Friday, November 7, 2008

Let ME Eat Cake

We were talking on the Consensual Living Yahoo list about food issues. A common topic whenever you are talking about parenting. I usually share our experiences with our children, as well as my upbringing. This past discussion I happened to have gone out to eat the night before and dealt with my own "food issue" and thought I would share. Then thought I would expand on it a bit and blog about it. It just seems that sometimes we get stuck in the "what if" and forget about the "what is". I know it is hard, and I know that the what ifs can be kind of scary, what if their teeth rot out, what if they are unhealthy, what if.....and that leads to "if I control it for them, then this won't happen".

Anyway my experience was when eating out. I had a meal of....oh I can remember now...the dessert was the most important part for me. I had the most delicious chocolate ... CHOCOLATE cake. Did I mention the chocolate. Usually my boys order a slice and I can have a bite of theirs, which is enough for me, just the taste of that chocolate. I have dairy issues so as you can assume this cake is ummm shall we say "not so good" for me, LOL. The boys, that day, decided they didn't want a piece of cake or any dessert. So I went ahead and ordered one for myself. Which is a change for me. Well a change from my childhood. Growing up, my mother controlled the food, when, where, how much and for reward and punishment etc. So I am relearning how to let go and not feel deprived. I ate about 1/2 the slice. I knew it was not going to agree with me, knew it before I took the first bite. Knew I would *pay* for it. And I DID, I was so sick that night, for at least 5 hours after the cake. So sick that I just laid in bed, then slowly started feeling better. BUT it was soooo worth it. That does not mean I have no self control, or that I will always eat this way. As I mentioned, as a child Iwas very controlled, in many ways, including food. I still struggle with food. I have no one around me controlling my food now, it is up to me, and I am really learning now how to listen to my body, make those judgement calls, make decisions, find information, figure things out.

OK is there really a point here..... just something that happened yesterday. If I had someone there to restrict my cake intake yesterday because they wanted to look out for my best interest, protect me from being sick, protect my teeth, preserve my health, I think I would have just felt deprived and controlled, although would not have been sick for hours. The craving for the cake would not have gone away because someone said Icouldn't have it. And the damage to the relationship might have been more damaging than that piece of cake.


laura said...

thank you for sharing this story. in the last year i have let go of controlling food. it has been a rollercoaster ride for sure!!

p.s. it was good to see you again at day, i'd like to actually get a chance to have a conversation with you...LOL =)!!!!

Pagolesher said...

Food issues.
I totally understand and I hear you on a deeper level, because the exterior control we are under as children, filters our life experiences, and lasts into adulthood. For better or worse.

*Awareness* of our childhood issues, does not always make it any easier to change our adult behaviors & perceptions, LOL.

I am sorry that your childhood experiences have stuck to you for so long. I am glad you are moving into a place where you are "learning now how to listen to [your] body, make those judgement calls, make decisions, find information, figure things out"... good for you!

Teaching our own children self-control, giving them the opportunity to learn, in childhood, the things of which you are only now as an adult becoming aware, is the best gift we can give them.

And, Pam, you are doing an admirable job! ;-)

MorganMoon said...

I like that bit about the difference between 'what if' and 'what is'...this is something i often get caught in with my toddler..e.g. when i try to brush his teeth and he's not having it! Thanks for this post. I too have had food issues from over-controlling in the past, and it's quite a journey.

Galavanter said...

Dang, I was hoping you would somehow pull the recipe out of your hat, 'cause you are amazing like that.

I loved your story on CL - an important one for people to understand.