I didn’t think about bread today. I didn’t even realize that I hadn’t thought about bread. Until I passed the open pantry and caught a glimpse of the bread on the shelf and then it struck me.
Now some of you are probably doing some thinking of your own and that thinking might go something like “Who cares if Karen thought about bread today. It’s bread.” But for me, it is not a piece of food, but a milestone. I love bread. I crave bread. I overeat bread. Maybe you feel the same way about something other than bread, like chocolate or chips or cheese or pizza or ice cream. Fill in the blank. That food that calls to you. That food that you cannot eat in moderation. That food that all too often leads to overeating other foods. Now do you understand why it is blog-worthy that I did not think of bread today?
There is something about the texture of bread that makes me reach for it. More than the flavor. I don’t know what it is, something about my teeth sinking in. I have heard theories that cravings for certain textures in food mean something, but never have I seen an answer to what my bread craving means. I’d be interested to find out.
I wasn’t always this way. My earliest memories of bread are from sometime in my childhood when my dad would return from business trips in San Fransisco with fresh sourdough loaves for my mom. Other than that, I don’t remember bread playing any role in my life until recent years. I know I ate it. White, never wheat. Sandwiches. Surely I thought nothing of it for most of my life. But at some point in the past few years I realized that bread had come front and center in my diet cravings. I decided to handle this by giving up soft white bread and choosing wheat, because it is healthier and, in my opinion, less tasty. Initially I didn’t care for it so I didn’t overeat it. Then my taste-buds changed. And any bread at all gave a siren’s call. It didn’t need to be hot or freshly baked or crispy on the outside while soft on the inside. Just bread.
So I decided that since moderation was not working for me and that a sense of craving was a sign, I would give up bread for a while. And the longer I went without, the less I thought about it. The cravings released their grip on me. And sometime when I wasn’t thinking or looking, I just didn’t want it anymore. Okay, maybe that is too strong to say. Because as I sit here typing I can say that I probably would love to eat a piece right now! But what I can say is that I am no longer fixating on it. Not missing it maybe. And certainly, based on my realization yesterday, not thinking about it. Which in my mind, is a very good thing:)
Will I eat bread again? I am sure I will. What I am not sure about, is when or how. The strange part is that on a day-to-day basis I don’t miss it at meals at all. Not even a bit. And I have learned that bread as a snack is my crack. So I guess when (if) I do start eating it again it will not be in any way resembling how I would have eaten it as part of a nice little binge in the past. But for now, I am happier without it. So the best thing since sliced bread, for this dieter, is NO bread:)
Postscript: Writing about bread was not a great idea. It made me start thinking about it all over again. Sigh. And then my loving husband, out of the blue, asked if he should stop buying his bread so it would not tempt me. I was happy to be able to tell him that I have a handle on it now. Fingers crossed.