Do you like Mars?


Friday, I had a session with Zermati.

Each time, it starts the same way, with the same question: “How are you?” Harmless, we all agree, except that of course, the answer generally relates with how I am food wise. Well, in fact, I always start by telling my life a little bit as over the sessions, we are not very far from something like a therapy.

The thing is that inevitably my qualms bring me back rather quickly to the kitchen table.

And that time, more than any other day, it didn’t fail.

— I’m rather good, except that I’m preoccupied by rather stressing news. (Tearful eyes, noisy tears swallowing, silence and talk resumption). And thus… I feel like eating.

Of course, this good doctor, far from loading me with reproaches or coaching me as Cohen and Dukon would do, I guess, like: “you are stronger than the Twix call”, seemed almost happy. Wait, he was sorry for me and listening, but rather satisfied with my confession.

“I was starting to find the whole process too smooth”, he explained.

Like he was wondering if I hadn’t swallowed a Buddhist monk or interiorized so much our discussions that I became more Zermatist than Zermati. He shouldn’t worry, the little voice that is telling me daily that my issues can dissolve in a slab of Milka is still there, ready to sound the bugle for the slightest complains.

— And then what do you do towards this eating desire?

Then, the good student I’ll always make sure I am, I think, lifted her head proudly and bragged:

—Well very surprisingly, I think I manage it quite well. I mean, I treat myself but I wait to be really hungry to do so. Exactly as you said.

I think I looked like a dog standing on its back legs, convinced its exercise deserves a sugar lump. I haven’t been disappointed, instead of a sugar lump, I got a Mars.

But before, though, from the frustrated look of doctor Z, I felt that my brown-noser side didn’t hit the bull’s eye. Even that, basically, I didn’t understand anything.

— You must absolutely know AS WELL how to eat without hunger and feeling guilty. Yes, in some instances, food IS comforting. You eat to feed yourself, to answer nutritional needs but to comfort yourself as it is a pleasure. And just like you sometimes take care of one children more than of the other because she is sick, you can also favor one function over the other, punctually.  So if you feel that your stress can be calmed down by a treat, you have the right to do so.

— Yes but I’m too scared that one thing leading to another…

— That it would be a compulsion?

— There you go. I know myself and I know I can rapidly go back to the other side.

— Except that we have worked together and all is not exactly like before. You must trust yourself. Compulsion will come from this restriction you are forcing on yourself during this difficult period.

— Yes but how do I know I’m not giving in to a compulsion? How can I be sure a piece of chocolate will be enough and will do me good? How can I be sure I won’t end up eating the whole biscuit packet with all guilty feelings that go with it?

— By listening to your desire. By analyzing it. By asking yourself why you feel like eating , by thinking of another possible solution. Sometimes, you find one. Sometimes… you don’t, it happens that the piece of chocolate IS a solution, or at least the best available one. And in that case, you CHOOSE to indulge with that piece of chocolate. Yet a compulsion is forcing its way, it is not decided. When making that decision this is not compulsion. Then you take the time to eat that piece of chocolate. You stop and savour it. Do you like Mars?

“Do you like Mars?” What a question? Do cats like mice? Can tea go without milk? Can David spend holidays without Jonathan? Does Peter need Sloan? Does…

The answer is yes, Doc, I like Mars.

—Thus you’ll savour one now.

I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow if you’re in, I feel it has been a bit long and also, I like creating episodes. I mean, in case it is boring at one point…

Edit: On the picture it’s me wondering if I prefer Mars or Twix. What a hassle…

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