Are you trying to unlearn diet culture yet feel out of control on a roller coaster to who-knows-where? Making steps toward Food Peace can be exciting and oh sh*t so scary. Looking for compassionate direction? Listen to the latest Love Food Podcast with guest expert Vincci Tsui author of The Mindful Eating Workbook.
This episode's Dear Food letter:
Dear Food,Oh my, I just don't even know where to begin. When I was around 13 years old my mother told me that I needed to watch out because too much more of you would take me from the regular sizes to the misses sizes - which in that day was more like plus size. If I ate more of you, which was always intensely scrutinized and monitored by her, than she felt happy with, she would give me a look of disappointment and shame around you and my body set in. I would sometimes whip up a bowl of cookie dough while she was out of the house for a brief time, scarf you down, and then clean up as fast as possible. You were associated with shame at home and then freedom when I was out in my car alone. It was then the roots of "thin means worthy, beautiful and acceptable" and "fat was unsightly, made you worth less, and would negatively affect your life in so many ways from getting a man, to getting a job, to embarrassing your teenagers." What is so crazy now is that pictures of me still living at home show a healthy, not even chubby, girl. I do not know what my mother was seeing! Anyway, so from there I restricted and binged you. I went from diet fad to diet fad. Of course, I would get so many compliments from people when they observed my eating less of you, even when I was nearly starving myself. But those never lasted, I'd always come back to you, so much so that you would make me so sick I'd swear never to binge on you again, which I did. Then floods of shame and embarrassment and failure would overcome me as I regained all my weight plus some. My ups and downs with you have cost me so much money Food! Between all the diets, special ingredients and clothing...oh my...I cannot even imagine how much money I've wasted over these years trying to get to that size where I would be acceptable to my mother and therefore, myself and others. I was once again failing at keeping weight off from my most recent diet and I started searching podcasts for food related subjects. I came across your podcast three months ago and was introduced to Intuitive Eating, Diet Culture and Peace with Food for the first time - wow - totally new concepts for me. I love them and I want to incorporate them into my life. I so want peace with you and with myself! I want to accept where I am right now, at this moment! However, I am discouraged and feeling confused. As I have given myself freedom with all foods and as I've tried to eat only when hungry and stop when full, a skill I have A LOT of work to do to figure out, I have just gotten fatter and that scares me. I need to know what is the normal process. I want to set my expectations of how my newfound relationship with you is going to look. I feel like as I have said no to more dieting and seeing all food as permissible - this way of doing things is back firing! Is this how it works? Is my body holding on to everything thinking I'll starve it again? Does it get worse before getting better? I would love to know as I want my journey towards loving you to be free and peaceful. Thanks for keeping me alive Food. We just need to figure out how this relationship is going to pan out!Love,Time to DTR (define the relationship)
Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com.