Monday, May 7, 2012

Want Ads

by Kris Pitcher

Seeking: Married female in search of trusted, reliable relationship. Willing to be exclusive, sort of. Able to accept diversity...lots of it. Difficulty committing, over and over. Looking for loving relationship - with food.

If you wrote a "want ad" about your relationship with food, what would it sound like? In the twenty years (that makes me sound old) that I've been successfully managing my weight my relationship with food has grown and changed...a lot.

It certainly didn't happen over night. Elbow deep in chili-cheese nachos from 7-11, I thought I was having a healthy lunch in high school. That was when I wasn't eating pop tarts and diet 7-up. Of course I drank diet! Please! No one drank sugar soda even then!

There were years of tug-of-war, anxiety and over-feeding. Then my relationship started to change as I began to take interest in exercise. But the knowledge about nutrition came later, and putting the two together took further refinement.

So, if you thought you'd have all this figured out in a few weeks or months, that's noble but not realistic. Then come the wake up calls to deal with your emotions around eating, what you are willing to tolerate for yourself, and why you've given up control to punish others - only taking it out on yourself.

Figure all that out and you'll be on your way. But it won't happen quickly. It takes time to learn about yourself. It takes time to make mistakes, to start and stop, to put the pieces together.

Today, my relationship is very utilitarian. I "feed the machine" and if a food doesn't meet my goals, I'm like a cat - not interested. I think of food as fuel, it serves a purpose to get me to my goals.

I still enjoy it, I still plan and execute my re-feed, or "cheat", meals carefully and probably with a little too much joy. But when I enjoy something, I really enjoy it.

And while it consumes much of my energy and focus, it doesn't run my life in the way it once did. I don't think about food in the same way. My want ad would read much differently now. My relationship has changed. My relationship is one of peace.

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