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True Confessions

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I don’t like to call to order food for take out or delivery.

It’s not that I can’t. I lived alone for 18 years and enjoyed many types of food long before online ordering became ubiquitous.

I just don’t like to.

I can call doctor’s offices. Handymen. Insurance agents. Lawyers.

But, food ordering. . . nope.

I can make announcements over PA systems.

Getting myself nourishment. . .I’ll just make a sandwich.

Reading scripture or doing a monologue at church? No problem.

Having pizza brought to my door? Is there a website I can click?

Talking to a customer rep about a problem with my purchase? I’m polite and delightful.

Getting my orange chicken fix. . .

Honey, I’m hungry!

The Price of Love

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Margaret Lucille Hatcher Coleman. These pictures were taken at one of her favorite places, doing one of her favorite things, surrounded by her favorite people about two weeks before she died in 2016.

I said in my last post I had really sat down to write about my grandma. And then I didn’t.

I want to now, but I’m not even sure how. All I know is that in the last month I’ve missed her horribly.  Like physical pain miss.  It seems that so many things are reminding me of her. Strawberries. Church. Music. Just looking in the mirror. Banana pudding.

We used to eat at her house on Sundays.  It was a day she made a dessert.  Sometimes she made coconut cake, but she knew I didn’t care for coconut cake.  So, she would get a pack of strawberries from the freezer to thaw so I would have something sweet.  I would smother one of her biscuits in the fruit and be perfectly happy.  I can’t eat strawberries now without that memory.

I’m supposed to sing a special in about a month at church. I thought I was going to sing a praise/worship song.  I’ve been working on it for over a month now.  It’s almost ready.  But during that whole month, one of her favorite hymns keeps going through my head. In the Garden. We sang it at her funeral. So, I’ve changed my mind. I think that’s what I’m supposed to sing. It brings tears to my eyes to even think about it. I hope she hears me.

My husband loves banana pudding.  It was another one of the things she would make for dessert sometimes.  It was so good.  My sister had the recipe. . .it was what she called her handy dandy easy peasy recipe.  When I contacted my sister for it, she told me about the day Grandma shared it with her. I could hear her voice in my head telling Jerri about it. The way she said Jerri’s name wasn’t like any other person. Makes me smile.

Since all these memories have arrived, I’ve had a hankering for fried shrimp and cocktail sauce.  I can remember sitting in the trailer at the Outer Banks, peeling shrimp she had cooked to dip in the cocktail sauce she’d whip up for us–ketchup and horseradish. I prefer fried shrimp, but it doesn’t dampen the memory of her boiled shrimp on those trips.

Her forgiving me for being a brat, even in my adulthood.

Grief is love. It’s what we have left when we have loved someone fiercely and known her fierce love in return. There are so many things I wish I could tell her about the last three and a half years. So many things I want to sit at her table or at the kitchen counter and share and have her soft hands reach out and pat mine.

I have a bottle of lotion my aunt gave me the day Grandma died. It was her favorite scent. I can’t wear it; it makes me sneeze. But I get it out sometimes to smell it and to remember.

I can’t say anymore, except I don’t mind this price.

Being Healthy

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Several weeks ago, ok, maybe months, I wrote a post about my relationship with food and how it frequently frustrates me.  Recently {like, this month} I’ve had two encounters that have made me think about that relationship even more.

The first was on a girls’ night out where one of my friends was talking about counting calories, and a couple of our other friends were giving her a hard time about it–telling her it was stupid and didn’t work.  They do something different to maintain their health.

The second was I read a book, The Food of Love, a fictional account of living with anorexia.  While fiction, I have a firm belief that authors write what they know, so I’m certain that there was some personal knowledge of that illness in the author’s account.  It was eye opening to me because it addressed how healthy people talk about food and appearance in the casual and how that actually can be detrimental.

It brought back to mind the night out with my girlfriends.  I was frustrated with my friends’ responses to my counting calories friend.  {I did voice that frustration, not just sit there and listen to happen.}  It wasn’t supportive of her attempt to be healthy. What works for one person really may not work for another.  One friend even mentioned that she understood because counting calories was easier than what she did, but it still didn’t work.  But it does work for some people.  And each person has to figure out what helps them be the most healthy.

And NONE of it is easy. . .no matter what version you work.  But it has to be something you’re willing to put in effort.

I’ve tried several things in my adult life.  Different programs, different diets.  For me, it is calories in versus calories out. . .that simple. Not macros, not cutting carbs and sugars, not shakes. It’s being intentional and aware of how much I’m eating as compared to how much I’m moving.

It’s hard in this society to not see food as an enemy.  This was addressed in the novel. The teenager, in her illness, was convinced that food was evil.  It would make her gross and fat and disgusting.  ANY food.  We use food for everything. . .pick an emotion, and I can probably find someone who eats and says that’s why.  We use food as medicine–“Feed a cold!” And we feel guilty about food.  I grew up in the “Clean Plate Club”; I’m betting some of you did too.  It didn’t matter if I was legitimately full, clean the plate because there are starving kids in the world.

As I’ve contemplated the encounter with my friends and the encounter with the novel, I think I’ve come to this conclusion: I don’t have a conclusion.

Be supportive, even if the way your friend is trying to be healthy is different from your own. If someone is in distress about their relationship with food, encourage them to seek professional help.

And it’s ok to not clean your plate. Or clean it. . .sometimes, it’s just good food.

Food, Glorious Food

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Recently, my dad started chronicling his weight loss journey.  It’s been interesting and frustrating to read.  On the one hand, he’s made a few minor changes and weight has just fallen off of him. . .why does that happen for men? (My husband as well has made slight changes in the last month and dropped 10 pounds. . . me, slight changes, 1 pound) On the other hand, he’s made some points about food that resonate with me deeply.

So, I thought, maybe, if I started writing about my relationship with food and body image and all that jazz, I could make some headway.

I have some body image issues that I somewhat know where they came from.  Let’s just leave it at I was the smart one.  I also have some fears about what may happen with my body as I get older, and that I won’t be able to control it.  Because, like my dad, I love food. Not just the flavor, but the whole experience.  The smell of it, the preparation of it, the texture of it, the combinations that you can do with it.  Part of my problem with putting food in my mouth is that I just love the experience of flavor bursting around my

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Easter 2018–our family feast. . .we love food!

tongue.  Eating ice cream is more than the creamy texture and flavors, it’s also the cold feeling that I can still distinguish at the back of my throat and down the esophagus at it travels towards my stomach.  It’s just delicious in all aspects.

But, I must make some changes, because I am at least 50 pounds overweight. I have managed to lose weight before.  I’ve done a lot of programs, all of which require me to track my food. I do a great job tracking for a while, and then, I just don’t. Even with the ease of using my phone, I just hate it. I just want to be allowed to eat food and enjoy it. I listen to what others do to lose and maintain weight, and it sounds boring.  They limit their types of foods and eat the same thing day in and day out.  Bleh!!

I’ve given myself a lot of excuses for why the weight creeps back up. . .most recently, I broke my leg and lost a baby.

Yes, I’m an emotional eater.

I’m not sure how to change that.

I know that there are a lot of concepts and ideas and suggestions out there.  Find something different to do with your hands. When you’re feeling emotional, find an activity that will concentrate your brain on something else. . .meditation, reading, exercise. Drink water.

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Me and a stuffed jalepeno having a moment at last Easter.

Ah, if only those things were as comforting as chocolate and peanut butter or pasta and cheese.

So, it’s out there now.  I have an unhealthy love of food, and a no love whatsoever of exercise. Well, that’s not entirely true either.  I do love to ride my bike, just not alone. . .another excuse? Probably. I used to ride alone for miles a week (It caused worry among my friends and family).

I’m going to make some changes. Food and I are going to work on our relationship. We’re not breaking up. We’re just going to therapy!