Another interesting week in blogland. All the talk has gotten me to thinking about my relationship with food, how it affects my family, and what my own story with food is. In all honesty, now that I've gotten a grip on my food habits, so have my children. I did worry sick about what I was teaching my daughter about eating, but as I've improved, she has readily adopted better eating habits.
My real worry now is my husband, because as I've been losing he has been gaining. Not good (especially because he had a heart attack this past spring). He's a born junk food junkie... which is one reason why if I couldn't beat'em I had to join'em. We love to eat out, it's what we do, and I had to find a way to be at peace with it. I thought I'd have to give that up with my band, but not so. I eat everything I used to- except for about two thirds of the volume- which my husband now eats- including his own.
There's a little part of me that actually really likes that our weights are so far apart (60+ pounds) because it wasn't that long ago that I weighed a lot more than him. Maybe it's that reason, or because I refuse to be the food police- but I'm waiting for him to decide to be healthy. He goes on kicks where he is, but if real change is going to happen for him, he is the only one that can do it. In the end, we're each responsible for what goes in our mouthes. He was scared straight with the heart attack for a little while, but even that lost it's punch. He has never before in his life been overweight, this is new for him, and neither one of us really knows how to handle it.
Which brings me to my food fantasies. I was not overweight growing up either. I grew up in a home where all the food was organic, free range, whole foods (nothing processed)- long before it was in fashion. We ate very differently than anyone else I knew. Other foods weren't banned, just not bought very often.
I remember in lower school, everyone who packed a lunch would have white bread sandwiches with processed meats, chips, twinkies... which looked like heaven to me as I sat there with my whole wheat (the heavy kind), real white meat, fruit, milk, and no chips. I did not appreciate our healthy lifestyle.
In fact, in about third or fourth grade, I developed a food fantasy. When we were at a regular grocery store (most of our food came from a whole foods co-op, not condusive to food fantasies)- I would make a mental list of all the junk food I was going to put in my shopping cart and eat when I was a grown up. At one point, I had decided that when I was a grown up, I was going to eat nothing but cheetos, peppermint patties, and drink soda. Hmmmm... sound like anyone's diet that you know now???
Mind you, nothing was off limits for us. I could have asked for it and most of the time gotten it. But I didn't. I just fantasized about it. Until one summer, and then my fantasy completely changed...
I was in middle school. And believe it or not, this did not even happen because of other girls (although I did learn alot about dieting from girlfriends). But, my new fantasy came from meeting my maternal grandfather's family for the very first time. The only morbidly obese French people that probably exist in the world. These people were huge. I knew my grandfather had died from a heart attack secondary to morbid obesity... but it was before I was born, so really didn't sink in for me.
But seeing my own flesh and blood... and my genetic potential... had a powerful affect on me. Being in middle school, I of course thought I was chubby (5'7" and probably 120 pounds)... and for the first time ever, I dieted. And my new fantasy... was not eating. I wanted to lose weight. And I did. All the typical strategies girls learn (sadly) at that age- calorie counting, water drinking, lots of exercise and running. And I dropped weight, and got lots of positive reinforcement for it. Wow.
I don't know if that was my first round of anorexia. If it was, I've had three. As my children would joke, I've obviously beaten it. But it's not funny. My relationship with food has been polar opposites. I was either anorexic or obese. In my mind, if I wasn't losing, than I was gaining- and it was true. And truly fucked up.
I guess that's why the balance I have with food now is something that is so important to me. It's not either extreme. I can healthy. I can junk. I can MAINTAIN an acceptable weight... which is very new to me. That's really my goal and I honestly feel like I'm at peace with food, and not afraid of it, and for the first time in my life really enjoy it.
There's so much more to this for me, as there is for you as well. But this post has dragged on long enough for now. I can't tell you how enlightening it's been for me to read everyone elses histories of food and weight... very much appreciated. Gotta love the therapy going on, because it truly is. Thank you.