I guess I am at a place in my journey that I am trying to crack the code on why I chose to stuff down my feelings with food. The other day, it had me thinking of the first real memory I had of food. Negative or positive.
I was in 6th grade. I guess you could say I was a bit chunky for my age.
My Nana told me I needed to go on a diet. Now mind you, I was not an obese child by any standard. I just had a little baby fat that some girls hold onto before they hit puberty.
I remember her telling me to put my fork down. I didn't need to eat that (I can't recall what what it was). I remember being so upset that I stormed outside and sat down on a stump and cried in the neighbors yard.
Of course my Nana followed me. To check and make sure I was okay. But, I wasn't. I felt humiliated and defeated. I remember her telling me that I needed to follow the Slim-Fast diet. That I didn't want to be the heavy girl. That I was too pretty to be heavy.
Then she made me a deal. Lose the weight and she would treat me to my favorite restaurant.....Mexican food.
Really? Can anyone else see the irony here? Lose the weight and I will reward you with what???? FOOD! Not a cute top, not jeans, not shoes or a handbag.............food. No wonder I have a love/hate relationship with food. It has been ingrained in my brain since childhood.
You see, my Nana was a wonderful grandmother but she grew up in another era. The relationship with food and feelings would have never occurred to her. That is just how she was raised. You eat to survive (she grew up in the Great Depression). Food was a special treat to be savored on special occasions. Everyday abuse of food would have been gluttonous.
Fast food didn't exist in her world. A bag of chips? I really can not remember her having them except on a special occasion. That whole generation treated food differently than we do. People actually sat down to meals that were lovingly prepared. "Made from scratch" was not some marketing gimmick to make you think the frozen dinner did not taste like cardboard. My Nana's generation thought about food much differently than we do today.
What I am realizing is that while I could easily blame my eating habits on how I grew up, I need to be an adult and own up to the fact that I treated food poorly. It was me that used food as my drug of choice. No one held a gun to my head and made me eat. I did it.
For me that is a huge step in cracking the food code.... the acceptance of responsibility for my actions. That while my first food memory is not really a pleasant one, it is in the past. And the past is just that......the past.
And while the past reveals where I have been in my food journey, it does not dictate my future. That is up to me. Everyday is a new opportunity to chart a new course.....to create a new "food map" of sorts to get me to my destination.