Patricia’s Story: War and Peace

Trisha has been at war with food for so long we clapped when she said, "I’m at peace." She had embraced weighing and measuring her food and always packs meals for work. She used to resent the box she’d placed herself in. But after a few months of just doing it to make good on her promise to herself, she started to love the box. "Hunger started to feel more like a normal sensation, not an enemy to be vanquished with urgent eating. My box feels more like a puppy crate now, not confinement but comforting as it becomes my routine." 

I was jealous. Even when her husband brings home her old favorites, Trisha feels peace. She knows that that food is not for her. My story is different. 

A few days ago, I came home with my twin tween boys to find my oldest teenage son gloating over the Coke in the fridge, purchased by dad with pizza while the three of us were briefly away. There was one small bottle left. 

It came to physical violence. The Lego flew. The Nerf ball launcher turned into a club. The drumsticks were drawn in a battle to decide who would get the last bottle of Coke. 

I know not to engage. My own body is already a battleground. Food calls to me. It has a very loud voice. I have to work really hard to stay on my own center, which is harder when Lego are flying and my children are threatening each other with drumsticks. 

Can't they see that junk food turns them into madmen? I understand adolescent boys get physical, but this went way behind boys being boys. They pounded on each other and were threatening to hurt each other even more, spewing insults, and trying to break even more special Lego creations. Can’t my husband see that when they eat junk, they go crazy? 

The miracle that day was that I shut off the Xbox and sent them outside. I went out to the garden and did chores and started dinner instead of entering the fray. In the past I would have become enraged and threatened to smash the Nerf gun. We’re all addicts. We all have powerful reactions to our favorite junk. My goal is to stay my course, just like Trisha did, until my preferred way of being becomes comfy. Like a puppy crate. I will remind myself that the strongest of all warriors are time and patience.

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