A revelation of sorts
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Here I am, trying to get back on track after a bit of an absence. The good news is - I only gained 2 pounds back. But I want to go back to losing. It's been a bit of a tough adjustment eating-wise. My husband is here (finally!), and while that makes me happy in every way, it's a real challenge for me to accommodate both of our eating habits. And of course, I've made the sacrifice when one needs to be made. Enough! I need to do this, and he wants me to do this so from now on, I'm going to try and eat better, and clear some of his junk food out of the house.
But that is not my revelation, just my resolution. My revelation has come courtesy of my husband as well, but the origins go much further back. My mom has always struggled with her weight as well, and she certainly has food issues of her own. Because of this, I always assumed that all of those dysfunctional aspects of my relationship with food came from her.
Turns out I was wrong. My husband, Osama, has been buying Mars bars to have around the house. I actually don't mind since generally, it is not a chocolate bar that interests me. I decided to eat one one day, and he came home and asked me where it was. He wasn't accusing, he just wanted to know if I had seen it. I apologized for eating it, and he told me not to apologize - we had bought it to eat, and I had eaten it. Then we bought some rice cakes and the same thing happened. Then it was the cheese. And that's when he got a little irritated. Not because I was finishing the things that he liked, but because I was apologizing for eating food that we bought to eat. He pointed out that I wasn't doing anything wrong and that I needed to stop saying sorry for it and acting like I had done something wrong.
Which made me think about why I acted this way. He's right - we buy the groceries together, to be eaten by either of us. Why should I feel ashamed of eating them? And when I'm eating them, why do I feel like it's something I need to hide (I actually hid the Mars wrapper at the bottom of the trash). And here's the thing - for all of her issues with food, it's not something that comes from my mom. It comes from my dad - a man who was always skinny, generally unhealthy and honestly, a bit of a control freak. He would ask my mom to buy his favourite snacks at the grocery store, or buy them himself (they were the only thing he would shop for, incidentally) and they were off-limits to the rest of us. If we touched his snacks, we would get in trouble. As we got older, he even hid them, although my mom confessed the other day that she asked him to because she got tired of seeing us get in trouble for eating 'his food'.
Since my mom was trying to eat healthy, and get us to eat healthy, the result of this was that in my house, it was 'wrong' to eat the junk food because it wasn't 'for us'. And doing so meant trouble. What that means to me, is that I feel like it's wrong to share the food that my husband wants. And when I do it, this strange emotional thing happens. I feel bad and I feel ashamed. And when I feel bad and ashamed about what I eat, I binge and eat more. What my husband didn't know is that after I ate the Mars bar, I felt so bad, I ate two pieces of pita bread, way too much cheese, and half a bag of goldfish crackers.
But him chiding me about my apologies is making me realize how stupid and illogical this response is. I'm not saying I'm cured, but I'm trying. This morning I ate a container of Rice Pudding (which isn't even bad for me), and the feeling started. But I stopped and remembered what he said. I left the empty container on the counter to prove to myself that I didn't care if he saw it because we buy our groceries to be eaten, not to be hoarded and guarded by the person who likes them best, or who pulled them off the shelf in the grocery store.
I now realize I still have more food issues than I thought I did. But I also know that I'm learning, and with my husband's support, maybe I have a chance at figuring all this out.