I cannot say that I’ve ever particularly liked eating. The “healthiest” reason I’ve ever had for this dislike is that I don’t want to stop doing whatever interesting thing I’m doing to eat.
However, it’s deeper than that for me in many ways. I was often force-fed as a child. I would be told to finish all my food, even if I was gagging and trying not to throw it up at the table, because I was so full. Ironically, the same parents who ensured I was overfed to the point of being ill, also thought it was horrible that I was a chunky kid at times. I was constantly compared to thinner girls and women and told how and why those people were better for being smaller. It was loads of fun let me tell you.
Today, sometimes I have nausea when I go to eat food – even if I’m very hungry. I honestly think that this is psycho-somatic of sometimes just being afraid of being force-fed and being afraid of food on some level due to old bad experiences with it.
The irony of my not liking food is that it made me fat. I call this out, because I’m sick of hearing how fat people are gluttonous food lovers. I became obese at a handful of points in my life simply because I COULD NOT STAND FOOD. So, I’d let myself get very, very hungry and you know my body wasn’t going to stand for that for very long. I would inevitably find myself eating the highest calorie and/or highest fat thing in the house I could find to just quickly get the stupid eating process out of the way so I could get on with my life and forget about food again for a while.
In the last several months, I have started enjoying food on a deeper level than I can ever remember experiencing. I do still have my nausea bouts now and then, but I can now trust myself to put whatever food down that is causing me to feel sick rather than to force myself to finish it out of traumatic habit.
It was a huge step for me when I was able to start eating the kinds of frozen dinners that I’ve pictured above. I’m veggie and I have a sensitive stomach so Amy’s, Ethnic Gourmet and various cereals was about all I ever ate (for the most part) for a long time. This was an improvement because there was better nutritional value in these things than the bag of cookies I’d finally get hungry enough to finish off in starved desperation when I refused to feed myself properly before. It was a big step for me, because I became willing to spent the three to five minutes microwaving the stuff and the extra time it takes to eat a pot pie as opposed to some oatmeal cookies. Seriously. No joke.
I am so happy that I now seem to be smack dab in the middle of a phase where I am willing to put some real effort into preparing food for myself. I will cook. I will organize. I will even make sure the food presentation is kinda cheery, cuz I’ve realized that actually matters. I sit and I really taste the food. I never thought I’d feel so free with food. So, whooo hooooooooo!
Whenever I see fat protrayed as gluttonous, I want to shout my story. I know I’m not the only one too. Yes, it is possible to be fat, because you truly do not like food. Fat stereotypes are nowhere near the reality.
Fat can be caused by so many things. It is not about fat and lazy (I’m talking to you BBC). It can be the natural shape a body prefers to be and perfectly healthy. It can be the result of trauma. It can be due to SO MANY THINGS that have nothing to do with laziness.
In fact, one of the fattest women I ever knew was one of the most active I ever knew. She played rugby every other day of the week for hours. She volunteered. She helped her friends move. She walked her giant dogs. She was always fixing stuff up around the house. She sewed. She cooked. She was (and is, but we lost touch) amazing. There is so much to admire about her.
It is ironic that thin is considered some kind of virtue, but when I was striving towards thin, I was the most self-centered that I have ever been. I could not keep relationships, because eventually someone would get between me and my obsession and they’d either let me go, because they realized how messed up I was or I’d let them go out of sheer frustration. Nearly every minute of every day was spent in some strategic move to burn calories and/or limit food intake. I didn’t volunteer. I could hardly form a sentence. Many days, it was impossible to even force a smile…. I was so starved and angry.
So, when my friend Sophie mentions that the British government is complaining about fat people because they are going to bankrupt the National Health System, I think about all the active and outgoing fat women I have known… and I think about all the so obsessed with thin that they are completely self-destructing people I have known and I wonder why fat is being blamed so heavily. Unhealthy people come in all shapes and sizes, including thin, fat and everything in between. Healthy people are just as diverse. Fat people can be active. Thin people can be sedentary. All combinations are possible!! How long as we going to allow a bloated and manipulative diet-industry to tell us otherwise?
Read Full Post »