Monday, February 21, 2011

Bad Food Relationship

So, last Wednesday at my weekly Weight Watchers meeting there was a woman who just recently got to a milestone (forgive me I don't recall what it was).  Our leader did what she always does in that situation - she asked her to tell the room what was working and how she was feeling.  She said that it had been a long road - this was her third time on the program and she was essentially back to lose the same weight she had lost previously.  She said one thing that struck me and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since - she said that "she knows she will always have a bad relationship with food, so it will always be a struggle."  And my leader seemed to agree with her assessment. 

So, here's what is making me think - is it really necessary to ALWAYS have a bad relationship with food.  Is that a relationship that is not possible to be repaired?  I guess I was under the impression that what I have been doing since September was repairing my relationship with food.  I realize that many of us will get to a point in our journey when we are in control of our food and it no longer has control over us - but to me that seems like a victory and has repaired how you see food and how you let it control you, right?  I get that I will probably always have to stay away from certain foods because I can't "eat just one" but to me that does not negate all of the other work I have done to make my food intake healthy and beneficial to my body. 

It really got me thinking - are you able to completely repair your relationship with food or will it always be bad, just under more control than it was before?  I guess I am still not sure, but I like to think I will win this battle and that all of the learning I am doing about what food can do for me will prevail! 

The other reason this struck me was that I had a conversation with some folks the other night about a young girl with a severe eating disorder.  She is anorexic and has a scarily low BMI but not quite low enough to require her to stay in an inpatient treatment clinic.  Her parents seem like they may be a bit in denial, the girl thinks she can take care of this with outpatient treatment and her friends are scared to death that she is not going to be okay.  That is the definition of a bad relationship with food, this girl is an athlete and she is destroying her body - and she was not heavy to begin with.  It breaks my heart to hear stories like this because I fear that there is so much pressure around these young girls today to look a certain way and the only thing that they can really control is their food - how much they do or do not eat.  I pray for this young girl, her parents, and her friends, and people that care about her - I pray that they can get through to her before its too late.  I pray that she can win her battle against her bad relationship with food.  I don't know her personally but it makes me sad to know that she is struggling so much. 

It's far from profound but this is what has been rolling around in my brain this week.  Does it always have to be bad once it's been bad?  Are we really ever able to WIN or do we just call it a draw? 

1 comment:

Ann said...

Wow, what a great question! I think about my relationship with food like an addiction, similar to an alcoholic. Except an alcoholic doesn't need alcohol to live. We need food to live. and I wouldn't classify it as a "bad" relationship, but as a "work in progress". And just like an alcoholic might get to a, point where they hardly think about drinking, that they just live their life, I too, hope to get to that point. :) and I will.