Free to Be You and Me and Gluten-Free

Lily pads at our local art museum.
The blog “The Wanderlust Gene” posted a lily photo today… but hers is actually growing wild in Sri Lanka. I have feelings of inadequacy.

Miles run today: 9

Temperature forecast for this afternoon: 105

Hours spent walking through the woods at a local park yesterday: 2

I have spent the week cooking gluten-free: fish and rice and vegetable, meat and rice and vegetable, even turkey meatballs (no breading) and rice and vegetable.

I have been so hungry, y’all.

I do realize that if I were to eat in this manner at all times, I would lose roughly 10 pounds in 10 days hours. This is because my current diet includes things like Cracklin’ Oat Bran, sweet tea, Goodberry’s ice cream and our neighbor’s divine peach cobbler (positively riddled with gluten).

My mother-in-law is living the gluten-free lifestyle that so many espouse these days. And while she is here, we want her to stay healthy and happy.

This week, I maintained a veneer of calm strength: I cooked pure things. No shredded cheese in sight. No spaghetti. No stir fry. Nothing bad for us in any way.

A sad fact: while in the ocean, I contemplated grabbing a tiny shark and gnawing at it, but it swam away very quickly. It could sense my desperation.

In a purely perverse way that I am not proud of, I tend to crave things that are denied to me.

Historically, my mother bore the brunt of my annoying denial/acting out. When she was baking things, I would stand beside her as she measured flour or sugar. She would ask me to be quiet and still. She would count, “1, 2…” and I would hurriedly rattle off, “3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10!” She found it annoying. (I still do it today: I am sure one day she will discover she secretly loves it.)

When we would go out to swanky restaurants, my sister and I were (mostly) very well-behaved. However, I had a penchant for fits of laughter at inappropriate times. The restaurant (for instance, Galatoire’s in New Orleans) would be calm, dignified… and it would make me giggle. And then my mom, who was mostly likely imagining herself childless and among demure adults, would whisper, “Anne, please stop.”

That was exactly the wrong thing to say.

Ridiculous, over-the-top giggling would commence.

There are other ways I know I should act appropriately but don’t.

My husband and I went in for my son’s third grade conference a couple of years ago. The teacher kept bringing up these evaluation tools called “Dibls” (sp?) (pronounced “dibbles”). I couldn’t help it; professional jargon starts me laughing. Do they really expect me to take something pronounced “dibbles” seriously?

My husband started sympathizing with my mom that day. He kept nudging me to get me to stop and giving me “that look,” but that, of course, made things worse.

How the teacher kept a straight face during all those conferences is beyond me. I would have to provide a written disclaimer before every parent conference if I were a teacher: “I am unable to discuss Dibls with you. Please read about them online at this link:____”

My complete lack of self-control may be one reason why I run: for me, it’s easier to add an activity than to take one away. I’ve tried cutting way back on sugar, only drinking wine on every seventh Saturday (or whatever) and cutting out most processed foods.

These things don’t seem to stick.

I am most impressed with people who have denied themselves some key and beloved item and branched out into some alternative lifestyle. If you are one of these people, I will be admiring you from afar and chanting from the “Moderation is key” handbook.

Because somewhere, there is a baby shark being born who is not a very fast swimmer. And he may not appreciate becoming sushi at the water’s edge.

12 thoughts on “Free to Be You and Me and Gluten-Free

  1. crubin says:

    Like you, I seem incapable of completely eliminating a food vice–it would only make me want it more. That being said, I rarely eat anything fried, too creamy, too buttery, etc., but knowing that I can on occasion makes it easier to avoid.. 🙂 Too bad I’m not as disciplined when it comes to baked goods and chocolate. Ooh, peach cobbler, you say?…

    • annewoodman says:

      Yes, we typically eat healthy foods… but I have to have variety. If I feel forced to eat the same things, I start rebelling. Not very mature, but true.

  2. jmmcdowell says:

    Lovely weather around the Atlantic, isn’t it? My husband took his “power walk” this morning before work and was drenched when he got back. It wasn’t too hot, but the humidity was wicked. We topped out at 100 this afternoon. No like!

    Complete denial is hard. So far I haven’t managed it, and I hope I never need to. I’m hoping the exercise and fairly decent overall diet will help. How can something as delicious as chocolate not be healthy? 🙂

    • annewoodman says:

      Yes, the weather definitely took a turn! Last night, a tree fell across a neighbor’s fence and new deck in bizarre high winds. (This was after 105 degree temps during the day.)

      Chocolate is here for a reason: to be eaten, plain and simple. But yes, I try to maintain a balance… then I don’t feel so bad when I have a bite of Toblerone. ; )

      • jmmcdowell says:

        Oh, we had those storms, too. More than 1 million people around DC are without power today. And it’s another scorcher. We needed rain, but not with intense winds and lightning.

  3. Holly says:

    Dibls, OMG. Classic! I sometimes get the giggles when clients start in with their business lingo.

    I did not have you pegged as a shark hunter! Sharks beware!

  4. What a good girl you’ve been – I hope the kids enjoyed their new diet too?
    PS My little blue lily is growing in a pot on my bedroom balcony – hopefully the beginning of a new colony I can transplant to the wild when I leave:)

  5. Melissa says:

    I am not good with denial either. I would never give up my wine and I don’t think anyone who knows or lives with me wants me too either….it’s Mother’s little helper 🙂

    • annewoodman says:

      Yes, I have my comforts, and it’s funny how I’ve trained myself to expect them. When I don’t get orange juice in the morning, it’s not going to be a good day. Don’t even talk to me. Don’t look at me. Bring me SOME JUICE! And wine and chocolate aren’t far behind.

      Hope all is well in Melissa-land! ; )

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