Friday, August 2, 2013

low-tech diet

i'm gaining weight, it's the visible sign of an invisible discomfort and in addition to this climb of my food intake graph there has been a climb in my time-spent-on-fb graph which also means that my kids are spending more time watching T.V because their mom is too busy on the laptop to play with them

well, these are the facts and statistics, it's just data, but behind each piece of info there's a long story of a struggle i have and a challenge i'm facing recently

for the first time in many years i'm gaining weight for all the wrong reasons, i'm seeking the comfort of food, the company of food, and maybe punishing myself through food, then i saw this video which is surely worth watching even though it's not directly food-related, i'm lucky enough not to be so attached to my phone simply because i rarely receive a call and i don't have internet connection on my old mobile phone, i use it mostly to call my husband and for sms's, but still i saw myself in this video, i was using my laptop and the T.V was on, some food on the center piece in our living room kept disappearing, THERE THEY ARE... my two kids watching T.V so i turn off the lap top, leave the dining table (where our computer is) go to my children and instead of joining them with the fun they're having (as the video suggests) i turn the T.V off and suggest we play together

spending time with food and on facebook has been a way to fill that void in my heart, this longing for people, since i'm unable to spend time with real people in the real world i took refuge in food and facebook. for a while i tried to give priority to books because it's always "healthy" to over-read but over-eating and over-facebooking is never healthy for the body or mind, but this stopped and i started telling myself: "i'll read after a few minutes on the computer first"

so i decided that i won't spend as much time on facebook as i used to, and it worked, but this was reflected in my food intake, whatever was cut off of facebook was replaced with food. i've never felt so lonely before, maybe the last time i was nearly as lonely was when i moved away from my family and lived in another country during my college years, this was 13 years ago, and i think that i still wasn't THIS lonely back then because i simply had the freedom to do many new and interesting activities to fill my time and i was able (in my twenties) to make new friendships, but now, i'm stuck at home with two little angles whom i love more than anything in the whole world, but only a mom of more than one child spending days on end with her kids alone at home can understand how challenging and lonely motherhood can be

add to all this stress awful news arriving from Syria and difficult living conditions here in Egypt, i try to live as normal a life as possible and take the kids out to the mall as often as possible but this by itself is a challenge, why the mall, you might ask, i'll tell you why:

  1. there are no parks or free play ground areas for kids in this city, any open space area is surely unsafe for a female to appear there by herself let alone with two kids, you'll be exposed to minor (or even) major abuse of harrasement
  2. you can find a free parking lot at the mall instead of parking so far away from where you intend to go
  3. less walking under the blazing July/August sun
  4. less chances of losing a kid in the over crowded pavement-free streets
  5. making use of your time if you're lucky enough to find some discounts at certain shops
  6. multi-task, use the hypermarket to run errands, train the kids on what it means to spend some time at a coffee shop, and look for something you need ( clothes for the kids)
i wonder why does life have to be so difficult when you're performing a simple activity as taking two kids to the mall. getting them ready, dressing in a way that is hopefully considered appropriate revealing as little skin as possible, walking to where the car is parked, losing half your energy so far and you're not even half way through your activity, driving to your destination and only people who've been to the MENA region know the skills, talents, and luck required for driving in countries of this area, arrive safely, make sure the kids are having fun because that's the maim purpose of this outing, try to spend as little money as possible because after all it's ironic that you're at the mall with such a limited budget, try to convince the kids that we don't need THIS or THAT item they see and convince them of the alternative you see best which is less expensive, head back home before you're totally and completely exhausted because you still have to drive back and look for a parking space and walk home from where you've parked and continue living your day with the kids tending to all their needs and wants and desires and requests and stories and and and...

when my husband came back from the US he said something very interesting to me: "if you were living there you would've done all that you do in less than quarter the time... you buzz around the apartment like a busy bee to achieve so little here". i've been to the US three times but it's all before i got married and had kids so i tried to imagine living there as if i'm in heaven according to my acheivo-meter... no wonder these moms whose blogs i read look like super mothers to me, so committed to their families and children and blogs and pintrest and instagram and facebook and twitter and real-life friends and all the zillion other things they do

so i try to over-indulge in my life and numb my loneliness, but i can't, because it's simply so hard at this very time in this very country with the ghost of daily bloodshed in Syria hanging over my head and the uncertainty of situations in Egypt... this is the main reason why i resorted to over-indulgence on facebook running a parallel life which is real to a certain degree (all the photos are real and the events are real but they show only the picture-perfect side of my life) and when i decided to start a low-tech diet i shifted to over-indulgence in food !!!

my psychology professor at university once told us that when one overcomes a certain addiction they usually shift to another kind, she for example quit smoking but got addicted to eating "bizr" which is eating roasted seeds (sunflower or pumpkin) where you balance the seed between your upper and lower teeth and try to remove the shell, an activity that is socially acceptable and common in the MENA region, which also satisfies the oral fixation somehow

i neither want to get addicted to ANYTHING, nor replace one indulgent habit with another, did i say that i'm facing too many challenges and i'm tired of struggling? here's yet another challenge for me to struggle with...  

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