Thursday, September 13, 2007

Where I have an epiphany

I have been pretty good with my food lately - I have been loosely following the principles of the Warrior Diet, and that pattern of eating really works best for me. My meals have been great (last night was a stew of lentils, carrots, swiss chard, tomato and a little bacon for fat) but I admit, my snacks are not the best. I still lean towards sweets, even if it's just a bite or nibble here or there. It's still counterproductive to everything else I am doing. Last night, I had a bowl of ice cream. I have been steering away from it for the last few months, mostly because 1.) it's a 'trigger food' for me, meaning I cannot usually control myself and 2.) I have been developing a problem with dairy. If I eat ice cream at night, I generally wake up in the morning with horrid stomach cramps and spend the better part of the morning in the bathroom. I guess that could be construed as aversion therapy! 

So I'm watching the season finale of Rescue Me (oy, am I the only one here who finds Denis Leary disturbingly hot? Post for another time...) shoving in the ice cream, and the entire time, I am thinking about how I'm really not hungry, I really don't need this, why am I eating it??!! I finally put it in the kitchen, unfinished and disgusted with myself. Why did I eat it in the first place? Couple things, first off, I honestly thought to myself "it's been awhile since I sat down and had a treat and watched one of my favorite shows. This used to be a nightly ritual. I deserve it, I've been good. So what if I'm not hungry, there's always room for chocolate."

The second part of this analysis stems from my childhood. My brother and I were on a strict diet growing up - he was allergic to a lot of stuff - wheat, chocolate, dairy, artificial colors and flavors, nitrates. Mom made everything from scratch. Our bread, our baked goods, everything. We had NO processed foods until I was in high school. This in and of itself is fine, I'm glad I had that foundation as a child. The problem was my father. My dad has serious food issues. As a kid, he always got the biggest piece of meat, or the extra piece of pie. We would go trick or treating, only to get our candy taken away by dad, who would sit and eat it in front of us. Foods that we would be admonished as being 'bad', he would consume with gusto. In front of us. I started sneaking candy when I was about 13. When he caught me, oh my god, he would yell. When I was in high school, I started working and making my own money. I started bingeing on all the foods I watched him eat. I never had a weight problem, because I was fortunate enough to have the metabolism of a hummingbird. But I set a pattern. For years, I ate sweets as if I would never get to eat them again. I would horde and binge. 

It's been a hard pattern to break. My father is still disgustingly food obsessed. It's a running joke between me and Bryan that my dad senses when I've baked a pie. I can't tell you the number of times he's walked in the door as I'm pulling one out of the oven. I hate watching him eat - he piles his plate high and leans over and shoves it in. He always eats like he'll never eat again. And I never realized, until this morning, how much that has affected me. It's like a light bulb went off this morning: I am turning into my father. Which I don't want. My mother worked hard to instill good eating habits in us, and I want to try to recapture that. 

I don't want to seem like I blame my dad, because I don't. But I think growing up with that has affected how I think about food. Knowing this is half the battle. I feel good coming to this realization. And all I need to remind myself is: there will always be more food. It isn't going to disappear. It may seem like a simple mantra, but for me, it's huge. It's not about 'dieting' or 'deprivation' - it's about eating normally, mindfully, and healthfully. 

I'm off to swing!

{ETA: 100 swings 8 kg, 100 swings 12 kg, 65 snatches 8 kg.}

No comments: