We’ve all heard the phrase “toxic relationships”. They’re the ones that may be physically, emotionally, and/or psychologically abusive. Really serving us no purpose, other than to say we’re in relationship. In some situations things may have started off well, then took a negative turn, and in other cases things may have been rocky from jump. It may take some time, but once we realize we deserve better we can gather the courage to leave. However, what do you do when the toxic relationship is with something, rather than someone, that you need to live? Again, you gather the courage and try to fix it! I’ve been in a toxic relationship with food for as long as I can remember. Yes, you read correctly, I said FOOD! (I love food, you don’t love food? What’s wrong wit you?)
Food is the bomb, but oh can it be toxic, especially when you gravitate toward sugar, fat, salt, and all those processed substances that pass for “food”. My addiction to fast food started early. I believe I mentioned in a previous post, that I did not enjoy majority of the foods my dad would cook, so I’d end up getting something from Burger King or McDonald’s. He’s from the south so he’d do plenty of “southern/soul foods” that just didn’t appease to me at the time. Yes, he’d try to force me to eat what was at the house, but eventually he and my mom would give in and take me out to get something. As you can imagine, I did not have a lot of fruits and vegetables. My lunches throughout grade school consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, with chips. My mom would try to switch it up and do a turkey sandwich, but it didn’t hit like the PB&J. Once I got to junior high and high school, where we could buy our lunches, that old cafeteria pizza, nachos, and burgers, took over.
Another way in which my relationship with food turned toxic, is that I used food to keep my company. Again, in a previous post I mentioned how I was alone a lot when I was younger. Both parents worked evenings/nights. They’d be home while I was at school, mom would be gone by the time I got home, dad would be sleep, then later heading out to work. Food was not only comforting, but kept me engaged, and was an afterschool friend.
As you can image, this has led to weight problems throughout my life. Thankfully, I never developed high blood pressure, diabetes, or other life threatening illnesses, outside of obesity itself. It’s also the reason why my eight yo-yo’s so much. I can make temporary changes to get some weight off, but I soon revert back to type. I was doing so good with my weight before quarantine hit. I haven’t totally gained all my weight back, but it’s close. Food has been keeping me company while I’m in this big ole house by myself. And, no it’s not food I’ve been cooking. It’s ordering out! Cooking is another thing I have a toxic relationship with.
Seeing how I was not eating majority of foods cooked at home, there was no shadowing mom or dad in the kitchen. Not even when they did make items I liked (except pancakes and grits). I let them rock and came in when it was time to eat. Cooking to me is a chore, not enjoyable, and since I know nothing about seasoning, flavors, and preparing most things, I just don’t do it. This must end though!
I am now seeking treatment to help me curve these issues and fix my toxic relationships with food and cooking. I’ve found a support group that I plan to attend and found some literature that will hopefully help as well. I talk about my food with my therapist and I’m about to work on food plan and food rules. I really hope I can reverse my mindset about the types of food I eat and the preparation of those foods. It really is like an addiction. Sugar, fat, and salt be calling me ya’ll. There’s something about eating till I get full and can’t move, that gives me a rush. It’s a high. Pray for strength!