Ice cream. Cool, melty, minty.
Stomach Flubug. Drained. Nauseous. Achy. All over. Achy. And I’m supposed to be at the beach. Right. Now.
The entire time I was sick, the entire time my body was invaded by stomach flubug invaders, I could not wait for the moment I would feel better. The non achiness. The energy. The ice cream. Oh, the ice cream. The ice cream I would eat.
I wanted ice cream. I tweeted ice cream. I even dreamed of ice cream. Cool, melty, minty. Oh how a bowl of ice cream could make me feel better, physically, mentally. But, it made me feel sick to actually think of eating ice cream, or eating at all.
Then, suddenly, (would not have said suddenly not at all had you asked me this say ten hours ago), out of the thank God mercy blue, it happened. I felt better.
Ice cream, I thought! Ice cream, you are MINE. All mine, my pretty. Now. right.now.
Mint chocolate chip. Caramel. Cookies and cream. Oh my freaking cream, I could taste it.
Then it happened. Out of nowhere. Like a bolt of my God it is reality why are you here lightning. I did not really want ice cream. My body wanted something entirely different, a world apart, and opposite from ice cream, food. vegetables. warm, buttery lentils poured on a mound of soft, white rice soaked in butter. potatoes, carrots, beets sauteed in sunflower oil and turmeric and roasted cumin. What? Say what?
Bad day. Exams. Breakup. Gained weight. Lost weight. Sick. Stressed out. Layoffs. Health problems. Family problems. Family’s health problems. Vacation. Holidays. Lack of holidays.
There are 1,000,000 trillion zillion reasons to want “comfort” food…anytime you want “comfort.”
And that is totally fine. Sometimes a cookie just tastes good. Sometimes a bowl of ice cream is fun. But, looking to food simply to ease our souls, solve our problems, and make tomorrow better. Not going to happen. Not at all. Ice cream was my security blanket. But it could not kill the flubug.
When we feed our bodies food it does not want it will react against us. And either we end up hating the food, or our bodies, or neither and just deal with whatever reaction ensues. The point is this. There is a thin line between a warm chocolate chip cookie out of the oven oh it looks so good I am going to have one and eating a bowl or three bowls of ice cream because you have a test tomorrow.
You will still have a test tomorrow. Your boyfriend or girlfriend still broke up with you. You are still facing a layoff. All that is different is this. You ate a bowl of ice cream. I hope you enjoyed the ice cream, because, in the end, the food cannot solve your problems. You still missed out on the beach because you had the flubug.
We have all done it. In stress or sadness or anxiety we have reached for the ice cream, the macaroni and cheese, the chocolate, the lasagna, the pie, whatever eases our pain. But, it does not ease our pain. The pain goes on, only masked now by fullness, perhaps overfullness. There are ways, much better ways, to solve our problems. Talking to people. Meditation. Prayer. A good workout. Time with family, friends. Sleep. Relaxation. Reading. Art. Music. The list goes on. and on. and on.
Food cannot solve our problems. It can make us smile. It can feed our souls. It can bring us together. It can make the impossible happen (like finding ways to enjoy Chinese food without soy. Yup, I’ve actually done that).
The next time I want ice cream I will enjoy it. every bite. much more than I ever would have this week.
So, the “comfort” food. Be wary of what it offers. You might find out it is not really comforting at all.