Thursday, June 11, 2015

I Want to Eat Everything in the World

Michael: June 11, 2015: 284 pounds

This scene from Hayao Miyazaki's amazing film Spirited Away pretty much describes how I felt last night. I wanted to eat everything in the world: hamburgers, pizza, cheesecake, pets and small children. Internally, I was on a rampage.

But the thing is, I wasn't hungry. I had three decent meals yesterday, and I felt reasonably full at night. Hunger was not driving me to start rampaging through all of the fast food restaurants on Tyler Ave. It was something else. Instinct perhaps? Some people just want to see the world burn. I want to see it barbecue.

At the bottom of it was something like fear: I was afraid that the food would all be gone. I was afraid that I was passing up my last chance to eat. I was afraid that, if I didn't eat the cow the cow would eat me. I was afraid that I would be hit by a beer truck and die, making all of this "eating right" stuff an incredible waste of opportunities for food.  

On the abstract level, this is an interesting insight--the sort of thing that one might write book about or discuss with good friends until the wee hours of the morning. On the practical level, it totally sucks because it means that solving the hunger problem won't solve the weight problem. More and more I am realizing that being hungry is only one of the reasons that I eat--and not even a particularly important one.

It was while trying to restrain my inner No-Face that we had air-conditioning issues and I had to go to Ace Hardware to get a new filter. One would think it would be a safe place, but, even after driving past a Taco Bell, a Wendys, a Pizza Hut, a Dairy Queen, and an Arbys to get there, I had to deal with the fact that there is a surprising amount of food in hardware stores--none of it good. We're talking about huge bags of chips, cracker jacks, candy bars, and enormous bags of little unmelted chocolate disks that people use to make custom candies.

I ate at least one of everything in my head. I imagined how these undifferentiated blobs of pure chocolate would solve all of my problems, at least temporarily, and quiet the rampaging beast inside of me demanding just to eat and eat and eat. Eating was the only way I could silence a noise that had become deafening.

But I was strong. Mostly. I bought a pack of Wrigleys Spearmint Gum--ten calories per stick--and chewed four of them on the way home, and the noise died down--not enough to make me calm, but at least enough to make me able to hear other things. It was 40 calories well consumed.