How does my significant other influence my eating?
Monday, January 05, 2009
Well, I currently don't have a "significant other" but as my self-esteem goes, so goes my eating. If I am feeling good about myself, my life, etc., I make healthier choices, take care of myself, etc. If I am in a relationship and unhappy, I use food for comfort. I have been an emotional eater for as long as I can remember.
Interestingly enough, when married or in a relationship, the guy always knew the "correct" thing to say..."I love you as you are, but I do want you to be healthy...." or "I want you to do this for yourself..." Well, DUH! But bottom line is when I tell him how he can support me, he sabotages my efforts. In my most recent relationship, the guy would practically force-feed me; bring home my favorite, most fattening pizza; shame me into eating because he cooked this high-fat meal for me, you name it-.....at one point when I was doing a liquid diet (Optifast), he told me he couldn't spend time with me because my not eating food made him uncomfortable. He couldn't invite me out to dinner with his mother and brother because his mother might ask questions about why I wasn't eating. I could go on and on with more examples, but obviously, the best thing I could lose at that time was HIM! And I did and now I'm back working on getting healthy again--mentally and physically.
It bothers me that others can have so much influence on how we eat. Whether it's family at holiday gatherings or others judging us with "that look" like....should you really have that piece of cake? Well-meaning family members who designate themselves as food police need to understand how damaging their actions are. Yes, I want and need to get healthy for myself. And no one can do it for me. However, if our loved ones truly care, they will seek our input and ask us how they can be supportive, and then follow-thru with our requests. Ask us to go for a walk, but don't make it a guilt trip! Offer fruit instead of cookies--but offer it to everyone, not just the person struggling with their weight. My mom makes brownies and offers them to my daughters, then offers me an apple....like I couldn't figure out which item I should choose.
So, my hope is that if and when I do have a significant other in my life, his influence will be a healthy one--like suggesting a walk after dinner, going to a farmer's market for fresh produce...
Thanks for letting me vent!