Thursday, June 2, 2011

Om nom nom....oh no.

In the last two weeks, I've developed a whole new relationship with food. I don't seem to be having the typical morning sickness that tortures so many women: I'm not so crippled with nausea that being near food is a disaster, I'm not vomiting uncontrollably if I happen to catch a whiff, and I can comfortably put and keep food down. I am, however, really iffy on the idea of eating. In the mornings, eating settles my stomach, but it feels like I'm prolonging the inevitable. In the evenings, however, pretty much everything unsettles my stomach just enough to make me kind of dubious before I eat. I imagine it's how professional skiers feel before attempting a tricky jump: "This could be awesome, or I could end in a bloody, crumpled pile, but in any case, it's going to be amazing for at least few seconds and there will absolutely be pain."

So far, any other unpleasant symptoms (which have thankfully been few) pale in comparison to the psychological side of things. I'm growing paranoid about eating the right food and avoiding scary stuff so that you can grow healthy and strong (and without flippers), but I'm in this really weird position of wanting to avoid putting on weight yet because - oh, right - we're getting married in three weeks. Yes. This is shallow. It's not quite "give me a tummy tuck so I don't need to put effort into losing weight naturally after birth" shallow, but on my personal spectrum, it feels nearly as bad. I feel like a total douchebag for not wanting to eat those required many cups of whole grains every day because they go straight to my ass, and I don't mean in the healthy digestive way, I mean in the "why don't my underwear fit anymore? I thought these bastards were elastic!" way.

As one may recall from my earlier post on the glories and joys of bacon, food is pretty important to me. After a rough day of work, basically nothing helps me decompress like cooking something complicated. Even a not-so-rough day seems to end better when I've spent upwards of an hour concocting something schmanzy. I know a lot of this is because cooking with my dad was such a treat for me growing up. It wasn't even a rare occurrence; we cooked together most nights of the week, and for literally every special occasion we hosted at home. Still, that quality time with my father made food - and eating it - a truly powerful and beautiful element of life.

I've spent the last few years working out an eating plan healthier than my college habits, which admittedly were not nearly as awful as most undergrads'. Now, instead of eating a paper cup filled with sausage links for breakfast (not proud of that) and four or five cups of coffee, I do a granola bar and single cup of coffee. Midmorning, instead of cheese fries or a bag of something (anything), a cup of plain yogurt with fruit. Instead of lunch being a monstrosity of a sandwich with two meats and basically every spread or garnish the on-campus cafe had to offer, I eat a big salad with grilled chicken, crumbled cheese, and homemade dressing. Dinner was always one of the better meals of the day, usually consisting of whatever meat looked least dubious in the dining hall and a pile of veggies (which is actually pretty close to what I do now, except that our meat options are basically never dubious), but now I forgo the meal that I lovingly titled "inevitability." Inevitability was the extra meal that inevitably took place some time after 8:00PM and before sleep, whenever that was. Now, I basically don't eat after 8:00PM at all, rather than hopping out the door just before midnight to grab something crazy unhealthy at the 24-hour diner. All of the "now"s in this paragraph, however, referred to two weeks prior to the "now" that is right this second. I've learned to love quality food, not just food that is delicious because it's deep fried and often covered in bacon and cheese..then served with an adult beverage.

NOW, as in "while I sit here writing this," things are a bit different. Food - whether eating it, preparing it, shopping for it, or basically anything that involves me and edible substances - has become an unpleasant chore akin to scrubbing the dusty grime that somehow accumulates behind the toilet. Someone has to do it, because not doing it is completely unacceptable for health, social, and ethical reasons, but I sure as hell don't want to.

Batman, this sucks! I totally don't blame you, but geez, I will be so excited to move past the "nothing appeals to me, even in the least" stage of things to some kind of unrestrained cravings. I'm actually pretty excited to discover what I end up wanting: some people stay pretty simple in their desires, like a friend who could only stomach peaches for months, but I'm kind of hoping I want something bizarre, like bagel chips and tikka masala sauce...or pickled okra dipped in salsa...or peanut butter on a spoon dipped in bacon bits...but for now, I'm choking down whatever gets plopped in front of me. Ryan is being amazing about doing a lot of the prep work and trying to only cook things that actually appeal to me, thankfully, so I know I'm not even close to not eating enough. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've put on a a few pounds since you showed up, which is giving me Pregnant In Heels-style anxiety about fitting into my unalterable wedding dress. I feel like a jerk. A pudgy, cranky, vaguely nauseous jerk.

On the other hand, I had a pretty cool moment in the car the other day. I was driving by a restaurant out near the mall, and - for the first time - I said something out loud to you. Even though I'm being a crappy role model for reveling in the glory of beloved foods right now, this is something I truly hope you inherit from me. I told you "I really hope you like Indian food," and boy, did I mean it.

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