April 27, 2013

A Very Special Guest Post From A Very Special Friend...

Hi Everyone! I'm back from vacation but I am still getting my bearings at home. In the meantime I have asked my very best friend in the whole world to write a guest post about her experience with food and getting healthy. Please give a warm welcome to my very bestest friend, Susi!!!


Hi fellow Fit Has A Feelin' readers! My name's Susi.

Like my friend Karla, I am working on being healthier, and helping my family do the same. However, my unhealthy relationship with food makes this a struggle. Let me tell you a little bit about it.

I was raised eating clean. During school lunch, while my fellow 3rd graders opened their little treasure chests of processed foods, I would open my lunchbox with a mixture of hope and dread. When all things were laid out for barter, my loot was always (and I do mean always) left intact. I soon learned to resign myself to my fate, and just eat my tahini and honey on wheat. Any hydrogenated oils I obtained were through the charity of others. I would gratefully take any leftovers and shove them in my face as I imagine a starved child from a third world country would.

So you see, my unhealthy relationship with food was established early on. During any visits to a family member's home who ate “normal”, one could find me hidden away in a corner of the kitchen, eating peanut butter by the spoonfuls, and guzzling whole milk. What a treat it was to eat something other than tahini, and drink something other than soy. I started to gain weight.

The older I grew, the more I could get away with, the larger I became. My mother could not understand why I would sneak food and “destroy” my body. She called me fat often. My response to the pressure was simply to sneak more food. The sugar rushes helped me ignore the hurt feelings that were boiling in me. To this day, when I feel upset, I eat.

Ironically, now that I am older and can make my own decisions on what I consume, I find that I do not much like the things I used to pine over. I am not a fan of peanut butter. I don't like ding dongs at all. I'm also grateful that I was taught early on to eat clean. I actually enjoy eating healthy foods. However, I understand that my mother's militaristic approach to eating created the unhealthy relationship with food I have today. The mere thought of going on a diet can send me into such a panic that I run to the refrigerator and gorge. I do not like to feel deprived. Thus, I have been overweight to different degrees all of my adult life. What a sad sentence to type.

I have 3 children. I want them to be healthy. I want them to have a positive self image. So I have incorporated the ideology that I will feed them healthy foods, but I will not be a food tyrant. I allow them their occasional hot dogs. We have dessert on the weekends. They have to eat their vegetables if nothing else. But more importantly, I never berate them about their weight. If they eat something they are not supposed to, they get in trouble for disobeying, not for “destroying” their bodies as I was told.

Maybe one day I will internalize the healthy relationship with food I hope I am instilling in them. But for now, I am happy to come up with healthy meals that hold value on the school lunch tables for my kids.