The worse thing you could’ve ever told me was that I couldn’t eat Chick-Fil A anymore. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that their chicken tenders were no longer a dinner option for me. During my denial stage, I would sneak in one strip here and there, hoping it was all a horrible nightmare. But the verdict was in…..I could not eat anything cooked in peanut oil. It was official and I really thought I was losing something.
Chick Fil-A is among one of the many things I can no longer eat, as all of my family and friends know. I often see their looks of pity and laugh to myself. At first it bothered me that I was being deprived, but along the way, something happened. I got over it.
Our emotional attachment to food is something that has been talked about over and over again, but it’s always been one of those things I roll my eyes at. So what I like to eat? And it happens to be when I’m bored, or when I’m anxious. I like food! What’s wrong that? It wasn’t until I couldn’t eat everything I was used to that I realized that maybe I like food a little too much. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that starvation helps. I also don’t believe in completely avoiding whole food groups (unless it’s medically necessary). Telling me to stop eating a certain food doesn’t help; telling me to stop eating what is specifically harming MY body makes much more sense. But, if you find yourself being stubborn because you refuse to give up a certain food, even for a limited amount of time, you may have a food dependency.
The most interesting thing happened to me recently. I gave up dairy for about 6 months. Now, listen here….I am the cheese queen! Macaroni and cheese as well as pizza are items very high on my list of favorite things in this world. Let’s not forget quesadillas either. I gave up dairy to see if it was negatively affecting my body. The craziest thing is that I came back to limited dairy (still can’t do ice cream and cow’s milk). Even though I’ve been back on dairy for 4 months, I still haven’t had one slice of pizza. I’ve completely lost my strong cravings for pizza and I’ve gone from having it about one week on average, to not at all. One day, I know I’ll eat pizza again, but I just don’t have the desire to right now.
So what changed? Pizza didn’t change; it’s still probably its same delicious self. But my desire for pizza did. I used to think I couldn’t live without it and guess what, I did just fine. It really showed me that my desire for food is all in my head. I eat things because they taste good, but more than that, I eat things because I have strong emotional attachments to them. I notice that when I want to reward myself, I eat. When I’m having a bad day, I go to my favorite restaurant. Not because I’m hungry, but because I want to feel better.
I share my story, not to shame anyone from eating, but to shed light for someone who may be struggling with their love for food. Because food has such strong ties to our emotional well-being, it may be worth it for you to reflect more on your food issues.
Have you struggled with food dependency? Comment on it below!
Photo Credit: Alejandro Escamilla
- June 17, 2015
- Tiffany A