Shopping Lists and desire

About a year ago, a typical shopping list for me would have looked like this:

 

Swiss Miss Diet Cocoa Powder

 

Generic brand instant oatmeal (regular flavor)

 

Boca Fat Free Vegan Burgers (the lowest calorie count of all vegetarian burgers—70 calories a patty)

 

Chopped Broccoli

 

Apples

 

Splenda

 

That’s it.  The quantity would vary, depending on my calorie needs/confidence/supply.  But the items would remain the same.  Sometimes a flash of recognition would come, and finally I admitted to myself that I had eaten a packet of oatmeal, doused in a tooth-crushingly sweet amount of artificial sweetener for breakfast, everyday, for four years straight, without variation, even in summer.  Always accompanied by an apple.

 

I was sick of it.  I was living alone—no one would gloat or care if I varied my routine a bit, increased my calorie allotment for the morning to incorporate taste into my food groups.

 

Now my shopping trips are more random—veggie burgers of faux chick’n I like, regardless of calories, different fruits, vegetables (frozen, but with sauce like creamed spinach), avocados, the occasional jar of peanut butter, a bagel or a muffin, even whipped butter, tuna, fat free mayo.  But with variation, shopping takes much longer, agonizingly longer.  What do I want?  What do I really want?  I can’t remember…

 

As a child, I liked hot dogs with mustard, fried clam strips, blueberry-studded frozen waffles and Pop Tarts, birthday cake, pepperoni, and provolone cheese.  All of these things, even if I desired them, would be too harsh on my stomach.  I have tried them all, except for the fried clams and they just don’t do it for me anymore, no more sing.

 

It’s just tough to fast forward from a child’s palate to an eating disordered life and then try to go back and find out what tastes good, with an adult’s tongue but not with an anorexic or bulimic head anymore.

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