The intimate relationship, the sneaking around to spend time with you, the lying about the time we are together, the lusting after you, the guilt for being with you........
Sounds like an affair, doesn't it? In a way it was! For those of us that were overweight or that struggle with an eating disorder, you know what I am referring to. Any excuse will do: stress, depression, anxiety, anger, boredom, celebrations, they all worked as an excuse to stuff my face full of those wonderful tasting items.
Somewhere along the lines, I learned to stuff my feelings with food and let me tell you it has been the longest love affair of my life! I always considered myself a "foodie". I was consumed with great food from a young age.
I grew up in Kansas, with a grandmother who was the best cook in the world. She taught me how to bake homemade rolls, homemade candies, baked pies and jams. I even inherited her bread board. As I grew older, I had a job that allowed me to travel internationally, I took it upon myself to try all the dishes of the world.
I love to cook and find great pleasure in making people happy through my food. I know I got it from my Grandma Mary, a wonderful Irish Catholic woman, who fed everyone that entered her home, whether you were hungry or not. She was warm and welcoming and she made you feel loved. I wanted to repeat that feeling forever. I still get that feeling through food.
That feeling of comfort and love that envelops me when I eat that carby goodness is better than a real affair (and sex) on the best of days. At least I have gotten to the root of the issue. As I stand in front of the pantry staring at it when I am not really hungry, I continually have to ask myself, "What is it that you really seeking?"
My grandma had the famous grandma's kitchen table, you know the one.......the one where you are always welcome. The one that the coffee pot was always ready with a fresh pot, homemade peach or black raspberry pie was ready to be served and most of all, a kind word and conversation was to be had.
I have been searching for that love and support in food since those days and I know I am not going to find it there. No matter what I had done wrong, grandma always had a cup of coffee and a kind word for me.
My life spiraled out of control for years, by my own doing. Codependency took over my very existence and obesity slowly took it's foothold. Trauma after trauma compounded the issue and I fell back to the one love affair that made me feel safe and comforted......food!
When I had started this journey of weight loss surgery, I had no idea that the largest hurdle was my mind. Getting to the core of why I became obese in the first place became so important, especially if I don't want to return there. My pouch is only a tool that can assist me, but there are ways around the weight loss surgery and regain is a real issue in this community.
I am learning that I don't have to give up my love for food, I just have to look at it differently. I now enjoy reworking old recipes to be more healthy, using alternative substitutes for sugar and I still cook for those I love.
This surgery has fundamentally changed me, even my marriage had to change. We used to enjoy finding amazing eating establishments and being foodies together, difference is that my husband is "stick man". My hubby is 5'10" and 150 pounds, with a hollow leg. He can eat anything and not gain a pound. I do envy him. It was very hard in the beginning to readjust, but now we still find places to eat; however, now we enjoy finding healthy alternatives on the menu. We love cooking together, the only thing I think he can't stand is when I start reading labels and turn a grocery store trip into a 2 hour ordeal.
I struggle with this journey and I fail some days. But I just keep picking myself up and keep trying again and again. The self examination can be difficult and painful, but, so worth the effort.
Do you have a love affair with food?