Why I Have A Love-Hate Relationship With Eating (You Know You Do Too!)

19 Aug

So, my plan for lunch today was to go to the Asian food place and get some nom nom lettuce wraps to eat.  But STARING AT MY FUCKING FACE was a sign saying “happy hour special!” — that began right at the time that I showed up to get my lunch.

As anyone that knows me will tell you, if there’s a deal — I’m on it.  Buy 2 Economy-Sized boxes of Baking Soda and get a 3rd Free? I’m in!  A BOGO on wilting strawberries at Giant?  COUNT ME IN!  This Happy Hour special involved a delish full meal — with a soup and an entree — and even a soda (I love soda, this is why I don’t have it at the house).

So, I gave in, and got the happy hour special, which included a take-out cup-size portion of Asian chicken noodle soup (lemony and cilantro-y! my faves) and Beef with Brocolli, since it’s the only entree that didn’t have any meat or vegetable deep-fried into delicious oblivion.

I sat at my desk, savoring the noodle soup that ended up burning my tongue — and I have to say, that I’m satisfied in terms of how much food I can fit into my stomach.  But sitting next to me, is a delicious, still-warm, helping of Beef and Brocolli just being to be covered in Rooster sauce and put inside my mouth!

Why Am I Fighting the Urge to Put This In My Mouth?!

Ok — when I took that picture I did sneak a piece of Brocolli covered in black bean sauce into my mouth, and now it’s awakened my taste buds.

BUT MY POINT IS: As an eternal fattie (by this I mean, someone who love love loves food, not necessarily someone who is fat — you can be a fattie and be thin, and you can be a fattie and also be fat — it’s possible — it just so happens that I’m the latter), I have to constantly talk to myself about food.

Only until recently did I realize that this is not something that normal people do.  My stomach and my brain don’t always communicate with each other in the right way — so while my brain says “STOP EATING YOU’RE GETTING FAT,” my stomach is sort of like a really, depressed Twihard that eats her feelings constantly.  So, as you can see — sometimes those two parts of me don’t really see eye-to-eye.

Usually, my stomach wins out — and I wake up the next morning seriously considering a good ol’ purge or maybe even a whole gallon of Prune Juice — at times I’ve taken the extreme measures of drinking that Chinese “dieters tea” that has the itty bitty ballerinas fluttering all about.  I feel this way, because I’ve grown up with extreme food guilt (I have many storie about food guilt), and I’ve slowly had to learn how to actually listen to my body.

It’s difficult to do. I’m not hungry — but that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t very easily stuff my face right now.  I admire those people that only eat when they’re hungry, or stop half way, and put down their fork, and maybe even don’t even eat everything!  Those people have iron wills.

Kate Moss (so not my body-shape hero) has that really, really famous quote of “Nothing tastes as good, as being thin feels.”  This is like a mantra for anorexic people.  And even though I have a lot of problems with that quote, there is actually some truth to it.

I’ve never been skinny, in my entire life (ok, maybe that one time that I wore a babykini in the bathtub as a baby).  So, sorry Kate — but I don’t know what being thin feels like — and I do know that Avocados are delicious.  Especially when spread over toast and then topped off with a scrambled egg and maybe some havarti cheese — but I digress!

Sometimes, I have to think about how maybe, nothing tastes as good, as being comfortable in my own skin feels.  I grew up being constantly criticized about my body shape. My parents always put me on some new-fangled diet to get rid of my pudge.  My father would grow concerned that my fat size, would result in me becoming some sort of obese, man-hating, butch lesbian.  In middle school during an outing with “friends” and “other people,” a really really really mean boy named Aaron referred to me as a half-ton whale.  While trying on dresses for my uncle’s wedding, my father suggested that I try on clothes in the maternity section.  Both situations resulted in my locking myself in a stall somewhere and crying.

Pudgy Kid Me with Tequila The Dog, who was also Pudgy

All those of course, are outside examples, but I’ve done it to myself too.  I was quite possibly the closest I had ever been to being “in love” with a boy named Matt Franklin, when he stopped talking to me and started spending all his time with my best friend Sophie, who I could fit into my pocket.  I resented her, because she was itty bitty and all she ate was Chee-tos, while I was fat, and my mother had forced me to eat only boiled chicken and green beans (if you ever try to feed me chicken and green beans together, I will break your nose off).  My parents will tell you that that period of time (I was 11!) was the skinniest I had ever been, because I was far too depressed to eat!   I stopped eating because I thought that the only way I could get boys to like me was by trying to be skinny — I already had everything else going for me — my only flaw was that I was a pudgy kid.

It’s a feeling that’s haunted me well into my adult life.  I try to fight it daily by focusing on other things, like my job, my friends, the way my body surprises me in yoga class, or that I’ve successfully completed a 5K in under 30 minutes.  I’m not crippled, I don’t get winded walking up a flight of stairs, and I actually enjoy being outdoors and dressing my body in pretty things (even if sometimes it involves the help of triple-Spanx)

Moral of the story?  It’s not that being thin feels better  … it’s that being comfortable in my body is more important to me than eating the delicious beef and broccoli at this very moment.  Delicious food excites me for a very short period of time, while feeling better about my body is a sentiment that will make me a stronger, happier, confident, and better person because I won’t be beating myself up. I’m not saying I”m not gonna eat the beef and broccoli, because I totally will, but just not right now. It’s just a step that I’m taking so that I can get rid of the nagging voice of the 11-year-old that’s always too disappointed with her body.


3 Responses to “Why I Have A Love-Hate Relationship With Eating (You Know You Do Too!)”

  1. killacan August 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Sometimes I don’t even want to start eating because I know it will be over soon. Now THAT is fat.

    • Valeria August 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

      Oh lord girl — I always look at an empty plate of food with a smile on my fave and my pants unbuttoned. THIS IS WHY I LOVE THANKSGIVING.

      • Valeria August 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

        PS — i just ate all of that food. In the amount of time it took me to think about writing it, then writing it, then proof-reading it, then posting it, then reading it again, then doing something else — i got hungry and ate it.

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