Am I the only one who has trouble getting to things on time all day if I woke up too late or too slowly? It’s like if I wake up at the wrong time, some of the nerves in my arms and legs don’t work right, and they never get back on track. This has been especially true these last few weeks of school.

Lately I’m realizing all sorts of reasons for why I’m looking forward to going home, and another is eating. I’m trying to get back to running multiple times a week and lifting a few times a week as well, and it’s hard when my eating is so messed up. I start teaching at 8 most days a week, which means that either

a. I go without food until I’m almost faint

b. I eat really early beforehand.

I hate doing a. because I hate that woozy feeling and it usually makes me overcompensate, especially if there’s food on hand (multi packs are my hell). I also hate b., though, because then I eat more all day. I personally hate the crap about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I didn’t eat a full breakfast for probably 3/4 of college and a reasonably large portion of high school. In college especially I learned that if I eat too early, I never stop eating all day; if I eat too much when I do start eating, I’m sluggish for hours. I think my ideal eating schedule would begin somewhere between 9 am and 10.30 with a light snack; I used to go to the cafe at school and get a snall pastry or a small bag of candy or something because it was sugar, but it wasn’t a huge bunch of food. That would usually keep me going until a late lunch of somewhere between 12 at the earliest and 1 or 1.30. Days when I had lunch earlier, like 11.30, I tried to have no food at all before that, except maybe fruit, or I would have my snack food around 8 instead. Especially the last couple of years, I usually at dinner early, at 4.30 or 5 pm, with almost no snacking in between. I think we’re all different, but I’ve even read studies that said eating small meals all day, like so many diets say to now, actually just means you never stop thinking about food…I know that’s true for me, since I think constantly about food anyway. or I’ll go days without even thinking about what I eat at all.

When I travel, my eating is better than staying at home, which I know isn’t true for everyone. I usually am walking everywhere, which means stopping at a cafe around 8 or 9 for a treat isn’t crazy, since I probably walked a couple miles to get there. Then it’s usually no more food until 11 or noon/when we finally decide to stop. I snack less when I’m walking around a city, too, because the food’s just not available.

I have come to the understanding that I am just a compulsive eater. And I don’t mean like oh derp, I can’t diet, like many people, especially young women, say. I mean I really can’t handle food in my vicinity without eating it. I’m rubbish at parties because I know the food’s there; I have to get myself in a separate corner and a good conversation to forget that it is. I also hate grocery shopping; for foods like cheese, bread, and treats like chocolate, I only buy enough to eat the day of. Otherwise, even if it was a 250 g block of cheese, it’s gone in the same amount of time. I think this is intensified by the fact that I live alone and no one sees me do it.

I also have trouble eating regular meals. After school, because I’ve never eaten at our cafeteria because I can’t, I always want a snack. That snack sometimes becomes 2 or 3 snacks, and then I barely eat dinner. Some days this works and some days it doesn’t. Regardless, that regular evening meal is usually out the window, and so is any concept of “lunch”.

The food-related reasons, then, that I’m looking forward to going home are as follows:

1. I can be home and still be more than 10 ft from the refrigerator.

2. I’ll have other people around to see me eat which, even though they probably (hopefully) won’t be watching me eat, will make me notice what I eat.

3. Dinner. Oh, dinner. I actually want to do a lot of cooking this summer (heads up, mom!) and even if I don’t, I’m looking forward to the concept of an evening meal again, something made with more than 2 minutes’ preparation and eaten at a dining room table (which I also don’t have, or any eating area, actually).

4. Breakfast when I want it. The funny thing is I’ve acted on an empty stomach, sung on an empty stomach (it actually helps to not eat too much before singing), led worship on one, and even run races on one, but teaching makes me feel like I need to eat in order to remain coherent. Not like even that makes me always sound coherent…Anyway, no longer teaching means I don’t have to eat breakfast until I actually legitimately want to.

5. Options. I’m cheap and that makes buying vegetarian food here a little limited. Especially since, as I said, being by myself makes buying things like cereal or cheese in bulk utterly pointless. I keep as little food on hand as possible for that reason, which makes food boring.

There are certainly other reasons I can’t think of right now, but these are a few of the big ones. Most of which can be summed up in the comment, “Elizabeth can’t live alone.”


Author: elizabethlorraine

Writer, actress, runner, knitter, and geek.

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