Ever since I could remember, I connected food to a true sense of belonging. Every little bite and morsel that I ate, was contributed to some loving and supportive moment in my life. No wonder I fell in love with food. It was my greatest supporter and my biggest fan growing up! It was there for me in my lowest moments, when no one else was. It was a surrogate father, a replacement emotion for the man who wasn't there. Today I am back in that father relationship to heal it, and I realize that I make the same mistakes while being with a man who helps to recreate the reasons for my food choices.
My mom energies helped me to recreate the reasons I was supposed to find that same food disgusting. Now my mom never even seemed to enjoy the concept of being in a marriage, and wanted all of us daughters to get our careers and our skinny "on" before accepting a man (read: loser bum I have to take care of ) into my life. Mom projected a fear onto me that wreaked of a little bit of hatred for men, a hatred for choosing that man, and looking at fattening, sugary foods as the enemy. No wonder men left a bad taste in my mouth...
So then, was food really love? Yes it still was, if that food could give me the satisfaction that a man wasn't giving, food once again became the hero. Besides, mom would never approve of any of the men, but a hot baked pie, she might approve of that.
Holidays was a must to attend, and would be piled high with all the fun, exciting, crazy fattening foods one could find in one sitting. Everyone would gather in the kitchen at mealtimes to talk on a regular basis, and it was in fact what my mom wanted for us, was to have a community watering hole where everyone felt comfortable coming into and contributing our efforts to. It wasn't often after a certain point in all of our lives that we would sit to the table together to eat, so I immediately felt a void being the youngest one, to not have that table meal. It is no wonder that I had to cultivate a sense of need around serving Mike and Kai a meal at dinner, no matter how subservient I felt doing it. That's another topic in itself for another time.
When I didn't feel skinny, I ate a peanut butter cup. That put me backwards and almost drove me to seek counseling after a bulimic bout. No matter how mild, there was a part of me that wanted to go down that road, and another part of me that just knew how awful it was to take on bulimic habits. If food was love, throwing up was not the answer, even in my desperate state.
So since I eliminated that option, I headed over to another form of desperation, exercise buliminia. Don't even THINK about eating peanut butter. That sent me into an easy 5 miler and making me think it wasn't enough. That's when I started eating vegetarian. I guess now orthorexia was in my cards.
Is this still love? One thing I learned was, food may have signaled some form of love coming from an external force, but it definitely did not express self-love in my life. I wonder what other family members taught me that a lack of self-love was okay.