Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

Attitudes toward food are on my mind these days. Food is part of enjoying family and friends. Itís also part of many rituals, and some foods have their own rituals, like tea ceremonies, Seders, Easter. Iím thinking that these food rituals increase the importance of food in our lives. Itís no longer just fuel for our bodies; weíve now added meaning and emotion to it.

I realized recently just how stuck Iíve been in this spot for decades. I was always the one who cooked for all these occasions, and it had to be RIGHT Ė just the way it had always been from grandmother to grandmother. My self-worth depended on making sure that we had everything just right, and plenty of it. And I started young, around 6.

Over the past couple of years, however, Iíve hardly cooked anything, although Iím a wiz at roasted veggies [especially in the toaster oven!], and it hasnít mattered to me. Itís mattered to others, and Iíve heard about it in a variety of ways. But bottom line, the biggest realization is that I donít really like to cook!!

Whatís that? A nice Italian girl whoís the family repository of Grandmaís recipes doesnít like to cook? Someone whoís become well known for her killer pies and biscotti canít be bothered? (Except for making truffles in December. That involves chocolate, so that makes the truffles IMPORTANT!!)

We occasionally discuss that, as we lose weight, we have to change in order to maintain, and that itís often hard on family and friends. This is an example. I canít, donít want to, wonít, return to being the family cook. Iím just not interested, and itís no longer important to me.

Letting go of this part of my being hasnít been easy. Itís always been part of my core identity. But Iím learning that Iím much more than this, and figuring out more about who and what I REALLY am is quite an experience. Sometimes itís comfortable, and sometimes itís not. But itís an important process.

10 thoughts on “Changes in attitudes

  1. Greta says:

    The social component of food is one of the things that makes the lifestyle change to “being a thin person” so difficult. Other people want us to be the same because they don’t want to change. It must be really tough on them because you were such a great cook and now you don’t. In my 2-person household, I tried to get thin hubbie to eat “my food” and he refuses. What often happens now is that I cook two meals…one for him and one for myself. This is DEFINITELY not what I want to be doing. Besides the work I then have to handle his food which makes it harder to resist eating. Because extended families are out of town however, my hubbie’s been good about changing holiday traditions. Now on every big holiday we go to Fort Funston which is a dog walking beach and we walk several miles and pet all the other dogs. It still fells like a celebration but it’s a walk-based celebration.

  2. Trinka says:

    I do know what you mean – it’s a real challenge to break that tie between food and fellowship, and the process has affected me the same way … I just do not enjoy being in the kitchen anymore.

    About those roasted veggies you mentioned … how would one go about making them? What do you add? Can they be done in a crock pot? I like the “low maintenance” sound of it.

  3. jane says:

    Trinka:

    roasted veggies ARE low maintenance, but if you put them in a crock pot, well, you get STEWED veggies. not a bad thing – but not roasted!

    here’s what i do:

    turn on the toaster oven to at least 350. higher if you want them to cook faster. lower than 350 takes FOREVER [at least with mine]

    take the little pan that comes with the toaster oven, and cover it with foil [iím so lazy!!!] and spray it with cooking spray.

    cut up the veggies you want to roast in fairly small pieces [if you do these in the regular oven, you can use bigger pieces!]. do one type of veggie, do several.

    i add a wee bit of olive oil, and sometimes various seasonings – basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, whatever – and toss with my hands.

    and then put the pan in the oven and walk away. you have to check every once in a while. every 3-5 minutes if youíve cranked the oven up to 400 or higher, every 10 or so if itís at 350. when theyíre done to your likingÖ well, youíre done!!!!

  4. Trinka says:

    Thank you!

    Stupid question, I know …

    What veggies do you use? Root vegetables? Squash? Anything & everything that isn’t lettuce?

    Trinka

  5. Jonathan says:

    It really is all about the attitude. Like Greta, I’m partnered to a NTP who won’t eat “my” food so we end up having two separate entrees at every meal. But what I do notice is that while he has a whole list of “shoulds” in his mind related to the offering and accepting of food, he never EVER eats if he doesn’t feel like it. I’ve tried to point that out to him but he doesn’t get it. Its the ritual, I guess, more than anything else.

    P.S. We also go to Fort Funston!

  6. jonquil says:

    Some hallowed traditions aren’t worth keeping. Especially the ones that keep certain family members in a double bind: for example, a person with food issues is “appointed” the “gatekeeper” of food rituals. Families tag people with labels that can blight their entire lives: one member becomes the black sheep, the pretty one, the stupid one. Forcing people into unwanted roles is all about control and power, hiding conflicts and swallowing abuse. It has nothing to do with love and sharing. Real love is freedom.

    Here’s to Jane and her courageous bid for an authentic life.

  7. Sandy says:

    I can certainly relate to today’s comments! I cook for my family, and my daughter, now 13, is very interested in cooking as well. Since the weight loss (now 3 years at goal, nearly 70# lost) I have been making less complex dishes, with nowhere near the fat and calories of those I pepared when the kids were little. Of course, this is “boring.”

    Last night she and I were doing some menu planning, and I had to put the kibosh on many of her ideas, even though they sounded delicious – so that I didn’t disappoint her, I told her we’d save the fattening stuff for special occasions. I handed her my Weight Watchers cookbooks so she could find something interesting to cook.

    I know everyone misses the old way, but I’d rather be healthy, and live long – and send the message that food isn’t an end unto itself. Easier said than done, though.

  8. Pattie says:

    This might sound sneaky, but when I started exploring new healthier recipes, I wouldn’t tell my thin husband nor my stepchildren that the food they were being served was “diet” food. I’d wait until they asked for seconds – then I’d tell them. It’s really helped break through the barrier many people have about healthy food not being tasty food.

  9. Greta says:

    Jonathan
    We’re the couple with the small-sized brown-spotted Dalmatian and 2 Golden retrievers…a male and a female. My 13 year old male died June 29 but we are on the verge of adopting another male from NorCal Golden Retriever rescue so the family should be about the same when we’re there the next time. I live in Walnut Creek so daily dog walking is in Shell Ridge Open Space and we get to Fort Funston abot once a week.

  10. Cheryl says:

    My 2 year plus adventure to get healthy (100# loss) has also meant lossing things I believed to be the essential “me.” That no matter what, they would always be “true” about me. It’s been a real eye opener. Some things I set out to change, and some just seemed to change as a result of other changes. It’s made me believe that anything is possible, and that we are creatures that do, and can at will, completely change who we are. That I, once a person who would not get out of bed before 11, now thinks 7:30 is really sleeping in, is a major shift. Or, that I would rather run a nice 5 miler than sit in a movie eating popcorn and candy. Who would of believed it possible? Not me, that’s for sure. It makes the world a bigger place when I realize there’s nothing holding me back, but my own notions of I am. Thanks for saying things so well, Jane.

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