trigger warning: this isn’t about weight for vanity’s sake. This IS about food… just in case that’s a trigger for you
i have been in a life-long dysfunctional relationship with my plate. Am i an addict? i don’t know that i am but i certainly have the makings of one; my bio family is riddled with addictions.
A healthy relationship with food is complicated for some of us. Alcoholics or drug addicts do not need to consume their substance to sustain life, but we gotta eat, right? Finding that symbiotic relationship with food is what i’m working on.
i love the community i’m in because it is not so consumed with body image. i have never had so much love and support… never seen people more accepting of all body shapes and sizes… but this isn’t about weight, per se. This isn’t about trying to be a size zero (oh hellz to the no). This is about balance and this is about boundaries.
This morning, i dropped the spawn at school/work and came home to throw some beans in the crockpot and while i prepped that, i began to search the fridge for culled leftovers that might form a hearty breakfast. i’ve been a vegetarian for quite a while now, but we are trying a more vegan path now… so… what to eat? what to eat?
Leftover vegan chipotle cheeselike sauce? Check. Cold baked potatoes? Yup. i’m chopping onions and celery for the beans… might as well chop a bit more… and voila!
Vegan yumminess… stick to your ribs tastiness.
Smells good, tastes good, IS good. i should know… i ate half of my bowl before stopping to write. Don’t worry… i’ll finish it in a few minutes.
Enjoying this hearty and healthy dish reminded me of a struggle i’m facing.
i have been trying to eat healthier, create new routines, y’know… to develop the habits that will better serve my body and mind, but i keep running up against a challenge.
Occasionally, i find myself in situations with food that is tempting, other times with food that isn’t even of general interest to me but the food is rarely alone. There is generally a carnival-barker nearby (i’ve been guilty of being this person myself). “Try this… have some of this…” Sometimes that person prepared or bought the food. Other times, they have just tasted it and it is apparently the best goddamn shit on the planet… i mean… like second-coming-of-christ good and just like an orgasm… they’d like to share the experience.
Recently, i’ve had several experiences where food was offered, politely declined by yours truly, and then offered again. Sometimes the offer was made several times. After the initial “No thank you” i can follow up with a “i’m trying to be good” or a “i just ate” but the offers can be insistent. i am told that one piece won’t “hurt” or that i need “a break” from some sort of perceived prison sentence of dieting or sumpin’
i was relating one such conversation to my spawn recently, when it occurred to me that i don’t know too many people that would do that to an alcoholic. “Ah, just one beer”… or “You can stop drinking again tomorrow” or “You’ve been so good about not drinking” or “but it’s a special occasion”
Usually the only people that would do that to an alcoholic are people who either wish to do the addict harm or who wish to imbibe as well; they don’t want to drink alone. Misery loves company?
There are so many reasons why we feed each other. Some of us feed others the stuff we can’t eat ourselves… we live vicariously through their enjoyment of it. Sometimes we feed people because they need to be fed. We show love through food in our culture as well and then, well… some of us feed people because we need to be needed; the best way NOT to get “voted off the island” or run out of the tribe is to be the one who can fish or cook,right?
i’d like to assume that the people who aggressively peddle their foodstuffs are just trying to be kind and loving. i care about you, eat… eat… eat my love.
So, psst… here’s what i wish i could say to every offer that i decline:
i’m not starving. i’m taking better care of myself now than i have in a very long time.
i am saying no to your offer… please don’t take it personally.
i am not rebuffing you and i am not refusing your friendship.
i acknowledge the care that you took in preparing or procuring that wonderful food… thank you for that gift of yourself and your time.
Maybe i am allergic or i don’t eat an ingredient for ethical reasons.
Maybe what you are offering is simply not a healthy option for me.
Maybe i just ate a very hearty meal (stop typing to grab another forkful of this ridiculous breakfast i’m enjoying) and i am full.
Maybe i have reached my calorie goal for the day.
Please trust that i’m taking care of myself. Please respect that i am making healthy choices.
Please deal this loveliness to me… but don’t push it… i have enough pressure from society and commercials urging me to consume far more than i need.
Yes, it looks delicious.