Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Food dysfunction

I have a food dysfunction. You may say obviously…that is why you are overweight. Well, say it with me …duh! But it is not that simple.

Food is meant to nourish us. It is suppose to give us energy and help us live a long life. However, I have been using it as a crutch. I use it to mask my emotions. When I am stressed, I do not want a salad or fruit, I want candy, chips and anything that will give me permission to forget about my problems and enjoy some fatty goodness for at least 5 minutes. Whenever I usually finish up whatever it is I chose to eat, I realize either (1) I cannot believe I ate it all, (2) I cannot even remember how it taste and/or (3) the problem was still there.

I think this dysfunction comes from my childhood. I grew up in a household where my mother was always on a diet. We had Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, the 3 day diet, the grapefruit diet, and the cabbage soup diet. It wasn’t so much that she was always on a diet. It was the fact that it was taped to the refrigerator… all the time. When we went to the store, I always had to look at the fat and calories. It was not a teaching moment; it was to see which one she could eat while on a diet.

Thinking back to the contents of our fridge, it was mainly healthy. None of that processed food. However, that unfortunately was not the image that sticks out from my childhood. It was that she was always on a diet. Whether she knew it or not, this caused my relationship with food to be warped. In high school, I weighed myself every week thinking I was too fat. I was 5’2” weighing 125lbs. However I subconsciously always thought I was fat.

Even though we had healthy food in the house, the cupboard was always stocked with snacks for us. It is 4 of us and one is a boy. So we went through snacks like it was nothing. Thinking about my two boys – 3 yrs and 1 yrs old – I do not want them to grow up with a dysfunction. I do not want them to always see my husband and I on a diet. I want them to learn about food and how to eat it. I want them to enjoy it with us; I want us to be a healthy family. I want them to go enjoy going to the farmers market. I want to instill in them a good relationship that one can have with food.

Even now when I go see my parents, my weight is always mentioned. When I think about it, my sisters and I are now always on a diet or always in the gym. We never seem to reach that point where it clicks when we can get over our dysfunction. This is my year. I am determined to make it click.

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