Lady Sisyphus Breaks Up

Posted on January 4, 2012


This is me.

This is me during the first few days after resolving to eliminate sugar and refined goods from my diet.

Eliminating certain foods from my diet is difficult. It shouldn’t be. After all, food is food. But for me, food is much more. It is a relationship. And when I eliminate certain foods, it is like I am going through a really really hard breakup.

I was never good with breakups. I was the girl who couldn’t take a hint and stuck around until the guy said, “Please leave now. My girlfriend doesn’t like you hanging around here.” Even if I was the one who initiated the breakup, I would eventually beg for the guy to come back. “Plllllleeeeeeeaaaaaaassssseee! I can’t live without you!” I’d cry, play sad songs, write poetry, do anything to process my extreme sadness over having “loved and lost.”  (I sincerely apologize to all my college roommates.) I’d call the guy to make sure it was over, “‘Cause, you know, he could change his mind!” Meanwhile, I’d annoy my friends with my self-obsessed behavior and inability to move on.

Oh wait, I was talking about food…

I look forward to certain foods, namely anything that is packaged, full of sugar and/or contains a mile-long list of unpronounceable ingredients. Those foods get me. They soothe me when I am stressed or downtrodden or bored or happy or indifferent. They require no effort. They are always there. I don’t have a lot of them around but the few that I do keep calling me. Through the years I’ve answered with a pretty consistent, “Yes.” I don’t binge but I do know there are better things I could be eating.

I know these foods are bad for me. The list of reasons is long. To keep the list short, let’s just say that Michael Pollan is my secret crush and my favorite movie is Food, Inc. There is every reason for me to walk away from all things sugar, white flour, processed, refined and industrialized. It should be easy, especially now that there are many “whole food” options in the marketplace. So why is it so difficult?

I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s that I’ve eaten these foods for so long that my body chemistry has changed and I am now addicted. I am Lady Franken-Sisyphus. Must. Have. Fake. Food.

Or, perhaps I am a person who uses certain foods to process emotions and when they are not there, I go haywire and want to move in with the old boyfriend because he is familiar and comfortable. (What new girlfriend?)

Whatever it is, I am in the first few days of my breakup and it’s hard. But I’d rather do this than keep pushing that stone uphill.