Food stress

Yikes. This is what happens when I let up just the least bit on the diet discipline. I am up 3 pounds from my goal weight, which, by the way, lasted only that one week. The weight comes back right to my midriff, a ballooning muffin top that I can feel growing by the day.

I just dumped into the trash the cinnamon rolls and Pringles that my latest houseguest didn’t finish. I didn’t even compost them. They would poison the animals that check out the garbage. What possessed me to buy bread, chips, ice cream? The stress of not knowing what to feed people.

The food thing is really the biggest stress of having houseguests. This is true even when it’s our kids, whether it’s their food restrictions or ours, or the changing tastes of the little one. We develop our own eating and food prep patterns. As a good hostess I am attentive to the tastes of my guests and I don’t feel quite right just making them eat the way I do day by day.

I just read an article about Bill Clinton going vegan. He entertained the reporter, who was expecting tasteless food. Of course, some wonderful chef had laid out a feast of all kinds of wonderful salads and dips and beany things–things I know how to prepare, and also how much time it takes to do so. Sure, it is wonderful to go vegan, and you can make things taste really good as long as the people you are serving have a sense of food adventure and you have time and you don’t mind missing the mark sometimes with a dish.

But my guest for much of the past two weeks was a teenager from Congo who was accustomed to an entirely predictable diet of rice, fufu, manioc greens, meat, and fish (not so much the fish). Back home she’d also had a chance to develop a taste for soft bread and chips of all kinds, as well as sweets, especially vanilla ice cream. So after I had watched her picking at my healthy vegetables and mostly leaving them on the plate and taking her slender self away from the table to chat with her 2,000 facebook friends on my iPad, I started giving in to her tastes and let her pick her diet off the grocery shelves, rather than trying to cook up, juice, and salad-i-fy my bounty of CSA produce. In the process, I got off track myself because I don’t like to prepare two or three different dinners.

I can’t blame Deborah for those 3 pounds. My body is just trying really hard to get fat again. There is no such thing as a weight-maintenance diet for me. It is lose or gain and I’m gaining, fast. Gotta go back to losing.

But first we are getting together with my brothers and spouses this weekend in North Dakota. Most of us struggle with the weight thing but I don’t see us getting together to go on long walks. We will eat together (all healthy food of course) and sit around talking and laughing and arguing. I’ll probably pack on another pound because that’s just the way it is. A good time will be had by all.

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