Recently I had two family members make, hmmm, I will say *interesting* comments about my food choices and eating habits. Both comments were of the “gee, you sure do know how to put the food away” variety. In both cases, it made me uncomfortable and I’m not entirely sure why.
I love to eat! I mostly make healthy choices and try to eat food close to its natural state, but while I don’t overeat I also don’t skimp on portions. I work out A LOT, which allows me to eat more than a lot of people and still maintain a healthy weight. I know that I am a healthy weight.
So…why do the comments make me feel like I had better put my fork down? Or that being a hearty eater is a cause for shame?
I think a part of me still believes that I am the chubby adolescent whose grandma once told her “Oh Kimmie, you would be so pretty if you just lost weight”. [By the way, please do not call me Kimmie, I have some very negative associations there, lol.]
As a teenager and young adult, I binged on food as a way of dealing with distressing emotions; I felt very out of control around food and very self-conscious about my weight.
Well-meaning (?) comments—and there were many—about the weight I had gained since puberty were not helpful. In fact, those comments left deep emotional scars because I took the criticism about my weight to be a criticism about my worth as a human being. Of course, my rational mind knows now that the idea of tying my self-worth to my weight is completely bogus, but emotionally those old wounds are still tender.
And so, even though I feel I have come such a long way in having a peaceful relationship with food and my body...well, I can still get side-swiped. And when that happens, I need to take a deep breath and put things in perspective. Yes, I want to feel my feelings, and I need to remember that feeling something doesn't make it so...feel, acknowledge, reframe, let it go.