Food Talk: Like Car Talk But More Neurotic

I can be MADDENING as far as discussing food in terms of "good/bad." Maddening because I always seem to see-saw from being totally okay with talking about it that way and totally militant about NOT talking about it that way. This drives the husband nuts, because he asks me all the time if he ate too much, or if what he is/was eating is "bad." Sometimes I'll parrot back whatever my nutritionist would tell me about that meal/snack, but sometimes I'll give him a death stare and snap at him that I can't talk about that stuff, and that he has to ask someone else, because I have a hard enough time not having it play in my head about every single thing I put (or think about putting) into my mouth. The poor guy can't get a break with the consistency thing - I'm a food discussion Jekyll and Hyde.

I was emailing with some friends today, and restaurant portion size came up. One of my friends wrote, about appetizers, "It's so hard to find one that isn't disgusting (read, deep-fried :P)... Or soups, when it isn't some vile creamy thing on offer." I realize on the re-read that she's not saying anything hard and fast about food rules, only saying SHE finds the deep-fried disgusting, and SHE finds creamy soups vile, not that they ARE that, finito, the end, Food Law For Everyone. The fact she asserts isn't that they ARE; the fact is that she finds them that way.

Even if she were making such a sweeping statement about Food Law For Everyone (and pleeenty of people in my life do, but not this particular savvy gal), it would behoove me to parrot my nutritionist in another way, just to myself, and ask, "Who says?" When someone throws a supposed Food Law at you, step back and ask yourself, "Who says?" It's unlikely that the person who just told you that the only healthy way to snack on fruit is with one ounce of cheese and never by itself, for instance, is a nutritionist or a metabolic specialist. It's rather more likely that your conversational partner, say, read an article in the latest issue of Shape magazine.

It's still very hard for me to make that distinction automatically. I've found that no matter how far I've gotten into the recovery process, or how successfully or poorly I'm doing at whatever point in time, I've never yet been able to make that leap from having to deliberately remember to ask "Who says?" to making that question an automatic reflex. And yet, I can still play most of the first movement of Mozart's Sonata in C major (No. 16) on the piano. I learned it 20 years ago. Muscle memory and attendant reflexes? Work just fine. Cognitive dissonance filter and attendant reflexes? Need some adjustments. *sigh*


  1. All I can say is that that friend is a prize. Why she actually leaves room for differing opinions.

    Food and diet can be such a contentious issue. It's amazing that something that is so fundamental can become so divisive and for so many varying reasons.

  2. Yeah, somehow I've made certain foods off limits. But there are worse foods that I eat that apparently aren't off limits. My brain confuses me.


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