Sunday, July 11, 2010

Food For Thought

Food and feelings are so intricately bound.

My Mom sent home a dish of macaroni and cheese for my daughter who missed "family" dinner. This is everyone's favourite but mine and since half the family is in PEI for the Taylor Swift/Keith Urban/Kelly and Regis shows there were lots of leftovers. It made her very happy at lunchtime today.

I was trying to remember the last time I felt such joy in what I was eating. After spending a year+ on Weight Watchers, I've gotten to the point where food is starting to feel like the enemy. Something I need to keep out of the house. Something I need to avoid when I'm shopping (fast food court.) Something I need to guard against when I'm at social events.

I'm currently reading Women, Food and God and finding it very enlightening. I watched her on an Oprah show and felt very much as if she were speaking directly to me. She is making a return appearance on tomorrow's show so I'm looking forward to that.

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about my relationship with food and weight and why it seems like such a life time battle for me. One of the first things I heard her say is that we shame ourselves into losing weight and then think that somehow, after shedding the pounds, we will miraculously be okay with ourselves.

Are you one of the lucky people who never worry about their weight? Or do you struggle with weight and body image?

Do you enjoy food without guilt? Do you accept your body just the way it is? And if you do please tell me what your secret is.


Janet said...

Mmmm, I love homemade mac and cheese! And my mom makes the best - I plan on getting her to make some when she visits this fall!

Thanks for the info on the book - it sounds fascinating. I don't have a weight problem, per se (meaning when people see me they think I'm on the slim side due to my height), but that doesn't mean I don't have issues. What woman these days doesn't - which is a sad commentary on our perceptions of body and health!

I will tell you that since taking on this writing thing and sitting at a desk all day and then most of the night, the clothes are getting tighter and I've had to buy bigger sizes. I've started running because I could never think to give up food - I love it too much. I'm surprised by how much I think about what I'm eating now that I am running - but I still ate a large bag of chips yesterday, so it's not permenant thinking :)

Anne MacFarlane said...

Your right, Janet, whether it's weight or something else, it seems most women have body issues.

It's interesting that you've discovered since writing, the clothes are getting tighter. But running is a great way to stay in shape. I also find running is a great for one's mood. So, keep it up!

Michelle Helliwell said...

Anne - this post is so timely. I have battled with my weight my whole life, and I'm currently on another uphill climb (actually, going up in weight is more like a harrier jump jet. It's the down part that is the battle).

I don't know if I feel like food is the enemy, but that I just can't be "normal" with it, whatever that is. My habits aren't truly bad, but I do need to explore that relationship a little better. I actually thought I'd start blogging about that too, just for accountability sake, but I don't know if I'm ready to do that - takes away from other writing. I will definitely check out that book you're reading!!!

Anne MacFarlane said...

Michelle, I totally relate to not feeling "normal" about your eating. I don't know how much is enough, when to say when, etc. How do "normal" people figure that out?

Then I have to resort to counting points or calories or food exchanges. Which just doesn't seem to be a healthy way to relate to food.

I was part of a healthy writers blog for awhile but I got really tired of focusing so much on the "weight" thing. It was time for me to take a step back.

Cat Schield said...

Food. Even when it's not great, it's still good. And the older I get, the more those pounds are settling around my middle. Yuck. That's the worst weight to shed.

Food is comfort. Celebration. Pretty much any excuse, ya know?

I've had a life long battle with those extra few pounds. Must exercise more and eat better. But it's so hard.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Cat, it is hard, isn't it? And it really shouldn't be. That's my quest right now. To figure out a way to make it simple.

Julia Smith said...

Anne, you may find this hard to believe, but there is one woman out there who doesn't care about what she looks like.

I just add it onto the long list of Ways I'm Not Like Everyone Else.

Perhaps because I've had an arms-length relationship with my body since childhood, but I don't pay any heed to whether or not I look a certain way. My body concerns have been handling my allergies, handling chronic pain and also handling the development of large breasts at way too early an age.

For me, my body was not my friend. So I cut loose that deadweight. What was the point of trying to look a certain way when clothes never fit me right because of the breasts? The only things that ever mattered to me was what was going on inside my head, anyway. I was always in La-La Land.

Another aspect of my non-feelings about my appearance is that I don't care what other people think of me. In a lot of ways, I have a male-oriented brain, and this is one of those times. If I'm clean and have clothes on, I'm good. I'm not a fashion model, and the paparazzi aren't chasing me, so what do I care?

Anne MacFarlane said...

Julia, that's an amazing attitude. So glad you posted.

I'm sure there must be other woman out there like you but I honestly don't think I've met any.