The gateway drug theory (also called gateway theory, gateway hypothesis and gateway effect) is the hypothesis that the habitual use of less deleterious drugs may lead to a future risk of using more dangerous hard drugs and crime. - Wikipedia, so it must be true.
For me, there are gateway foods and gateway behaviors, things that just lead me to do other things that don't support my efforts at improving my wellness. Like right now, I'm bored and I feel sluggish and tired. I don't know why. I've been eating on plan, I got plenty of sleep, and I've been drinking plenty of water. I'm not due for another round of my menstrual cycle for weeks. And yet, here I am, and feeling like this leads me to want to eat something that I shouldn't be eating. I just had a Medifast Orange Creme 55 shake. It was delicious. I drank water. My stomach is full. But the desire to eat is there, nagging at me.
So let's trouble-shoot this. I'm tired and I don't know why, and while I'd normally eat for extra energy, that's not what I really want to do. Perhaps I just need to take a little nap. It's 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The boys want to go to the movies and we need to leave in 45 minutes to get money and tickets. I have time for a quick nap...
...So it's now nearing 11 p.m. I had my little nap, which really helped! I felt much better afterwards. The boys and I decided to go see a movie. They saw G.I. Joe, but I went to see Julie & Julia. It was a truly lovely movie and I was really moved by it. Some really good humor in it. The theater was full of couples in their 50s and older, as well as some older single women in groups. And me, by myself. *sigh* Are you feeling a pity party coming on?
Julia Child's husband, if the depiction was accurate, was a wonderfully supportive man who completely adored and admired his wife, and the feeling was mutual. That made me wistful for a good relationship, which led to more sadness and lonliness after I left the theater. I had so many things in common with Julia Child, beyond the love of food and cooking. I too lived the expatriate life. While I was never faced with hat-making classes, I was subjected to pressure to join quilting clubs, play bridge, drink a lot more. I made some really great friends along the way, but every four to five years, our family was uprooted and I had to start all over again. I had projects going, relationships formed, ambitions of my own. But it was clear that my life was not my own. And when I forced the issue and really did make a name for myself based on my own successes, I was summarily dumped and sent back to the U.S.
So now I'm back where I have no reputation, all my friends live hours away or on other continents, and I have to start all over again. And no one's hiring middle-aged women with no marketable skills. It won't even get me a writing job! (I warned you, it's a pity party!)
I ate when I got home. I made good choices (mixed green salad, Wasa cracker and yogurt cheese), but I just kept going back for more. Even now, I'm edgy and wanting to blot out the pain of a failed marriage and the desire to go back to the kitchen and get out a can of turkey chili is quite strong. And I want cheese on it, melted, and a dollop of sour cream. I already had a small piece of candy...okay, three...but I'm now hiding out in my bedroom with a bottle of water and my TV remote. It's nearly midnight and my eyelids are drooping. But if I turn out the lights and get quiet, my brain will turn on and I'll have to relive my ugly past again.
Julia spent eight years working on her first book. It was a masterpiece. Gone With the Wind also took nearly eight years of Margaret Mitchell's life. I'm 1/3 of the way done with mine, but it's been set aside for the last five. I want to move forward with it. I'm not afraid to do that, but I want to turn out a masterpiece too. I have three plays and two other books that I have notes on. But I have more to learn, about life, about writing and literature. And I have commitments and obligations I can't ignor. Some day. I won't give up.
Okay, pity party is over. What does one serve at a pity party? Fudge!