When my life presents me with a situation I find disagreeable (such as, for example, my life) I seek an escape. Quite often this escape comes in the form of food. It isn’t that I find food comforting per se, it’s that it gives me a verb, and if I have a verb I must be busy. And if I’m busy, I clearly don’t have time to consider or confront reality.
I don’t have time to think about my budget; I’m eating.
I don’t have time to do my laundry; I’m eating.
I don’t have time to reduce my calories; I’m eati–
In the rational, accessible parts of my brain I know eating is not only unproductive, it is actively counterproductive to many of my goals. But as long as pizza is delicious, I don’t have time to think about that; I’m eating.
Even better is if I eat in front of the TV. What’s that you say? Work on my novel? Piffle! This ice cream carton is still half full and Sheldon is socially awkward! Can’t you see I’m swamped?
Today I desperately wanted to come home and eat. My day was subpar and I’m anxious about the week ahead, but I didn’t want to think about it, I just wanted to relax and escape into a transient sensory experience and a bit of scripted reality with the promise of a happy ending.
But then I’d wake up tomorrow regretting those calories, and I’d probably feel so bloated from my choice in foods that I would also cancel my plans for this evening.
On a thousand other nights I’ve been in this same situation and I’ve ended up at the fridge. Today, with no major life change to explain my sudden resolve, I’m at my keyboard. And that’s why tomorrow I will be a happier person.by