Ever list all the things you hate about food? The constant shame, the obsessive thoughts, the pervasive self-doubt, AND you need to eat everyday?? Diet culture gives food a confusing power differential that wedges between us and life. Pull up a chair and hear from guest expert Alex Raymond in this latest Love Food Podcast episode.
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This episode’s Dear Food letter:
10 Things I Hate About Our Relationship.
- I hate the attractional pull you have on me no matter my emotional state— happy, sad, scared, anxious, lonely— and how much energy it takes to resist that pull. It’s easy to give in but then you repeatedly tell me how weak I am for giving in! If I do manage to walk away, you leave me feeling drained by all the effort, thoughts, negotiations, and willpower required of me to be strong and walk away.
- I hate how insecure you make me feel when I am around you. The feeling of self-doubt during the analyzing process, checking to see if what I want to eat and what I have available to eat are within my macro allocation goals. I can’t make up my own mind about what to eat anymore!! Some days, I just shut down completely and would rather eat nothing and fast for the day.
- I hate how you make me feel like I am a let down when I do not track your macros and micros and water and fiber constantly, routinely, every single day. Just turn your judgmental eyes away and I am happy to ignore your judgments and ignore this situation.
- I hate how you make me think that my body is being deprived of nutrition. You tell me “I need more” and “get 2 to have one as a backup” when grocery shopping. I have not been in a state of needing to portion my food to prevent starvation. I do have a pantry, fridge, 2 freezers, and storage room full of nutritious foods. Yet still, you speak to me in ways that say “it is still not enough”.
- I hate how, out of nowhere, you carry the delicious smells of good food, both sweets and savories. This constant tease of my senses triggers my thoughts and actions into downward spirals. Yet again, another opportunity for you to lure me into the depths of desire in my senses and leave both my body and mind feeling like I am a complete and utter failure.
- I hate how you have deeply ingrained an unspoken rule of following the ‘clean plate club’. Yet, my family did not even follow this rule! Where did you even sneak this idea into my thought patterns?! Is your influence so powerful that I see and hear your voice coming out of my friends’ eyes in their homes? I don’t want to be rude, so I eat it all!
- I hate how I rationalize my mind to accept the portion of treat I have allotted myself. Indulging in a purposeful and intentional allocation of a treat. You, with the deprivation mindset, then counter with “Why not have 2 pieces instead of 1? It’s only a small amount more. You can exercise it off later today.” And then I agree. But that’s not the worst of this situation. It’s the downward spiral of thinking that “I’ve completely gone off the rails today, so why not have another cookie or two or three and some wine?” I want balance and positive lifestyle habits and you are holding me back from forming these more positive habits!
- I hate how you are always the center of attention in all conversations and meetups with friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family. Coffee to start our work day? Potluck for teacher conferences? Unlimited drinks at the neighbor’s holiday party? You say, “bring a healthy item for everyone to share” then when I arrive, your Cheshire Cat smile comes out and you whisper, “well, now that we’re here, you must try the meatballs and the cheese ball and the stuffed dates!”
- I hate how ashamed you make me feel when I am expressing my needs and desires to loved ones in regard to food. My satiety is not the same as anyone else. My cravings are not like anyone else’s. Yet I feel judged and ashamed when expressing my truth to others. So I hide. And hide food. Sneak eating food. Not only is this affecting my relationship with you, but also my relationship with money. I am also hiding purchases in my finances. Oh, you’ve taught me too well.
- Most of all, I truly hate how you leave me utterly speechless at all-inclusive resorts when traveling out of the country! I can eat to my heart’s (and mind’s) content and drink unlimited adult and non-adult beverages and return home a week later weighing LESS than when I left?! Feeling HAPPIER and LIGHTER?! Seriously! This leaves me to wonder, “do YOU take your vacation from harassing my thoughts every time I plan and go on MY vacation out of the United States?” Why must you harass me at home? When can you cut me a break at home? Why don’t you take a vacation and I will stay at home reading by the fireplace?
- Julie Dillon RD blog
- Link to subscribe to the Love Food’s Food Peace Syllabus.
- Alex Raymond’s website
- Alex Raymond’s resources
- The Happiness Trap book (aff)
- Lauren Newman on the Love Food Podcast
- Alex Raymond on Instagram
- Intuitive Eating book (aff) and website
- Find an Eating Disorder Dietitian near you.
Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com.