Triggered by Milk
I never imagined that the thing I was longing for – milk – would trigger off a stormy inquiry into my relationship with food.
For months, I’d been looking for a half litre of local, organic, whole milk; just enough to appease my craving. What I ended up with instead was a lot of confusion about the choices available even within the organic range. Since when did it get so silly complicated to buy the most basic foods?
I decided to clear it up for a future post, but the more I researched, the less I understood and the more I wanted that small bottle of milk, which did not exist.
To help me make sense of my research, I spent ages peering at the different milk types in store freezers and would feel strangely comforted just to see the rows of white in glass bottles.
Something about bottled clean milk or the idea of it and love felt like one and the same.
Eventually, the craving subsided and I began to piece together my milk puzzle.
A week ago, I inquired about Gort’s Gouda milk at Whole Foods Market, likely the highest quality product of cow’s milk available in town (aside from raw, but that’s for another time), and was unexpectedly presented with a complimentary 1.8 litre bottle – one size only.
I received this gift with a mixture of joy, panic and fear.
Inside of my happiness, I heard a quiet voice say, “Girl you asked for milk and now you have it. Please enjoy with love.”
But then panic and fear had its way, seizing a lifetime of momentum to remind me that I was going to become hugely fat if I indulged, that I would need to re-arrange portions of my meals in order to maintain weight control, and that I had no business enjoying dairy in the first place.
So while I am savouring this dreamy milk with oatmeal on some mornings, my brain is busy figuring out how to overhaul the rest of my diet for the day.
And yet as painful as this inner split is, this time I have had enough awareness to observe the process, rather than be swallowed by it.
What saddens me most is to witness what a control addict I am and how hard it is for me to whole heartedly receive a small gift from the universe.
The good news is that this time I can hold my sadness instead of running off to the gym; another interruption in habitual self-sabotage.
As my emotions settle, I see that I may have the “right” smart foodie diet, but perhaps I could be even happier if I gave myself more permission to let go, particularly when special treats come with an expiry date. It’s a perfect and scary reflection of my larger reality.
I’ve finally (I think) come to a more comfortable place with my milk by accommodating my desire and fear. I have it with oatmeal guilt free on some mornings and am using the rest to bake my favourites.
What I mean to say is that we’re all in progress and I’m in it with you. Whatever your relationship with food is, use it to explore what is going/feels right and what needs more love from you so that your unique quirks shine out more.
P.S. I still intend to write a milk post as soon as most of my puzzle pieces are in place! Please feel free to send me any specific questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.