I suppose the big news today is that there is no news.
I didn’t have breakfast. Lunch was spartan but tasty and the portion was small.
I drank water, said “No, thanks.” to chocolate, twice, and skipped the fries which came with my calamari dinner.
It was an easy day. A breeze. No inner voice seducing me with promises epicurean: mountains of soft, sweet and tangy cheese; logs of rank wet biltong or sheets of crisp bacon nestling in delicate, rich croissants, oozing truffle mushrooms and cream cheese. No. None of that.
So on a day like today it would be easy to think my eating is not a problem. It’s easy to conveniently forget how bad it got.
Let me tell you about one of the worst days of bingeing. A Sunday. My sister-in-law’s mum passed away, after a short illness. The whole family was in shock. I don’t deal well with death. In fact I don’t deal with death at all, ever.
So I took a road trip – just like the day my dad died when I was 13. When he died, I got on my bike and rode until the tears stopped coming. I don’t do tears anymore. I don’t know how to…cry. I have completely shut that emotional response down and conditioned it out of my system by applying loads of cocaine to my emotions for many years.
Although the cocaine has stopped, the tears don’t come when they need to. They didn’t come when my mum died, or when my stepmum died. They didn’t come when my complicated friendships in Jozi ended, nor did they come when Rokela died last December, in a brutal, violent car accident.
And food has taken the gap left by the cocaine.
So when Lara’s mum died, I got in my car and I drove all around the bay, taking photos, distracting myself – and ended up at fastfood drive-thru.
Between my gluttony triggered by emotions and the clerk’s misunderstanding my order, I went home with six meals and three litres of coke.
“I won’t eat it all now. I’ll save some for later. Or tomorrow.” I lied to myself.
We all know that didn’t happen. I sat on my bed and ate all of it. All six meals. Drank all three litres of coke.
Two burgers. Two wraps. Two dozen chicken wings. Fries. And three litres of coke.
My friend Shirley worked out the calories. Normal calorific intake for an adult male is between 2,200 and 2,500 calories per day.
This meal was 7,278 calories.
This meal alone was nearly three times what my daily intake should have been.
And I still had dinner after that.
And this is why I need to change my relationship with food. It’s Russian Roulette – where the Russian is an oily, greasy sausage and the bullet is a heart attack waiting to happen.
Day 5 was a breeze. But this journey is not about days like today. It’s about the days where life rises up and ambushes me with unwanted emotions. It’s about having a controlled but still human response to uncontrollable human experience.
© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.