The other night, I ate chocolate while lying flat on my back. Before you TLC producers contact me to appear on the next season of My 600-lb Life, please note that this is due to a back problem, not an eating disorder (although I concede that experts might disagree).
At the time, I thought it was going pretty well. First of all, I felt lucky even to find it. I had hidden it from my kids so they wouldn’t get to it first. And even though this particular chocolate bar had small chunks of almond nougat, I never choked. Only when I got up did I notice pieces of foil and paper on the floor, and not until the next morning did I realize that there were chocolate bits embedded in my pajama top. Still, I considered this a partial success, and expected with practice I could get better at recumbent eating.
My belief that things will work out is mostly an asset. My optimism isn’t bottomless, but when a long view can help me go the distance, I grab my binoculars, or even a telescope, and try to appreciate the perspective. Is that a red-tailed hawk? Jupiter’s moons? A pain-free existence? On the downside, it has probably stopped me from taking steps that might actually help me now.
When I told a friend about the challenges of recumbent eating, she gave me a kind but honest talking-to. Why hadn’t I considered some reasonable options more seriously? And while she admired my excellent posture while standing…always standing…the grimace wasn’t my best look. She reminded me how I’m always preaching that people should not be in pain when there are options at their disposal, yet I had not availed myself of all of my options.
Do as I say, not as I do: guilty as charged. I never comment about someone else’s situation without recognizing that it is easy to solve other people’s problems in theory and that I have no idea what they’re experiencing unless I’ve been through same myself. But, of course, part of me unfairly wonders why they just don’t do what they have to do (aka, what I think they should do). I find myself in this netherworld of disappointment in what I’ve already tried that hasn’t worked, distaste for the extreme inefficiency of this process, and fear of invasive methods that may fail, all of which make physical pain seem almost tolerable. Almost.
It might take a few more recumbent eating sessions to get off my pain-ridden ass and try something more aggressive than ice, prescription Advil, and wishful thinking. Hot soup, lobster in the shell, fettuccine Alfredo eaten in a prone position on the living room sofa could be just the menu for change. (TLC producers, I told you to back off.) In the meantime, you won’t be surprised if while admiring my posture and wondering if I’ve smelled something funny, you see cream sauce on my shirt.
This is an original post for JerseyMomsBlog by Tara Spinelli, whose talented writing can also be found at Taraspinelli.com.