food obsession

I have worked out, almost every day, with a small group of women. I’m one of the oldest, and the youngest is 26. (You can see some of them in my facebook photos.)

We’ve known each other for years because of our mutual addiction to endorphins. We run, stairstep, kickbox, lift weights, play tennis, and twist ourselves into pretzels at yoga. We do things together outside the gym as well, because we have become very close as a result of the massive amount of time we spend together.

I’m 99 percent certain none of them read my blog. (Most of them drink green smoothies, though–at least if I make them one and bring it to the gym!) So I can feel safe that this story is between you and me.

One of the girls has an eating disorder (I’ll call her ED). Not one I am close to. One of the OTHERS I am close to (I’ll call her QT) just can’t stand it. My tennis coach (I’ll call her Shari) got a text from ED saying, “Why is QT so cold to me?” So QT wrote ED a long facebook message.

The message wasn’t something I would write or approve of (and I didn’t love the “we” in the message because I’m a big believer in “speak for yourself”). It was LONG. In a nutshell, it said, “Here’s why I’m cold to you. We love you, but we don’t come to the gym to talk about food. We get tired of listening to the Debbie Downer attitude and obsession with calories and what you ate and how long it will take to ‘work it off.’ We want to talk about life and positive things!”

Well, this story, on a human relations level, is sad. There are hurt feelings all over the place, and Shari and I (the bystanders) are a little at a loss how to solve the problems.

On the issue of food obsessions, though, I’ve been thinking. How true it is that no one wants to know what you ate! How many calories it had. How guilty you feel. Your self-loathing because you ate this or that.

I was thinking how odd it is that, as a bystander in the drama playing out between my girlfriends, I completely relate with not wanting to hear obsessing about food. (I want to enjoy mine!) Don’t you think that’s weird, since I write books about food, I develop recipes, and I have a web site that is all about food?

I kid you not that none of my very close girlfriends ever hear me talk about food. I just don’t.

I bet you’re surprised.

My point is that I put GreenSmoothieGirl up to SUPPORT. Teach if that’s appropriate. Give ideas and encouragement and helpful information not readily available in the mass channels. Only to people who want it, and no one else.

But food obsession is NOT what I want here. Food is a means to an end–oh, and it can be fun and enjoyable on its own. But as the new year approaches, be thinking about your attitudes towards food.

Do you love food? (It’s okay, even good, if you do!)

Do you hate yourself in relationship to food? (If so, I hope you get clear with yourself about that and gently begin to correct it.)

Do you obsess about food? (That’s no fun. So many other subjects in life are interesting too!)

What do you do when you eat something that’s bad for you? (I hope you don’t tear yourself down and feel worthless. That isn’t helping anything or anyone.)

Learning more about whole foods, and raw foods, is exciting and fun–or it can be! If it’s a way to demoralize yourself, compare to others, or set an unachievable bar way up over your head . . .

Well, look at the psychological issues and try to break them down with logic. Because food is a blessing. It’s necessary, but it’s also good and enjoyable!

Just some things to think about. I’m interested in your comments.

5 thoughts on “food obsession

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  1. You say that you have known some of these women for a long time and you spend a lot of time together…but they don’t even read your blog? Sad! Your blog and your business that goes along with it are a huge part of your life. I hope you are not not telling them about it b/c you worry about what they will think. I guess if they are just your workout buddies and not real friends that’s another thing. Anyway, great blog, great advise, we love GS! (oops, I mean “I” love GS).

  2. I needed to read this. I came home early off of my mission 7 1/2 years ago because I finally came to terms with my eating disorder. I am still in recovery- I can’t say I’m recovered because it is a battle I will fight the rest of my life. I have never relapsed, but my mind is always having to be constantly checked back into order.

    Since learning more about whole/raw foods a year ago I have struggled with my eating disorder thoughts coming back in- the obsession with my weight and food. I am have struggled more so in the last 4 months. My relationship with food right now is not a positive one. I struggle after doing cleanses- losing weight, then slowly gaining it back. I desire to be a weight that is a huge fight for me to get to, I was there when I did the Arise and Shine cleanse. I run- long distances, eat well and still gain weight. Is it stress related? Could be. I need to get my mind off the obsession. How can I keep my mind, body, and spirit healthy?

  3. One of the great things about going Raw is that I can finally feel good about food!! I grew up baking bread, baking cookies and pies and cakes. . . Raising my children I showed my love to them by filling them full of yummy food. Thankfully, I learned I had PCOS, during those years and that I was probably going to end up with Diabetes, so I started having a love/hate relationship with food. I did start using fresh ground whole wheat flour and adding more salads etc. . . but it wasn’t enough. Chocolate chip cookies with whole wheat flour still aren’t good for you!! So I loved eating them, but then I hated myself afterwards because I knew I shouldn’t have. I used to get joy baking for my family, but I knew I wasn’t doing them any favors.

    Now I’m excited to be back in the kitchen! Everything I’m making is healthy and WAY better than anything I’ve made in the past. And dessert is no longer Taboo! Yummy healthy naturally sweetened desserts. Balanced by Green Smoothies and lots of salad. I’m loving food again, and loving the 25 pounds I’ve lost and that my weight is staying consistent and not up and down everytime I slip.

  4. interesting to hear you don’t talk about food. I am a bit obsessed (maybe it will die off in a couple years?) I try not to talk about it a lot but I DO–only because it’s such a big part of my life right now– I wish I didn’t have to think about it all the time but I DO. My son has celiac and a whole bunch of other allergies and in order for us all to eat (there is not one place we can eat out safely on the road or anything) I have to be on top of EVERYTHING and I always have to be thinking ahead about what I will feed me or my kids. I wish it wasn’t this way- I don’t think I can help it right now though because when I stop thinking of it–they go hungry.

    good to hear though- I’m pretty sure some of my friends just don’t relate as much to me anymore because I’m talking about allergies or hives or bowel problems or food or what not–sheesh!

  5. oh. I can so relate on many levels. I once had a ED that preoccupied my EVERY thought. That is what an eating disorder does. Been there. done that. so, if your ED does have an ED than she needs help.

    on another level, I am a personal trainer and yoga instructor – my love and passion is food, exercise and overall wellness. YET, I don’t want to talk about those things 24 x 7. You said it all so well.

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