I was thinking about my snack this afternoon, and several options floated through my head. As I was contemplating what to have, I remembered my after school snacks from almost 20 years ago now.
The fluffer nutter was one of my favorites.
For those of you that aren't in the know, a fluffer nutter is a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich. Except my mom didn't make fluffer nutters with bread. She made them with graham crackers. Actually, I didn't know that my mom's confection had a formal name until I was in high school or college. Nonetheless, I loved my peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on graham crackers.
Of course, an eating disorder changed that innocence where all I thought of was "sweet-salty-crunchy-yumminess."
Now I think about things like carbs and whole grains and high fructose corn syrup. I wonder whether I'm eating too much added sugars. I worry what others might think of a 30-year-old eating a fluffer nutter for a snack. I worry what others might think of a 30-year-old having an afternoon snack, period.
The truth is this: I don't remember what it feels like not to worry about every crumb I eat. I remember that there was a time when I didn't, but I don't actually remember that feeling. Some of that loss may be the inexorable process of growing up. After all, I think about lots of things in a much more nuanced way than I did as a 10-year-old. But there's a difference between being aware of the fact that straight up sugar might not keep you satiated for long, and fretting over what the sugar might do to your butt.
I don't know that this innocence is ever coming back. And that's sad. I'm tired of worrying so much. I want to switch this off, just for a bit. Yet the fact of the matter remains that it likely won't every go away, not really. Not completely.
I'm not saying that this worry will never stop consuming much of my waking hours. After all, I'm not dropping substantial cash on therapy for nothing. I am working to relax about food and, you know, pretty much everything. But I feel like I know too much and have let too much of my life be taken up by these obsessions to ever go back to the carefree person that existed before the anorexia struck over ten years ago now.
At the same time, I think it's important to remember that this person did exist in the first place. That I could manage my food and weight without interfering in every little detail, without worry and fear and gnawing anxiety. That I didn't need to follow a food plan to the letter and yet I was okay and the world was okay. It's a very different mindset to how I currently manage things.
I suppose sitting here and being all mournful about these changes is neither uplifting nor enlightening. I don't want to just piss and moan over what used to be. I don't do nostalgia. I can't change the fact that I got sick and have been sick and have changed. It is what it is. Time passes and the person I was has become the person I am now.
I'm not missing a sandwich, I'm missing a mindset. But that doesn't mean I can't still enjoy a fluffer nutter or two.