On Food

I like food but not cooking.  I am good at it and can conjure up something with whatever is around, but it has never grown on me.

Once or twice a year I bake.  For the whole day.  Shortbread, chocolate-chip cookies, other random  biscuits, pies, baklava.  My speciality is a baked chocolate cheese cake.  But once it’s over, it’s over for a while.

Had I lived on my own, I don’t think I would have cooked.  Just snacked.  Or made toast, or mixed tuna and mayo or tinned oysters with biscuit thingy’s.  Even better, I would have just taken supplements.

I usually only have supper, while standing, and quickly.  I don’t sit down to eat unless it is called for.  I’ve never been one for breakfast (unless it is already made), I don’t care for lunch so that leaves dinner.  Everybody says it is bad for you but I don’t know about that.  I think your body just gets on with it.

I have never really had weight issues.  Only when I was on antidepressants.  When I first sought professional help to quit drinking, the doctor put me on a cocktail of antidepressants, sleeping tablets and tranquilizers and by the way, you do not give tranquilizers to an addict LOOOOL!  I remember collecting a script from my pharmacist one day and he exclaimed:  “Mrs. P, what is going on with you?”  Well, I was embarrassed and not about to explain so I mumbled that since our armed robbery I was taking strain.  Whatever.

When I went into rehab the psychiatrist put me on antidepressants, a non-habit forming sleeping tablet and Valium, for withdrawal.  Within 3 days he canned the Valium and in another 2 the sleeping tablets.  I have a letter that my Gran wrote to my Mom when I was about 6, complaining that I never slept.  And I didn’t, until my first night in rehab.  I don’t struggle with insomnia anymore.

Anyway.  I picked up weight.  That horrid feeling when you lie in bed at night and you feel that you have to turn your tummy over separately when you turn over.  Manually.

I also wished I could take my arms and legs off before I went to sleep.  Until someone asked me how I would put them back on in the morning.

By then I had been on the pills for about a year.  I asked the psychiatrist if we could stop.  My depression was a result of my drinking anyway, not the other way around.  I lost most of the weight but was left with a remnant.

And the worst is that you always have those well-meaning souls that have to point out to you that you have picked up weight.  “But not to worry, it really suits you.  You needed a bit of meat on your bones.”  Liars.

Then I remembered that some years ago I lost weight when I upped my intake of water.  But aaarrrggggg!  Water does not appeal to me.  Coffee and whiskey do.  I started drinking warm water (easier) with a little lemon juice (easier still).  I don’t know how long it took, perhaps four or six weeks but eventually I felt like my old self, not conscious of my stomach all the time.  I drink a lot of water, I have a 500ml glass and refill it every time I need to wee.

When I first met my gynaecologist she asked me about my eating habits and said that if my body is used to one meal a day, and always had been, then that is fine for me.  She does however nag about my smoking.  That doesn’t bug me either.  It is as it is and when the time is right, it will sort itself out, like everything else has.

You do have to feel sorry for my boys though.  I pack good lunch boxes with fruit, health bars, rice cakes, fruit sticks, biltong and a roll with cold meats and salads.  And I make supper.  But when they come home in the afternoon and on weekends they have to fend for themselves.  They both cook which is a good thing because most of the girlfriends can’t.

I lay out their plates, knives, forks, butter, toasters, pans and all the paraphernalia the night before so that they can make breakfast in the morning.  I put little notes of redemption with it, or in their lunch boxes, telling them that I love them and that they must have a nice day.

But boys are always hungry!  And according to them there is NEVER any food in this house.  I hope that when they move out one day, it will become clear that there was a lot of food in this house, their mother just didn’t cook it.  And I pray that the lack of cooking in my mothering skills is made up for by something else.

I do like food, I just can’t be bothered.

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