Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Food, and my relationship with it.

Ah. This is going to be fun. But I've been thinking about this a lot as I prep for this cleanse... so here it is.

Growing up, my mother was totally and completely obsessed with food. And weight. Still is. I was weighed every Wednesday morning and she kept a calendar with both our weights on it. She weighed and measured every ounce we ate. I couldn't eat if I was hungry unless it was a mealtime. She put me on Weight Watchers at the age of 12. Since my parents were divorced, when I would spend time with my dad - I would eat 'normal' - and get dessert and stuff. I remember being so excited to have ice cream and popcorn WITH BUTTER!

I was a day student at a boarding school, so in high school things changed. I had breakfast, lunch and dinner at school. So I got to eat more 'normally' - especially given that I did three varsity sports - so was working out at least 2 hours a day. College, same thing. I graduated. Got a job where I was working 100 hours a week. No exercise - and a lot of take out food. I gained weight, and then got back into exercising and did weight watchers with a lot of success.

Then, I got into an awful relationship - boarding on abusive. I stopped eating because I felt awful. I weighed less than I did in high school. My Mom wouldn't stop telling me how great I looked, my friends were worried. I think I lost about 60 pounds in maybe 2 months? It was crazy.

I tried to maintain that weight loss for a while, and I just couldn't. I got back up to where I was in college, and stuck there for a long time. I worked out in a reasonable fashion (but for me, reasonable was still at least an hour a day). I met Aaron, and we started doing triathlons.... and no weight loss! It blew my mind that I was working out an insane amount and not a stick figure. So I went to a nutritionist who told me that the small amount of food I ate growing up programed my body to survive on a small amount of calories (which has served me well - I do great in long distance athletics). Also - she explained that I'm Big. I have a very large bone structure, so I'll never be a little person (also served me well - I've never broken a bone!). She compared it with asking a Great Dane to become a toy poodle. Just wasn't going to happen.

Then started the last 5 years of dealing with infertility, the ectopic, the m/c, my FIL's stroke, being pregnant for two years straight, Nora's death... I just couldn't deal with my weight issues and all that. And I've gained weight. I'm maybe 50 pounds more than I was when I got married? I'm uncomfortable in my skin. And in the past, I've never felt that way. And like I said last week, I'm finally ready to work on it.

So. Here I am on day 3 of eating pretty great. I'm having a smoothie of some sort for breakfast, and lunch and dinner involves only whole grains , vegatables and chicken/fish/legumes. I feel good. I'm not hungry. I've done things like this a few times, I was a vegetarian for a while when I was just out of college, I did South Beach when I was trying to lose weight for IF.... I always feel better eating better. But I can't stick with it. WHY?! I think that I'm a bit of an emotional eater (if you can believe it, if my mom and I had a really bad day - she would take me to Friendly's and we would have a big Reese's pieces sundae for dinner) - but I recognize it... and usually stop. There is a little voice in my head that tells me I SHOULD be able to eat an ice cream cone and not worry about gaining weight. Which I should... but I take it to a level where I'm wanting that ice cream cone every night. And something else I've noticed... I love feeling full. Having a nice, big plate of pasta with eggplant parm and garlic bread - send me to heaven right now.

But with kids comes a whole other level. I need to set a good example for them. I need to show them that eating healthy is fine... but also that having that ice cream cone as a treat on a weekend is fun too! And to be healthier and happier with my own body will help me enjoy their childhood too. I think I need to try and recognize that the food issues from my childhood really aren't helping the 'grown up' me, and try and make a new relationship with food. Not an easy task.


Michele said...

Honey... You and me... You and Me.... If you go to my blog and click the Weight tab, it backlinks to my previous posts on my weight. I'm now in a much better place and am learning portion control and how to eat for my body (I'm "big boned" too). In 4 months, I've dropped 50lbs in a healthy way and am committed to setting a good example for my kids.

~Shari said...

Thanks for this post.

It had helped me more that you will ever know.

Carrie27 said...

Wow, I can't believe the stress you were put under as a child about your weight, it's no wonder you have issues with it. I had friends that similar upbringings and have continued to face struggles with weight and self image.

My parents did not set a good example for healthy food, so as an adult I had to figure it all out on my own. I'm definitely better with eating healthy, just can't find a balance for working out regularly again.

HereWeGoAJen said...

Food issues are so hard. But I know you can do it.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry your mom put you through all that as a child. I strongly recommend Dr. Joel Fuhrman's books. He has one for adults, Eat to Live (a revised version just came out last month) and Disease Proof Your Child. He is a father of four. Your library may have his books. Good luck.

Deborah said...

Hey, I had too much going on to comment on this earlier, but I've been thinking about your post. I feel like I have a lot of the same issues about food, also coming from a mom who was/is overly health-conscious. I wish I could get more motivated to make changes. I liked what you said about not abusing your body, though. I'm going to try to remember that.

misguided mommy said...'s like reading my own story...hugs!