As we finish up Season 4, consider what parts of your Food Peace Journey™️ you can unravel and which are not your burden to carry. We must Rally together to free all bodies and no matter what, no one can take away the steps you have taken on your Food Peace Journey so far. Listen to this latest episode and stick around to the end for a special announcement!
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Dear Wonderful, Delightful, Complicated Food:
We’ve had a long relationship of valleys and peaks, and after a long time, I finally feel like we are at a pleasant plateau. I’m no longer caught up in the very restrictive behaviors of anorexia that I experienced when I struggled to control other aspects of my life. I recognize that sometimes, my body needs more of you, and I am usually able to eat without feeling overwhelmed by grief and negative thoughts. My husband is kind, loving, and better than anything I thought possible.
And yet, I am very aware that plateaus have boundaries, and I am afraid that in this case, the boundary is a cliff, mostly related to aging. I have almost always been in a fat body, but about seven years ago, through severe restriction, I was small enough to shop in straight-sized stores for the first time since I was a freshman in high school. As nice as the compliments were, I was harming myself, and my relationship with you. While my therapist was outstanding in helping me build the strength to leave an abusive situation, he encouraged my weight loss.
Leaving abuse meant a new career, and while I never planned to be in healthcare, that is where I find myself. I work in long-term care, and every day, I listen to the fatphobic opinions of the medical community. In the last five years, I have regained all the weight I lost, and more. At work, I am always the fattest person in the room. I try to tune out water cooler discussions of their personal diets, but when we discuss patient health, I am overwhelmed. Two patients can have generally equal diagnoses, symptoms, and test results, but if one is fat, their situation is blamed on their weight, and pain is nearly always reduced to “if they would lose X pounds, they wouldn’t be in pain.” I have also had some health setbacks in these recent years. I am now disabled and experience chronic pain. I was finally diagnosed with PCOS after 26 years since my first period, and I had to stop the medication that helped regulate it because of potentially deadly side effects. I know that because of PCOS, my food needs are different from others, and that I experience hunger, fullness, and cravings differently.
Food, I am afraid that when I am older and need more medical care, they will not be able to see past the numbers on the scale. I am afraid that if I ever need residential health care, my nutrition needs will not be met because I will be served the same thing as everyone else, on their schedules, according to rules made by bureaucrats. We have worked so hard to get to this place, and I am afraid that the medical community is going to destroy that. I fear that they will not care if restriction makes my hair fall out again as long as my waist gets smaller.
Please help me find ways to stay on good terms with you while advocating for myself within a fatphobic system.
Sincerely, Allied Health Worker in Need of an Ally
Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com.