Something hurt me this morning, and threw me for a loop. I had planned a morning of some much needed dissertation research, and, instead, spent my time flipping through old journals and rifling through my memorabilia box. Remind me to put that box in a less accessible spot when we move into our own place.
I was feeling generally morose at lunchtime and reached for the least satisfying lunch I could imagine. A block of goat's milk mozzarella, cold and pungent. A took a few bites started to feel ill -- no surprise there.
And then, for reasons I can't quite access right now, I got off my bed (yeah, I was eating on the bed), walked upstairs and into the kitchen. Without really thinking, I pulled off the pantry shelf a package of rice noodles, and grabbed a bag of spinach from the fridge. Out came a pot, and I set it to boil. A generous glug of olive oil, a dash each of paprika and cumin went into a skillet. I only used a small portion of the rice noodles, so they were done in all of three minutes. Into the skillet they went with a few squirts of shoyu sauce, and in the space of 5 minutes, I had made myself a pretty badass lunch. I made an even better version of this meal last week with some fried egg thrown in: it's essentially healthy, nutrient-filled Chinese take-out.
(If there's interest, I'll post the recipe with photos this week.)
As I ate my lunch, I felt the nourishing noodle concoction filling my tummy and realized that I was eating to satisfy my hunger, not flatten my emotions. I realized that I would be able to stop eating when I was no longer hungry and not until the food was gone. I put the leftovers in what strongly resembled a Chinese take-out container -- in fact, it may actually have once contained Chinese take-out -- and knew that when I got hungry for a snack later, it would look seriously appealing in a way that restaurant leftovers usually look (to me, at least).
I'm sure that I will feel the urge to emotionally eat again, and I'm certain that I will at some point or another sense a binge coming on and be unwilling to put up a fight. But today I made the effort to feel better, not worse. Today I chose me.