Social Eating and Parental Relationships
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Today I ate food I didn't really want. My dad wanted to take us out to eat, and I wanted to spend time with everyone, and I certainly didn't want to have to cook for everyone myself. So we ended up at an Italian restaurant and I had an eggplant parm sub. The waitress asked me if I wanted fries or onion rings, and I said no, but she brought the plate with potato chips. *sigh* I ate them, naturally. So I ate most of the admittedly delicious sub. Dad wanted to get ice cream and syrups at the grocery store and come back to my house and make sundaes. I had to draw the line...not gonna have that hanging out in my freezer all week calling my name. I told him how serious I am about not wanting fattening foods that tempt me, he knows I am morbidly obese..... he went on in great detail rhapsodizing about this great ice cream he wanted to get, how delic and wonderful. My daughter and I were mystified...I said "Good thing I'm not on a diet or that could really wreck it." And he still didn't take the hint. He has always been skinny and he wants an eating partner. Well, we did not get ice cream. But he was as disappointed as my eleven year old son! We came back to my house and everyone had a sweet juicy orange. But I am going to have to limit my time with him (my dad) if he wants to make it all about eating. I know we are all adjusting after Mom, but I have to put my health first. Eating is such a social activity but I have to redefine how I eat and how I let my dad get under my skin. Dad doesn't like to eat alone, but I don't like to be knocked off my game--and his needs are no more important than mine. In fact, mine is a serious medical/physical need (remember the "morbid" part in morbidly obese?) and I owe it to myself and my own children to keep it on the front burner. But I felt guilty and like I was being manipulated. How can a "nice" offer like "let me take you out to dinner and buy you ice cream" feel so manipulative and undermining? ---i guess in some ways childhood never really ends. At least now I am taking control and see the pattern in time to change it.