As soon as I was old enough to get my hand to my mouth, I started sucking my fingers and didn't stop until I was seven years old -- and the only reason I stopped then was because my parents promised to finally break down and buy a TV if I did.
But now I just over-eat.
What exactly causes over-eating? Hunger? Low blood sugar? Oral fixation? Moral weakeness, greed, addiction? Breast milk deprivation? Who knows. I only know that I have absolutely no will power when it comes to food and I hate that. I hate not having ANY control over food.
So. Last summer I started this part-time job working from 5 pm to 9 pm five days a week. It's a great job but it's sort of high-stress. And for some reason totally unknown to me, from the moment I walk in the door at 5 pm until the moment I leave at night, all I can think about is food. For four hours every evening I become totally and uncontrollably orally compulsive. I become a bottomless pit of obsessive need for food. It's weird.
So after a month of observing this trend, I started making a list. And experimenting. Just exactly what WOULD fill me up? Here are the results of my experiment:
Day 1: Seven giant chocolate chip cookies (Did this fill me up? Yes)
Day 2: One and one-half pounds of Laura May's fabulous home-made chocolate walnut fudge (Big yes!)
Day 3: Five pounds of broccoli -- cooked (The answer to that one is a definite "No" -- not even coated with olive oil)
Day 4: Eight pieces of birthday cake including two corner slices -- somebody at the office had a party (Yes)
Day 5: Four and one-half pounds of ribs from Everett & Jones -- mild sauce, I'm a wimp (Yes)
Day 6: Endless numbers of carrots -- four hours worth (Absolutely not!)
Day 7: Nine bowls of oatmeal (Yeah, a little bit)
Day 8: Ten bowls of Cheerios (Okay but...what's for dessert?)
Day 9: Two and a half boxes of Girl Scout cookies -- left over from my trip to the United Houma Nation in February where they had extra boxes donated to help their Katrina rescue efforts which BTW are still going on in the bayous of Louisiana (One more box would have put me over the top....)
Day 10: Four pounds of spaghetti (Nope)
Day 11: 25 oranges (Not even close)
Day 12: Three quarts of ice cream -- Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake (Yes, but another pint or so would have been better....)
Day 13: Twelve containers of Brown Cow apricot-mango yogurt -- my favorite kind, with the cream on the top (Sort of...maybe...a little)
Day 14: Three pumpkin pies (Yes -- and pumpkin pie is also a vegetable!)
So what did I learn? I learned that I CAN be filled up. But if anybody can suggest an easier way to do it -- one that is not so hard on my body -- please let me know. Eating this way is SO self-destructive. It makes me feel like a cutter.
PS: Sometimes writing about the things that I worry about helps me to stop worrying about them. Does this mean that I will no longer be vulnerable to pumpkin pie? Stay tuned. I'll let you know tonight when I get home from work.
PPS: Maybe it's time I give up on the "What-will-fill-me-up?" diet, move to the Sudan and go on "The Darfur Diet" instead. Maybe scraping around in the sand for grubs and being stared at by vultures for a while would finally make us Americans feel more grateful for the abundance we now just take for granted.