This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I LOVE you! I HATE you!

All my life food has been front and center. I spent some time this am as I was sweating away on my stationary bike thinking about how my relationship with food has changed over the years.

As a kid, I never really thought much about food beyond whether I liked it or not. I knew there were somethings that were "bad" because I wasn't allowed to have them when I asked for them when we were shopping. Things like cookies and cupcakes and candy bars. My Mom would say,"You don't need those. They're bad for you." But, there were times when she would decide she wanted donuts or ice cream or some of those things she'd said no to earlier. Then, she'd give me money to walk to the store to get some, usually on the weekends. We would watch movies and eat all kinds of junk food. It was lots of fun. Looking back, I realize my Mom was teaching me to binge. Not on purpose mind you, but she is overweight and that's what she did.

Even my Dad who was on my case constantly about my weight (topic for a WHOLE other blog) would give us kids $10 and send us to the corner convenience store to get us out of his hair if we got on his nerves. We'd come back with root beer and pixie sticks and donuts. And, that's when my love affair with food started.

I'm lucky I guess since I really love healthy food. I enjoy pretty much any kind of fruit with only rare exceptions. I love most veggies as well. I love baked chicken and broiled salmon. But, I do love my snacky foods-crackers, chips, cookies. I love pasta. LOVE IT. And bread, oh how I love you. Rolls and breads of all kinds warm and drippy with butter. And I'm a sweets addict. We used to joke about how high, literally buzzed, I can get off a brownie fudge sundae. Doesn't seem so funny anymore

As a teenager, my increased freedom led to increased bad eating. If I wanted Mickey Ds, I'd drive and get it. And yes, I have been known to order 2 combo meals or extra drinks just so the person in drive thru wouldn't know all that food was for me. Food has been my buddy. Some days if I felt sad, I'd drive thru and sit in the car happily eating my junk food and escaping into one of my novels.

But, then it became my enemy. I hated the fact that foods I loved made me fat. There were times when I was on one of the plethora of diets I've been on since age 9 when I hated even talking about food because it meant talking about all the stuff I couldn't have.

The only time I've felt really at peace with food was when I was pregnant. I LOVED being pregnant. Yes, for all the usual: can't wait to see the baby, what will it be like, smell like, feel like, dreamy new mommy stuff. But, being pregnant was the only time in my life I didn't have to struggle with food. We could go out to eat, I'd get what I wanted. I didn't feel like people were staring at me whether I ordered the healthy baked chicken or the greasy burger and fries. I just ate. When I was full I stopped. I wasn't the fat girl in the room anymore, I was the pregnant girl.

I always lost weight when I was pregnant. In fact the lowest weight I've been in the last 7 years was after the birth of my 3rd, 212. (This also happens to be my first weight goal and I'm over half way there. Yeah!) At one sicko point this was actually a consideration in whether to have a fourth. (I know. I realized that was crazy thinking and not best or me or my family. I'm not completely off my rocker.)

Before today I always thought it was the pregnancy that caused the weight loss. Being sick, increased metabolism, that cute little parasite growing inside me were the reasons, or so I thought.

Now I'm not sure. Maybe it was my peace treaty with food. Maybe it was eating when I was hungry and stopping when I was full, no matter which food I chose. Maybe it was letting go of all the guilt and resentment I had and still have about food. And maybe that's why for the first time in my life, I lost weight ON A VACATION? I relaxed about the food. I ate chocolate and pizza and chips and even, oh... garlic cheese bread, sigh. But, I didn't stuff myself until I was sick. And I didn't feel any guilt afterward. None. Not really. I just moved on to the the next meal, the next workout, the next choice and made it a healthier one.

So maybe my relationship with food is evolving into a more adult one. One where we can respect each other. Realize that the success or failure of a relationship never really rests with just one of the parties involved. One where I can say no and not feel deprived and say yes sometimes without feeling horribly guilt ridden. One where we're not constantly at odds with each other.

What are your feelings about food? Do you sometimes get sick of the entire subject? There are days I dread the, "what's for dinner" discussion. Have you thought about your relationship with food? This is a WHOLE new and interesting insight for me.


  1. I like your phrase "peace treaty with food" - it's like once you stop fighting it, the food kind of becomes neutral.

    Good food (haha) for thought with this post - thanks!

  2. Good post. I think I'm coming to some of the same conclusions about food as you. Basically I eat very healthy food and cook it for my family. Some of the bad-old-food still beckons me, though. I have to discipline myself not to go out of my way to get them. I am letting a few bites and tastes (like slivers of my b-day cake) through and trying to savor and enjoy the taste and then get rid of the remaining portion so I'm not tempted. This is working for me. I don't think I can go "cold-turkey" anymore. I do better this way. Avoid them almost always, but on special occasions have a taste.


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