Sunday, June 18, 2017

Comforted By Food

Everyone has their own brand of comfort food whether it's a recipe their Grandma used to make or something that brings back memories or a time when things weren't stressful or crazy.

I love the idea of comfort food.  That something like chicken soup or mashed potatoes can be soothing to your soul and make things right again... I love that.

The problem is.... I struggle with a Binge Eating Disorder.

I want to say that I'm comforted by all food, but that really isn't the case.  It's more like I'm comforted by a lot of food and it doesn't really even matter if it's good.

Stressed about money?  Fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are cheap and easy - have three. Large amounts of spaghetti with butter with just a splash of sauce so the jar lasts a week work great!

Bad day at work?  Eat something crunchy so I can "chew away" those feelings of wanting to chew someone out.   I highly recommend an entire Family Size bag of potato chips.

Hungover?  Eat at least two plates of less-than mediocre, greasy-ass Chinese food.

Fight with boyfriend?  Lay in bed watching reality t.v. or some other thing that he would hate eating something he doesn't like or can't eat.

Upset with my family over a holiday?  Eat as much of your favorite holiday food through tears.  I got into a fight with my sister once on my birthday.... I didn't even get a slice of my own birthday cake.  I cried the whole way home, but still managed to stop and buy myself a cheesecake.  I ate half of it in bed that night.

In a relationship that doesn't leave you feeling emotionally or sexually fulfilled?  That's easy... ice cream or chocolate.  Hell, if it's really been awhile or if you didn't get your "cookies" the last time you had sex, have chocolate AND ice cream because your lack of an orgasm earned it.  Maybe even throw cookies in there too because metaphors.

I've used food to comfort myself through jobs I hated, stressful life changes, bad days, even relationships I was unhappy in.  The truth is... I'm not getting any comfort from it.  What I'm doing is shoving down the things I want to say with food.  It's hard for your feelings to come out of your mouth and confront the people who hurt you when they have to get past $18 worth of Taco Bell softshells, refried beans and "meat product".

It isn't that I'm not trying to change my relationship with food.  I am.  Every day.

Sometimes though, I get tired.

Having a problem with food isn't like having a problem with a drug like crack.

If you have a problem with crack, you can quit.  You can go to rehab.  You can avoid places where crack is sold.  You can avoid other people who have problems with crack.  If you decide you want to stop having a crack problem, you can quit crack cold turkey.  You don't have to see it at every store, every social function, and everyone you know doesn't do crack three times a day.  You can quit crack, never look at it again, and live better for it.

But food?

You have to eat to live. You have to change your mindset from "live to eat" to "eat to live" every time you walk into a store.  Three times a day you have to look your drug of choice in the face and choose to have "just enough".  You can't quit cold turkey and be better for it.  You have to try and convince people who want to go out and socialize around food that you can do other things.  You have to be the odd man out at social functions when everyone is raving about the cookies.  You have to tell your family members who show their love for you through food that you can't eat the cookies they made just for you.

To me, comfort food is like Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny.  Maybe that isn't right, maybe I should say comfort food to me is like my Moby Dick.  Except in this story I'm a big white whale chasing a comfort food that I can have just one serving of and feel loved and nostalgic and comforted.

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