It is no secret that people who are morbidly obese typically have an unhealthy relationship with food. And as someone who is still morbidly obese, I face the obstacles of my personal relationship with food everyday. I am constantly faced with choices – with the angel on one shoulder reminding me that I can eat again later and the devil on the other trying to convince me that food makes me happy.
And for years, I let that ugly voice that said “Go on, order the milkshake” win because it was easier than facing my feelings of self-disgust and failure. And because milkshakes taste good. As an emotional girl who is coming to terms with myself, it’s easy to see my emotional connection to food, but let’s not forget that I just like it too. I enjoy the flavor and texture of food, and for years I was under the impression that food made me happy. Do I look happy drinking that milkshake? I didn’t think so…
The truth is that food tastes good, but it doesn’t make me happy. The feeling of contentment makes me happy, and for a long time, I’ve confused those feelings with my love of pizza. I think it’s okay to enjoy food. I know foodies who are having great success with weight-loss so it’s possible.
I’ll probably always enjoy good Pad Thai, and I might always like cupcakes. But the big difference between life now and life before is that I realize (even though it’s still hard to recognize at times) that those foods do not have to control me anymore.
Recently, in a video blog, I talked about my need to figure out why I always seem to crave more than I have, and that’s an important thing to figure out. But it’s not as important (at least at this point) as understanding that I have the power to control those urges. I’ve been succeeding in this area over the last week and a half or so, and I’m going to remind myself that I can control myself as much as I have to.
Weight-loss, at least for me, is not about giving up every fattening food I enjoy until I die. Instead, it’s about living my imperfect life and enjoying it while continuing to strive to live comfortably with food. Food doesn’t love me, but I need it. And while I don’t need cupcakes ever, I enjoy them. And I’ll continue to enjoy them from time to time even as my weight decreases. It worked during the first 100 pounds I lost, and it will work now.
And while I should have known that a cupcake couldn’t provide happiness all along, it’s empowering to own that now. And that’s what’s most important. Today is what’s most important.
How do you feel about your relationship with food? Is it healthy? Was there ever a time in which it was unhealthy? What changed? Has anything changed?