How does it feel to get in a fight with your mind over crackers?
That probably isn’t a question you’ve ever asked before. Or maybe it is, and you understand exactly what I mean. Maybe it’s not specifically crackers but something else – a piece of fruit, a granola bar, some nuts.
“Georgia. You think you need those three crackers? No you do not. You’ve had plenty of food today” says Ana.
“But I’m actually really hungry. I had lunch a while ago and I don’t think that this will ruin my dinner. It’s just a few crackers” the real Georgia says in response.
“You won’t be hungry for dinner, and then what will happen? You won’t be able to eat for a long, long while. I don’t want that for you. Let’s put the crackers away. That’s it, right back into the bag.”
“Okay, but what about if I walk the long way home after this? Then surely I would deserve the crackers and some dinner.”
And maybe Ana gives in here. If she does, she still won’t let you get off that easy. If you eat those crackers, there is still a trade off, a due that must be payed. It is not as simple as munching on an afternoon snack. Because that snack has repercussions, it continues to play in your mind long after you’ve eaten it.
When eating is no longer just about popping a few crackers in your mouth, when it becomes a mental obstacle course you must navigate every single day, it gets exhausting. But we must press on regardless, because each time we successfully complete the course, it gets just a little bit easier. We engrain it into our muscle memory, we memorize every twist and every turn. Next time, that voice that argues with you over crackers is just a little bit less defiant.
And I know that someday, I will pop those three crackers into my mouth without even a second thought. I’ll forget five minutes later I even had them in the first place. I won’t dwell on it, it won’t matter to me in the slightest. Because Ana will have been outnumbered, beaten down by persistence and determination. She will no longer have a say in my day to day life. She sure as hell won’t be allowed to have a thirty minute argument with me over the merits of eating a few simple crackers.