Karen’s Home food with Karen offers up lots of opportunities and challenges.

Karen’s Home food with Karen offers up lots of opportunities and challenges.

Well yesterday was Saturday and the first day when I had my lovely wife Karen, the love of my life, home and spending time with me. We were packing and getting ready to leave for Marquette MI to spend Christmas with my family.

I love cooking for Karen. In our relationship I do the cooking and she cleans up. We also have some old colluding and co-dependancies around food and exercise. Karen is currently on Weight-Watchers and doing all sorts of exercise in her own program. In fact in the days before I realized that I needed to create my own program I was heading towards joining Karen, yet again, for another program together. In the past we have started and failed at and ended many different programs together. Often ending them because the coluisions got so out of hand the program lost all meaning. So with all that backstory, I offered to cook breakfast for the two of us and said very clearly what I was cooking, a couple pieces of lean bacon and a tomato, onion & feta scramble. She said that would be great for her and she only wanted 1 piece of bacon and 1 egg, that sounded good to me, so I cooked half the bacon and eggs I would normally have cooked and we sat down at the counter to a delicious breakfast together, WITH NO COLLUSION.

I knew we were joining friends for dinner that night and that, according to my plan, I needed to have a little lunch to go with my supplements and to keep the temptation of afternoon snacking at bay. So I had 2/3s of a bowl of carrot cashew soup and asked Karen if she wanted any. She said no, now here is where my insides went all mushy and codependent on me and I kicked into gear all my judgments and “caretaking” behaviors, and I said “are you sure?” And then she said “yes I’m sure we just had that big breakfast”. Now my reaction to a comment like that is normally hurt, doubt and resistance. I mean we had breakfast 4 and a half hours earlier and I knew that I wasn’t eating again until dinner in 5 more hours and this was the time to get a bite. I was RIGHT and I had a moment of my usual needing to get in to her business and guilt trip her into eating with me because now I too was in doubt and guilt.

The good news is I went through all of those scenarios internally in about a second or two and didn’t say a word. I just let it go and went and had my soup.

We joined some good friends for dinner and found another edge that I find to be the hardest edge of all so far. I realize that I often eat to please others. I have learned that people like it when I truly savor and enjoy their food and drink. They respond by giving me more food, which I dutifully eat and rave over. Well last night was slightly different in the sense I was much more conscious to what was happening. I was open and transparent with these people I loved about my program. I had less then I would normally have of the cheese and crackers before dinner and more then my moderation would have liked. The hors d’ourves and nibble and graze part of social eating is probably my most challenging. I need to learn a kind of restraint in my moderation that is different then what I deal with when I sit down to a plate of food.

Well we sat down to a lovely salad that was a small spinach salad with hazelnuts, pomegranate, and kumquats, It was already portioned out small, and I still could have left some on the plate as a practice in moderation, however if I am going to clean my plate, cleaning up a salad plate is a good choice. The main course was a big piece of lasagna, (they handed the two biggest pieces to the two big men at the table, guess who one of them was) and broccoli rabe. I think by the time I got to the lasagna I was just eating out of habit and making the conversation more important . I had a modicum of aware as I was carving out my bites of Lasagna that I could stop, so the consciousness voice was there, and I didn’t stop. By the time the lemon tart came out even that consciousness voice had gone quiet and it is only now as I write do I realize that I could have left some of that on the plate, while I was eating it, though, I had zero possibility of that.

We left this very interesting dinner with excellent conversation and went and listened to Chanticleer mens chorus sing so beautifully tears came to our eyes as we welcomed in the Christmas season.

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