What's your relationship with food? Why do you eat? Nutrition? Comfort? Because you have to? Because you like to cook? To celebrate? Stress?
I wish I could say that I eat for nutrition purposes only. But if I'm frank with myself, that really isn't the case.
Much of the research I've read shows that you gain your attitude toward food early in life. My mother didn't finish college (she wanted to be a nurse incidentally,) because she married my father. Academics wasn't ever her strong suit, she has to work hard at things like that. But the woman had some serious common sense, and as they say, common sense isn't so common. To this day I'm still discovering things that she knew instinctively that have been now confirmed by scientific research. MSG? The anti-christ in our house. The same with aspartame. High fructose corn syrup? The devil. (And yes, even despite the latest high dollar ad campaign, high fructose corn syrup is still bad.) My mom restricted our red meat intake, used real butter instead of margarine, limited our empty calorie intake, forced whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Fast food was a twice a year treat.
We had a huge vegetable garden and an orchard out back. No pesticides, no fertilizers. My mom was the queen of canning too. She'd can fruit's and vegetables all summer long. At the end of the summer in our 8' by 10' pantry in the basement, the shelves would be full of quart jars, floor to ceiling. Not to mention the freezer.
Growing up on a farm, my activity level was naturally high. There were always chores to be done. My summer days were spent tossing hay bales and shovel irrigating. Not to mention 600 acres for a boy to stretch his legs...
For all intents and purposes, my food and exercise backgrounds have a fine pedigree.
For the most part our family's diet is the same. We're vegetarian except for eggs, a little cheese, and some fish once a week. My youngest has never tasted meat other than fish. I buy organic, use whole grains, make things from scratch whenever I can. We don't eat artificial sweeteners, MSG, or high fructose corn syrup. A vegetable and salad is served with every meal. Seconds start with more salad, then more main dish if still hungry. We only drink water.
There are days like yesterday. I set myself up for disaster. I rushed out of the house without eating breakfast. Or lunch. By the time I was done with class, I was literally shaking from hunger. And then all the stress of everything that's going on right now hit me--baby, $250,000 in student loans, nursing school, finals, marriage, money... When I stopped off at McDonald's, it was for a quick snack. I came away with 3 double quarter pounders with cheese, a large fry, and a large Sprite. And I wolfed down every bit of it, I don't think I could have stopped myself if I'd even tried. Based on the McDonald's nutrition info on their website, that's 3030 calories. And more than 150 grams of fat.
I have dreams about food occasionally too. It usually takes place in a public setting, with a buffet style food setup. Usually I find myself filling my plate, but eating as fast as I can at the same time because I'm afraid I won't get enough if I wait to eat what I've got on my plate and then come back...
I'm as much as 80 pounds overweight, depending on which chart you read. I don't look it, at least not that bad. Now, I do have a large frame, broad shoulders etc, so my 'ideal' weight for my height I could never reach--my summers spent working for the USFS I humped a 50lb pack at 10,000ft and above for 4 months, and was still 10 pounds over my ideal weight with ribs standing out.
The psychological aspect of this really scares me. I hate not being in control. I'm really not sure how to go about addressing this problem. I mean 98% of the time I'm a normal functioning adult, with no issues.
But that 2% of the time, I can't control myself, and totally binge. My biggest fear is that behavior will spread to other aspects of my life.