As long as I can remember food was always a very important thing to my relatives when I was growing up. On every visit one of the first questions asked was “Did you eat yet?” and before I could answer a bowl of food was literally pushed in front of my face. It really shouldn’t be a question because I couldn’t turn it down or else I would get a look of disappointment and I ended up feeling guilty so I just accepted it and I ate whatever I was served. It didn’t matter if I was hungry or not, but as long as I ate everyone was happy.
I eventually learned that food equals care. So when grandma gave you food, it means she cared and for you not to accept meant the same as rejecting her care.
When I grew up I picked up this food pushing practice. If people were visiting or I was visiting someone I always had goodies with me. I never realized how hard this could be on someone who was watching their weight until an ex-boyfriend gained 20 pounds from being with me! His weakness was his grandmother’s banana pie recipe, which I made weekly for him. I finally had to stop because he told me about his weight gain and he was not happy.
Initially my feelings were hurt because I felt like he didn’t appreciate how much I cared, but realized it was not personal and that he just didn’t want to be overweight. It was hard for me not to make the dessert, but I forced myself to stop.
Pretty much the same thing happened with my current boyfriend. I loved to give him large portions of food at each meal because it meant I cared about him. Next thing I knew he started to grow a little tummy and he started telling me he had to cut back. I tried hard not to show him my feeling here hurt, but they were! I felt rejected and he had to assure me he cared about me and loved the meals I prepared. But he just didn’t like the extra weight he had put on. After this I realized how I turned into my relatives and how addicting food pushing was for me.
Food still means care to me so it’s a hard addiction to get over. Eventually over time I had to learn to stop plopping food in front of people. Just ask once or twice and that is it. No more feeling hurt if someone says, “no thank you, I’m full.”
Thanks so much Alicia for sharing this with us. If anyone is interested in writing a guest post for Go Fit Girl! let me know via comments, Wall comments or send me an e-mail to: email@example.com.