I really should have my "knows how to feed herself" license taken away. It's what I imagine they give you when you move away from home, go to college, and are given a meal plan. The meal plan at least prevents you from eating 75 times a day (although mine allowed me to eat 4x/day which meant I could buy Ben and Jerry's at the nighttime convenience store every night. And I did.), but it does not dictate what those meals should consist of. This is why the freshman 15 happens, because of the endless pasta sources in dining halls across the country.
But that's not what this is about. The college meal plan is like the Learner's Permit of the eventual full-blown Eating License you'll eventually receive. The Eating License is ultimate freedom. Buy your own food with your own money because it'll keep hunger at bay/fuel exercise/taste good/whatever your priority is. Being a real, responsible adult who chooses and buys her own food. That is where I fail. Nick and I headed to Belgium last week and on the FIRST DAY, within hours of leaving home, I had beer. Actually, beers. Plural beers. These were the first of lots of beers. On the plane, when offered naan and yogurt (we were flying on Jet Airways, an Indian airline with actual decent airplane food!), I gladly ate. When we got to the hotel and the eggs at the breakfast buffet were clearly made with copious amounts of cream/butter, I ate. Then there was more beer. Then there was lost luggage and stress eating and beer! and "oh, you guys serve fries with mayonnaise as the dipping sauce? I'll take 4 please!" It was vacation eating at its best, except I also took a vacation from eating anything that might marginally make me feel ok. No fruit for days and days. Almost non-existent salads. No grains. Little protein. Little water. Sadness. For a whole week.
Needless to say, I was varying degrees of miserable during the whole trip. So I got home a few days ago, and tried to resume eating normally. And then Nick said "man I have a lot of ice cream in the freezer" and I decided I'd eat all of that too. I insist on making poor decisions. Since spending 5 weeks of my life trying to make myself feel better, you'd think I would have learned something. Like, avoiding things that trigger stomach problems is worth the trouble. Seriously, it is so worth it to have energy, sleep well, and not have to deal with heartburn and the other nastiness I have going on. Although the beer was mostly worth the trouble it caused (I'm looking at you, Chimay Tripel, a.k.a. beer made of joy), I don't think multiple servings of pasta and cheese and tofu were. I can eat cheese anywhere. I have cheese in my fridge right this minute. And tofu is just not that special either.
Right now, I'm struggling to balance eating what I want while watching for things that'll upset my stomach but not being too obsessive but being mindful but having fun but...but...but... It's just a lot of work. I love food. I love experiencing new restaurants. I love overthinking, but not because I actually love it. I love overthinking because it gives me control. And that's not healthy. But then it spirals into "don't overthink it! eat what you want!" and what I want is wheat-y noodles and fried things. The world is my oyster! Oyster made of stomach cramps. Given the choice between a salad and a pile of pasta, the salad actually sounds good.
So tomorrow, when I set off on my epic journey to New Zealand for the Wedding of the Century (I get to call it that), I need to remember these things. Not only because I'll be sharing a tiny, mobile bathroom with my husband (AHHHHHH HUSBAND!!! EXCITEMENT!!!!), but also because it's not that hard to say no to a dinner roll. Lentils are awesome. I'll have more lentils.
I'm about to be married. I'm an adult. I know how to feed myself properly. I just need to be less of an idiot about it.