Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holiday Treat Overload (Warning: This one is rambly!)

Ever since I started really trying to listen to my body regarding food and life in general, things have been very, very different than they were for the majority of my lifetime.  For instance, take the holidays and all of the wonderful treats that come with them as an example.  I remember when I was young and the holidays were a time for the most obvious manifestations of my growing Love-Hate relationship with food.

You see, all of those foods that I loved and only got once a year were everywhere, but more often than not I would end up sneaking treats and trying to eat them when no one was looking because I didn't want anyone to know how much I was actually eating.  I was embarrassed about enjoying food.  It was shameful that I might like fudge or my family's famous apple pie or my aunt's amazing gingerbread men.

Looking back I find myself shaking my head and asking "Why?".  Why would the world make enjoying things like that something to be guilty about rather than a happy experience?

Because I was fat.  Fat people don't "need" all of those things.  Fat people should subsist on celery sticks, salads made with no dressing except a touch of plain vinegar, and maybe a dried out, overcooked broiled chicken breast.  That's what fat people should eat according to the fat-shaming society that we live in.  They should CERTAINLY never be allowed to eat something that has "no nutritional value!" and just enjoy it.

So I sneaked cookies and treats and slices of banana bread and made ostentatious shows of eating the broccoli and baby carrots off of the vegetable tray when people were looking at me.

Not any more!  Nowadays I let myself enjoy whatever it is that I am eating, and I do it in public view no less!  I know, right?  THE HORROR!!!!  *LOL*

The irony is now that I've allowed myself to have such items in the open, without fear and without shame, I actually want less of them.  We got a lot of sweet treats as presents from people this year, and it is lovely that we are so loved and cared for.  But wow...FLOOD O' SUGAR!  Anyway, the thing is that back when I was ashamed of enjoying my food, it would probably all be gone by now.  I would have binged on it when no one was looking, and then pretended that it wasn't me who ate it all.  Now I'm taking my time, enjoying what I have, and finding myself craving vegetables and salad alongside the truffles and baked goods.

It is a refreshing change for me.  I don't feel the need to hide, so I don't feel the need to binge.

The lesson for me (and maybe for others, though everyone has to find their own way of looking at things), is that the only thing to avoid when it comes to my eating habits is shame.  Shame creates so many negative consequences and literally feeds on itself.  Letting go of the shame allowed me to let go of the need to hoard and hide and binge, not tasting the food that I ate because I was eating it so quickly or so absorbed in making sure that no one saw me eating it.  Now I can savor my food, whether it is a Godiva truffle or an apple cranberry walnut salad.

As for the baked goods, well, I put a pile of them into the freezer today because there's no way we're going to get them all eaten before they go bad.  We'll pull them out a little at a time to enjoy them.  Openly.  Proudly.  Happily.  And by taking our time with them we can re-experience the joy of having people who care about us enough to send us such lovely gifts.  I think that is the best part of all.  I'm not ashamed to enjoy the love and caring that comes in the form of these once-a-year treats.

1 comment:

  1. I've had a similar experience. In my efforts to a) eat less calories and b) eat less carbs, I have discovered that I crave less sweets. On the other hand, any finger veggies or fruit cannot seem to stay in the house.


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