Jessica. Do or do not. There is no try.