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26 June 2010 @ 10:21 pm
secret machinations  
Thinking about food.

You know how sometimes you can hear a thing so often, you become annoyed by it or find that it now has the opposite effect? "That's so bad for you!" "You're poisoning yourself." "You're making yourself worse." I've realized I'm tired of hearing it. I'm also extremely tired of hearing about the different ways food is bad for you. I find that when people say these sorts of things, I am even less inspired to "cook," "take care of myself," or whatever. I instinctively react against the repetitive statement that I'm already aware of but having a hard as hell time accomplishing, and I dig my heels in. So what? So what? So what? I'm still alive and eating enough to have a regular heavy period, which indicates to me that my diet could be worse. I sometimes want to say, "hey, at least I'm not drinking soda and chowing down on chips," but the way most people react to my diet, it seems that might be an improvement of sorts.

I don't like cooking. I don't like the heat. I don't like the knives. I hate the way raw meat feels. I've heard so damn many stories about food poisoning that I'm afraid of causing it because I forgot to wash this or left that out a little too long or forgot how long I cooked something for and didn't cook it long enough. I also have trouble keeping track of all the parts and the time required for each. "Start preparing this at when that is at a certain point" is challenging, because inevitably I find I have to focus on one thing, which causes me to forget that other component.

I find the dishes created to be overwhelming. The number of dirty dishes and the effort they require feel downright unreasonable when I consider that I'm only feeding myself. This directly relates to the fact that dishes are my number one most hated chore.

When I get home after work, I'm tired. With my current job/commute, I only arrive about two hours before I go to bed anyway, and as a lifelong habit, I usually try not to eat a few hours before I sleep. So if I have just a snack, what's the problem?

Frankly, nine times out of ten, I eat "something" to make the hunger go away.

But it's not just that.

Do I care if I am killing myself? Yes and no. On the one hand, it's certainly a scary thought. Most of us are not prepared to die, and the thought of doing something directly causing our own deaths when we could avoid doing so is unthinkable. So yes, if my life gets better, I do care. I also care if this will someday give me a massive heart attack so that nobody can revive me and force me to live a half life because of their morals. If I give myself a heart attack, and thereby avoid winding up as the little old lady in room 795 that no one ever visits, that one who's hooked up on oxygen and in so much pain she's on drugs most of the time, then great.

Even though I am beginning to see myself in a larger, more distant future, and can envision a plan that culminates years from now, I still can't imagine reaching my 70s or my 80s. The idea of making it that far secretly horrifies me. Say I fail at my secret planning, say I am forced back - if my life remains as it is now - quietly isolated, not what I want to be doing, living on the financial edge not because of splurging but because of income, well ... I don't know if I even want to make it that far. Even if I do, I have no true siblings, I don't intend to have children, and unless I die in a mangled car wreck, I'll probably outlive my family. No one is going to be there when I die.

For the record, I don't intend to fail or fall back, but that in itself adds another layer of difficulty. I only have so much emotional and mental energy to spend, and right now, since I think I am certainly depressed, that amount is lessened. Every time someone tells me I'm killing myself with the way I'm eating, I want to make rude gestures or replies. I can't handle it. Nearly all of my will is focused on fixing my life right now. With what am I supposed to take this next problem on? I've got money, career, future school and all the requirements, depression, fixing my social life, "gotta be independent" and all those general "the future" issues on my plate right now, so I'm booked. Try again later or help me out some way, 'cause I just don't have the capacity to care enough about it right now. I go through phases where I'll eat salads or where I'll totally think I'm going to try this cooking thing, but I can't hold onto that energy.

And at the same time, given my fears about meeting my untimely end in a variety of ghastly ways, a slow death by bagels and chocolate does not seem that bad.

The end result is that I seem ungrateful for the concern of others and I continue to eat cereal and sandwiches.
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Maxine of Arc: Adam Lambert Frontier Mag Lipsmaxineofarc on June 27th, 2010 02:53 am (UTC)
Actually? I feel the EXACT same way. Not about cooking (if you don't like the feel of meat, do you need to eat it?) but about everything else. I kind of hope I die of some massive aneurysm in my mid-40s, because I really don't know what I'll do if I have to be old.
Giang (yang)cometeoraine on June 27th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)
Hearing something over and over too much makes me really defiant, and unless those people are health professionals, I usually give them the stink eye (it's usually acne related comments for me).

If I'm not too poor, I would definitely eat out at Subways for every meal, because you're right, making food requires me to wash an unbearable amount of dishes. Washing veggies and herbs drive me nuts. Meat, especially raw chicken, is sickeningly smelly and you have to clean all the fat out of the thighs before they even look acceptable. And spoiled meat, which I deal with 20% of the time, ruins my lust for life before I could call the grocery stores to complain.

I don't blame you. Cooking for one or two requires an unnecessary amount of energy.
Rosiel: Schiff happens_rosiel_ on June 27th, 2010 12:18 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I understand where you're coming from, as anything repetitive can be construed as nagging and hence one's first reaction will be to do the exact opposite... until one sits down and thinks about it.

It happens a lot with a my mother. She nags nags nags, I get mad mad mad, but now that I'm older and hopefully wiser I actually think about what she said anyway, then if it's valid I secretly implement it, because I'm still not mature enough to admit to her that she's right (plus it would encourage her).

That being said, and I'm setting myself up for a beating here (or at least getting the bird flipped at me :P) I always find myself better able to deal with a hectic life and copious amounts of stress when I eat right. I'm not saying it's easy, I HATE COOKING, I HATE DOING THE DISHES, but it's so worth it in the end.

Now if I could only manage to stop myself from pigging out before going to bed... that huge couscous I ate last night gave me the worst nightmare.
hypertechiehypertechie on June 27th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
You will just have to find a roommate
one that is in cooking school and lets you be the guinea pig. Or a husband that will have dinner waiting for you when you get home. I know how you feel though cooking for one is really hard, and depressing. Even if you make a wonderful tasty meal that you enjoy, after having to eat the leftovers all week you no longer want to see it again. Do you have a Trader Joe's near by? I find that store helpful. Good freezer foods that are easy to prepare in manageable portions. Either way I am sure you are healthy enough. My current roommate only eats pizza and hot fries and appears to be in great shape.
David: Respek Knuckleswhowantscookies on June 28th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
You should eat something before you go to bed to minimize both hunger pangs in the morning, and preventing your body from using muscle for energy while you sleep. More of a recommendation than requirement.
ibowieh3ibowieh3 on June 29th, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
Cereal and Sandwiches your kidding right? I thought you were describing the the collage death diet. Ramen and funions with Mountain Dew, rinse and repeat until malnutrition sets in. Its true most people could eat better. If you physically feel better eating heather fair, try to eat heather. If you feel none the better, stay your course and don't sweat it.