Food envy… A history 

Once of my earliest memories of ‘food anxiety/jealousy’ was when I was about seven or eight. I was in bed and I woke up Smelling chinese food. My parents had got a takeaway WITHOUT ME! 

I wanted chinese food. I wanted it!

I cried myself to sleep. Looking back Half of my brain thinks that I was silly. But the other half still gets unbearable food envy even now. 

The following morning,my parents both said I should have just gone down and shared some and that they only got it so late as my Mum had finished so late. The anxiety of not getting out of bed after bedtime got in the way of my food addiction. Writing this is hard. I was a child. I had anxiety and an addiction to food, as a child.

Tonight brought back that memory as I could smell someone elses takeaway pizza. I wanted it. I wanted to be included.

I feel weird for having food envy. Most of the time I don’t even want to eat the food. I look at food and want it, however it never tastes as good as my mind has built it up.

From being a child, food is my longest and most destructive relationship. Food has always been there, and it has most certainly created a monster. 

Whether I’m eating well or when I have binge eaten my mind is on my next meal, the next food shop or the next recipe. Food I can have, food I can’t. 

Food is my reward, my comfort and my enemy. 

I’ve spoken previously about my childhood weight struggles. But my food relationship is different.  

So many foods remind me of happy times with family who are no longer here. I have meal memories, memories which are far stronger than others. One smell,one taste or a combo of foods on a plate is enough to set my mind drooling, needing, wanting.  

At the height of my unmedicated bipolar-ness!? I ate upwards of 4000 calories a day,had takeaway most nights, despite struggling to pay bills and knowing the takeout delivery guys life story (His name was Chris and he also lectured in Georgraphy. He was in his 60’s and had the poshest voice I’ve ever heard. He was such a nice guy).I would buy 2 or 3 different food items at shops adding sauce or different fillings fooling myself the maker would think they were for someone else. I was only fooling myself.

Almost every bit of food I eat or cook reminds me of something. That sounds like a lot of food and a lot of memories.But it does! Every one. 

I want food to become a friend, or an acquaintance,  but how do you divorce it first, whilst seeing it everyday?

On the outside to strangers,I might look fat, like i’m lazy, unmotivated and a slob. On the inside fight a daily everyday I’m motivated, I eat less than you would think. I take medication which is known for weight gain. Above all,we all have problems and demons. Mine just happen to have side effects which are visible. 

I can remember the exact time my food addiction began. My grandfather passed away,I was Eight. My heart was broken, each time a family member died,the more I ate. My parents consulted our doctor as to my sudden weight gain. He put it down to stress eating. 

Sadly I’ve lost rather a lot of family members (all leaving behind a food memory imprinted on me). To feed my food addiction, I’ve stolen money, I’ve gone to a friends for tea and come home and had another one. Every trick to get food…. I’ve done it. 

I don’t eat healthily all the time, I have rubbish times. I eat doughnuts and cake. I eat until I feel sick, I snack. But I accept those times and move on to the next day. I try to be better evert single day. 

One day food will be an acquaintance. 

One day. 
Keep going,  if you’re struggling. There’s always another minute,hour, day or week. 
Love Sooz x 

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35 thoughts on “Food envy… A history 

  1. Food is comfort. It is so much more than sustenance. I grew up the child of parents who came of age during The Great Depression. Present in the back of their minds was fear of having no food. My Dad hoarded food almost til the day he died at age 90. Shifting my perspective around food is a daily re-commitment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are no monster, needless to say! ,… whatever you feel inside yourself.
    Let me tell you that I’ve been an addict since my mid teenage as well. Not to food –which is incidental–, but to sex –or masturbation (also sex) when no partner was near or available.
    Certainly we all have problems and demons. Many things you’ve written about food, I could have written too about sexual activity. So often excessive, obsessive and seldom really fulfilling. Anyway, filling many of my memories too.
    I’ve never had weight issues, but many times I could not wake up in the morning to go to school or college, and later on, to work, because I had woken up several times to play with myself (or spent all night long playing).
    Maybe I should not have told this, but your post touched me and moved me to tell it. I’m all right and sound with respect to this nowadays , but for more than two decades I could barely think on nothing aside of sex and sexual pleasure.
    Best wishes !

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  3. I think its amazingly strong to write a story like this and to see where the problems originated from I think this will only help you 🙂 I went through an eating disorder for so many years began in my adolescence after my grandpa passed away when I was 11 and my whole family went into a depression it was super hard but finally when I got into college my sophomore year I began getting the help I needed I went to a dietitian, doctor and therapist they had on campus and it was the best thing that has ever happened to me I couldn’t be more thankful 🙂 Of course it took many years I only saw the dietitian for a year but my eating finally became more normal and my therapist was a true life saver and helped me find where my problems originated from and allowed me to heal and forgive and showed me new ways to deal with things. Now I have such a happier relationship with food compared to when I had eating disorders and an exercise addiction and am able to enjoy both of those things more 🙂 I hope things will continue to get better for you 🙂

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  4. The olfactory sense is the most ancient and powerful. Like I have to tell you about the power. Being aware is the key. You evidently are. I admire you and feel for you being addicted to something you need to survive. I look forward to more from you, I enjoy your writing immensely.

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  5. Great article and one I know. I’m a real foodie, and also a body builder. These two characteristics don’t align. I’ve been sluffing off on my diet and gained 16 pounds in a month (Momma’s cooking). That being said, I’m back at it next week. You may want to look at Bodybuilding.com and some of the diet options they have there. One of the most interesting transitions, when you become more active, is the monitoring of macros instead of calories. By calculating the number of grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats you can eat, you have more choice than you think. Anyway, good posting.

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  6. I’ve always had a hard time with food. I would go to the grocery store late at night without needing to or even being hungry, but I felt compelled to just go in and get a snack or tub of ice cream or something for literally no reason. Even now I am struggling. Be strong and give yourself some grace.

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  7. Hi Sooz! When you wrote, “Mine just happen to have side effects which are visible,” that resonated with me. Some of us just happen to have an easier time hiding our problems from others, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there. Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Awesome post! I’m struggling with a medication gain too. But I also have to admit I’m off the wagon, in a big way. You are right, its such a love/hate relationship. I learned to eat when I was around 12-13. I was staying with Grandma on the weekends a lot and she always ate when she was bored, so of course whenever she offered a Svenhard’s danish, I was all over it. That turned into medicating with food for stress, happiness, sadness, you name it. *sigh* Since surgery I’ve struggled with exercise addiction, opioid addiction… seems like there’s always gotta be something to rail against.
    We can do it. Next meal, next day, whatever it takes. Keep on fighting. I look forward to hearing about your successes!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey, Sooz –
    I remember this feeling. I remember going to friend’s houses around that age and discovering all the food my parents wouldn’t let me eat, and I would binge like crazy. It got worse as I started babysitting. I’m surprised those parents kept hiring me as so much food would get eaten each time.
    The smells make it so hard to stop, too. I am a sugar addict, so is my wife, and even though we are dairy and gluten-free now because of my own physical issues, she just figured out how to make me a fabulous “cheese”cake for my birthday yesterday. Tastes just like the real thing. Where is that going? In my belly. Anytime I say I am craving something, suddenly she is baking.
    Same with college. I’ve yo-yo’d so much in my life. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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