Appetite

Since my stomach gave out on me almost three years ago my eating has changed drastically.  Which led to drastic weight loss.  Which was scary.

But even more disturbing is my relationship to food.

Food for me was wonderful.  Even though at times, I wished that I didn't eat so much of it.  Especially the types of food I enjoyed.  There were cravings.  Sometimes those cravings had nothing to do with actual hunger.  To fight against those almost uncontrollable urges I would fast.  Which led to horrific binges.  I never realized that my eating was a cycle of binging until after I was unwell.  It is almost certain that my binging was a large factor in my current digestion issues today.

I used to crave anything sweet or greasy.  In the sweet category, I used to love cake or cookies.  The morning wasn't complete unless I had a chocolate muffin and a cup of coffee.  In the greasy category it was always french fries or something akin to french fries.  Which almost always led me to Mcdonalds.

Mcdonalds was my favorite place.  I couldn't get enough of it.  There never seemed to be enough of it.  Although in my childhood the place was considered a treat, a place for a special occasion never to be patronized more than once a week.  Not only that, I remember never finishing any food that was presented to me there which drove my family crazy.  Waste not, want not.

But as an adult, I would eat there almost daily.  The meal would be super sized and I would finish all of it except for the drink.  I never could drink from that bucket of coke they handed out with the big meals.  It was great.  I even loved the breakfast meals there when I wasn't eating muffins.  After a meal at Mcdonalds, I remember feeling satiated and content.

When the troubles hit, I went many months just existing on yogurt and soup.  Anything else would cause me extreme pain.  During that time I looked forward to the time when I would get better and go back to eating all the foods I loved.  I vicariously enjoyed watching other people eat to the point of it being an indecent fetish.  I loved it even more if the person I was watching really enjoyed what they were eating.

After the worst of the GERD attacks were over, I realized something had changed.  My cravings were gone.  The first breakfast muffin I celebrated over didn't hit that pleasure spot.  The pleasure spot was gone for fast food from Mcdonalds as well.  And since my appetite had shrunk due to required fasting, I discovered that I could barely finish a child's happy meal there much less anything super sized.  I would look around and see people enjoying their fast food fix with pleasure which I wasn't sharing.

That is what is disturbing to me now.  I take no joy in food.  Not to say that I don't like to eat.  It is just that food doesn't give me as much satisfaction as it used to do.  I don't crave sweets anymore.  In the past a box of cookies or cake would be gone in a instant around my home.  But now that box can sit there for weeks.  I don't want to eat it.  Sometimes I will hit upon a piece of cake that will give me some kind of rush from the days of old.  But not enough to want more than one slice.

A few days ago I went to Mcdonalds for breakfast but I didn't finish the meal.  The same as when I was a young child.  I remembered my grandparents worrying over my lack of appetite but primarily over my waste of food.  And I quavered inside as I threw away my sausage biscuit, hash brown and coffee.   The meal was expensive, too expensive to be wasted in that way.  It was true.  But was also sad was that I was also throwing away a memory of pleasure.  The me from the past would have been surprised that I could not eat nor crave more.  I miss that past self.  I miss the pleasure that food used to give to me.

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