I Fell Off the Wagon with Calzone

DunnEnzie's calzone and caesar salad. Photo by: Annie Zalezsak

In January 2013, I stopped eating wheat. Having experienced health issues, I gradually improved my diet to the point where I was eating all organic meat, almost all organic produce, green drinks and supplements. I felt better and better. I consulted with a nutritionist and everything was going really well.

My last blood test results hadn’t been so good. Instead of further improving my habits, I fell off the wagon. After a week of eating badly, I saw my nutritionist. She pointed out this often happens after an unexpected test result. I cried. I had come so far, I had done so well, felt much better and now I had gone and spoiled it all.

Plus, I still wanted to go get a calzone right after my appointment.

“Then have it,” she said.

What? Can I really?

Her main concern had always been how strictly I was sticking with my diet. I wasn’t allowing myself to veer off (except for chocolate). I could not imagine myself eating any other way ever again.

But current life stress was freaking me out and it was showing up in my food choices.

For the next 7 days she told me to eat whatever I want. Yes. Whatever. Only catch is, I have to ask myself ‘why’ I want it, and what does it make me ‘feel’.

Why did I want the calzone? I felt anger, anger, anger.

“Why anger?” she asked.

“I should have the right to eat what I want.” I said.

“What does eating the calzone make you feel?” she asked.

“Freedom. Normalcy. Like I’m normal again. [No health issues.]” I replied.

Ah.

Getting in touch with the feelings, she said, will help me find a balanced way of eating again. If I wasn’t so strict and self-denying and I permit myself to ‘choose’ certain things despite their effects, it’s no longer a fight against temptation. It’s a negotiation.

“By the way, I’m surprised you lasted as long as you did, being so strict.” Really? “…and that you came to me so soon after falling off. Most people wait about 6 months.”

That made me feel better. I didn’t want the calzone any more. I was hungry (it was past lunch time), but I really wanted to get in touch with what I was feeling. I went for a walk and sat by the lake for almost an hour, pondering all of this.

Okanagan Lake, Kelowna | Photo credit: Annie Zalezsak

I began feeling more like having a big salad with chicken strips at Boston Pizza instead. After dwelling on food, feelings and reasons, I stuck with the calzone. I also got caesar salad. With croutons.

The other part of the nutritionist’s deal was to eat mindfully: to bring my attention fully to the food, no distractions. My mind wandered constantly. When I could remember to bring it back to the food, I did so with the Ho’oponopono words, “I love you. Thank you.”

I ate every last morsel.

About an hour later, I had some chocolate, too.

Photo credit: Annie Zalezsak

Today, it was a falafel pita, full of veggies. Not quite as bad.
Plus chocolate, of course.

I wonder what food and feelings will come up for me tomorrow.

© July 12, 2013 | Annie Zalezsak

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