My Complicated Relationship with Food

Dear Food,

I can’t deny that I love you. Sometimes a little too much. I’m having trouble figuring you out, and it’s been 26 years of trying. I wish I could be with you all day, every day, but we know that’s not good for either of us. I am looking for the perfect balance of you and I, but it has been a struggle. However, I will not give up. I am sorry for using you to get over my issues. I will learn to love and cherish you in the best way. Relationships are hard, and you may be the toughest one yet. Give me some time. I’ll get there.

Love,

Me

Let’s Be Honest

Alright, enough of this sappy s**t already. Let’s talk about this. The truth is, I LOVE food. I love cooking, eating, and serving food to others. Trying new foods and watching shows about food on TV is a comforting experience. I look up new recipes and learn about it and hope others find it as exciting as I do. Did you know al pastor tacos have a Lebanese origin?! I usually hope the person I’m spewing these “exciting facts” to doesn’t give me a blank stare.

At some point a couple years back, I began wondering, “when did I start loving food so much?”. After finding a journal from my early grade school years, I realized it was practically ingrained in me from the start. We were given prompts in school to write about. The prompt was “write about something you enjoy”. I didn’t have to think twice. I always noticed the picky kids complaining about their lunches, while I quietly enjoyed mine every day. It felt like could never relate to them.

Food Addiction?

Seldom do I come across a dish I do not enjoy. I can cherish a delicious well-put together meal but the next day have the crappiest, low quality frozen food. I am glad that I am not a picky eater, don’t get me wrong. My struggle stems from my love of food. Food is comfort. Food is medicine sometimes. It feels like food can solve problems.

Like an alcoholic falls back into their Jack Daniels, I have dived head first into peanut butter to ease my (figurative) pain many times. I’m trying to learn how to strike the perfect balance between my love, and my health and what I know is right. I have written about my late night binges to help me sleep and alleviate my anxiety. Those were rough times. Times when I resented food rather than respected it. I blamed it, rather than myself.

Making Changes

I want to stop overindulging and start appreciating each meal. Food is fuel, but it is also an experience. Someone worked hard to get me every morsel I consume. I will try to start keeping that in mind when It’s time to eat again. For people who struggle to regulate their eating, like myself, consider this: when you start respecting food, you start respecting yourself. Most times, when I was overeating, negative self talk was going on in my mind. “This is why you’re fat. Why can’t you eat like a skinny person? Why do you keep eating, you’re not hungry anymore?”. After hearing that from yourself, the shame soon arrives. It is a vicious cycle. Not dissimilar to the experience of addicts who struggle with substances, I would imagine.

It can be a tough, bumpy road, but with a lot of work and the understanding that you are not alone, success will find its way to you. You just have to keep believing, even through the setbacks. Hold yourself accountable. As much as you want to blame outside influences, YOU are the only person who can control your decisions. I’m right here with you along the way.

Let’s do it.

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