Food Rituals

Warning: this is long!!

Hubs and I were talking the other day about what our lives used to be like. I have to say one of the best things about doing this with him is being able to share the experience and bond over it. I guess we're lucky that we can-- a lot of people feel isolated in their dieting experience or even feel sabotaged by those close to them when they try to make a major change. But Hubs and I have each other and we're very supportive of each other.

The BFC used to be a major topic of conversation for us. We were, frankly, a little obsessed with what we could or couldn't eat. We plotted and schemed to eke out every last carb's worth of tastiness. Things aren't like that anymore. Now it's more, "What do we have in the house to cook?" rather than "How many cups of this ice cream can we get away with?" The change was slow, I'm sure. I didn't even notice it happening. But here we are, completely un-obsessed with food.
And thank goodness!

My mother (bless her heart) taught me about food and all its many uses: sustenance, celebration, consolation, shame. She often got caught up in what were like rituals centered around food. A prime example-- Magnum bars. You know, those decadent ice cream bars enveloped in a thick, dark chocolate coating? She loved them! But she didn't just eat them when she felt like it. No, it had to be at a specific time and in a specific way.

Mom would take a Magnum bar out of the freezer about 10 minutes before Bold and the Beautiful started and let it sit out to soften up a little (not how I like them, but to each her own!). Then she would put on the show, sit down in her comfy chair and unwrap the frozen treat. And let it sit there for another minute. I'm not sure why, I'll be honest. But then she would finally take the first bite. She always had a folded up paper towel on the arm of the chair to catch any spills. And she would slowly eat that Magnum bar the whole time the show was on. It would take her 20 minutes. I still don't know how she did it without it being a melty mess-- just an innate skill I guess!

So, I guess I learned food rituals from my mom. I regularly fell into habits with my food and associated certain activities or events with certain foods. Gilmore Girls reminds me of baked potatoes (lots of butter and sour cream!) for this reason. And Toys R Us makes me crave Pixy Stix.

And then there were the mindless habits. On the way to work, stop and get an egg McMuffin and giant Coke. Don't think-- just get it! These choices were so reaffirmed in my mind that I didn't even analyze them anymore. I think that's how we're programmed as human beings. When we've done something a hundred times we don't really stop to question ourselves-- it's just what we do. It takes an event or a moment of clarity to snap us out of it.

For me, it was that little girl asking if I was pregnant when I wasn't. Humiliating! But it made me take a look at myself and start to question why I had been doing what I had and what it would take to change.

I was ready for a battle and I was willing to fight for the rest of my life. What I didn't expect was to come to a place where I was really at peace with food. I like it-- of course I do!-- but I don't have a love/hate relationship with it anymore. We're on better terms now, me and food. That may just be one of the best outcomes of doing the BFC. :)


Rosalie said...

Great post. I love the story about your mom. It takes a while to get used to the BFC - but when you do its easy. :-)

Anonymous said...

It's great to get to that place. Good for you for getting there!

Dawn said...

lotsa food rituals we are trying to break over here, too. Good luck!