It’s Complicated

In a relationship with food?

My relationship with food is complicated. Always has, but hopefully always won’t be. It does have a past though…

As I have said before I was the fat kid growing up. I may sound like a broken record when I say that but for some reason it stays with you. This may have been made more complicated by the fact that I literally had a balerina/Ms Teen USA older sister and lots of other dynamics growing up. Although they may speak more to body image than food relationship, but there is always a correlation.

When I think of my childhood some of my happiest memories are around food. I remember making fudge on the farm with one of my sudo Godmother’s as a young child. I remember my brother’s and sisters making Christmas cookies while listening to Christmas music (The carpenter’s) on an old record player. It’s funny too because I have a horrible memory when it comes to my early childhood but these standout. These are good memories.

I also have the stark recollection of my childhood doctor talking to my mother about my weight and giving her a diet I needed to follow. Do doctors still do that? I mean if you look at the pictures of me as a child, while I was not the ”ideal” weight I also now think this was extreme. Then again, I grew up in the 70’s, so I am betting times have changed. Based on where we lived (we moved several times, so this is how I tell times of my childhood), I would guesstimate that I was probably in 5th or 6th grade. Anyway, I remember getting into trouble for having an extra packet of oatmeal for breakfast. I don’t even remember the trouble (wouldn’t have been more than Mom saying something), but I remember the feeling. (Also in my Mom’s defense, she was deferring to the doctors and again this was the 70’s).

I would also like to give exhibit A to this story……

On the left and adorable but I didn’t know it at the time
On the left again and at that very awkward stage but still not at a level that screams in need of diet

So as I share these stories, I wonder if anyone else has thought about their complicated history with food and how it effects them now?

I have started to think more about my food choices. I have started to think more about my relationship with foods, how it effects my body, and what better choices I can make. For the most part as an adult, I really have never thought about these things. Yes, I have thought about what I want to eat, where we are eating, and all of those things; but I have never really given food choices much thought. I’m hungry. I eat. Not why am I hungry. Why am I hungry for XYZ and why am I making the food choices that I am making and are they really good for my body, my health and my mental well being. That last is in reference to when we gorge ourselves on chocolates, cookies, or what not and how it makes us feel later. You know the… I should not have eaten all of that food guilt/shame.

Recently I had a consultation and then my first session with a Holistic functional nutritionist. In just talking with her these two times, I have started to think about my food choices more. Her open ended questions of simple things….. What if your replaced X with Z, how do you think that would make you feel? Why do think you NEED to have a snack at night? Are you really hungry or is it just habit? She is a runner who has run several marathon’s and I feel this helps. She has also said, we will do no major changes to my diet until after the marathon although changes have already started to occur just in thinking about things. Plus in looking at my diet, she has already pointed out that I need more protein and I also need more water which I can and should implement right away.

For me, this is about my health. This is not about number on the scale. When she asked me what I wanted out of our time together and what our goals were, I thought of my Grandmother. A woman who drank nothing but probably coffee or iced tea. Who never went to the doctors and if she did didn’t really listen to them. Who smoked right up until she kind of forgot she did when she had stroke. Who up until the end was the healthiest unhealthy person you could have met. I said to Lisa (my nutritionist) that I worry with my hypopara and the toll it takes on my body (thinking long term kidney health), having to now use a CPAP machine, and now peri-menopausal that my goal is to be the ”bad ass woman that I was meant to me” channeling my Grandother.

The original badd ass woman

So this is my new life motto:) Ok, it may have already been my unoffical motto but I thought about it now.

So with this in mind, I have started implementing minor changes that are really not so minor but they don’t feel life altering which makes them easier to stick with.

  1. Start my day off with a glass of water before coffee. Preferably with lemon and continued through out the day.
  2. Instead of skipping breakfast or worse grabbing something aimlessly that really offers no value, I have started my day with smoothies (Go to my instgram to see them). I do not feel like I am giving something up and hubby now benefits because I make smoothies for 2. It’s kind of like a game now where he tries to guess what is in them. Besides being tasty (a pre-rec for anything I make), it is packed with nutrients and are filling.
  3. Thinking about what I am actually eating has made me want to eat better.
  4. Realizing that some eating is really just habitual and better choices can be made.

Lisa and I have talked about my Hypopara especially in our initial consultation. Some holistic groups I’ve been in are very anti-medication/supplement and feel like you should get everything naturally. Before working with her, I wanted to make sure not only did she understand but was on board with my circumstances. As a person with hypoparathyroidism, my body does not produce the hormone PTH which helps to regulate many things but Calcium is the big one. I also no longer have a thyroid. Because of these two factors, I take a boat load of pills a day. This is just the way it is…….. Some such as my calcitriol and thyroid meds are a must as is the vitamin D, magnesium, and, of course, calcium supplements.

All that being said, though, as I am entering this journey adding more natural calcium to my diet……. I am beginning to wonder if maybe….. just maybe…… instead of taking calcium supplements 4 times a day……. maybe just maybe….. I only need them twice a day, I could replace one or possible two of them from a food source. Would that be better for my body? Would it help me with my kidney health long term. More importantly for the short term, would it keep my calcium levels where they need to be?

These are things rattling around my brain and only time will tell.

What is your relationship with food and have you ever thought why?

PS – here is Lisa’s info – https://www.embraceyourwellnessjourney.com/blog

4 thoughts on “It’s Complicated

  1. I agree with you, that you were not to the point that a doctor should have said you needed to be on a diet. I think you were adorable…and still are. You’re grandmother sounds wonderful too. I know that I eat a lot more junk food than I need to, especially when I am stressed. Chips and dip are my downfall. Sweets, I can do without. Anyway, I started eating less processed foods. When I did, I felt much better physically. I have, unfortunately, fallen off of that wagon in the last few weeks. I want to jump back on, but it is hard to find the time to cook and exercise and work all day, and do anything else that needs to be done. I know it’s excuses, but that’s where I am right now. You asked…..

    • Thanks:)

      My problem is sweets. I’m a baker for a reason:). That being said, I agree about the time. I work till 6:30 and if I don’t prep dinner before I get home in past I would eat something easy which meant crap. I am trying to be better about prepping or if not making an easy salad. Processed foods are also my downfall. So easy to grab for a snack but I’m learning now that it’s just as easy to grab some carrots with hummus. It’s a process that I hope I can stick with.

      PS – There are no excuses. There are just patterns we fall into often not even recognizing when we do. That was where I was at. We are all just doing the best we can on any given day or point in our life. Hopefully, you can find the wagon and jump back on so that you can feel better again.

      • I have thought about prepping dinner ahead of time, but haven’t figured out how to do that either, since my weekends don’t seem to be my own lately either. LOL

        I am doing the best I can at the moment. I’m hoping things will calm down a bit soon and I can catch up with that wagon. You are right, about falling into patterns. It’s the principle of taking the “path of least resistance.” It’s so much easier than forging a new one.

  2. Having PTH myself and a boatload of medications, I understand how difficult it is to have a healthy diet and feel sorry for yourself and use food as a comfort. Food has always been the uniteing factor within my family. As far back as I remember, every event and get together has been celebrated around the kitchen table with lots of food. I have been trying to eat healthier as well as get more exercise but it is a continual battle to keep from reaching for that comfort food cookie. Good luck to you.

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