Thursday, July 23, 2009

Deep Thoughts By Amy Handey #4

"Most of the time it was probably real bad being stuck down in a dungeon. But some days, when there was a bad storm outside, you'd lookout your little window and think, "Boy, I'm glad I'm not out in that." -The real Jack Handey

Someone recently asked me about food. What do I do now in relation to food. How do I deal with my emotions if I can no longer use food as my crutch. This was a difficult question for me to answer. I remember people asking me this before surgery as well...and I couldnt answer it then. So I thought I would turn it over to you guys and maybe you can help me and this other blogger with some of your ideas.

Now Oprah the Wise says that we all eat for a reason, not just because we love food. I have given much thought to this over the years. I have never been the kind of person who pigged out when I was sad. I am not Bridget Jones, I dont grab a tub of ice cream while singing All By Myself. I dont/didnt necessarily eat when I was stressed. I just ate all the time. Nowadays I totally recognize I eat when I am bored. I want to fill the time by munching on yummy things.

Food wasnt really my friend. I didnt eat to get fat because so I would feel safe. I just ate. And I ate like it was going out of style. I ate like I grew up during the depression or the great potato famine.

So I dont know Oprah. Maybe the "why" I ate is so deeply buried in my psyche...that I need therapy to figure it out. But, you know how they also say that we replace on addiction with another? I don't know if I have. I don't know how or when it happened, but my relationship with food has and is slowly changing.

It is a tough thing to explain when I dont really understand it myself, but it goes a little something like this. During my pre-op diet that initial burst of weight loss felt so good! I was like YES! and my doctor was very upfront with me and told me that it is possible that the band may not I was motivated to make sure it did. And the weight starting coming off. I got to 20 pounds, and wanted 30. I got to 30 pounds and wanted 40. I worked on choosing food that would give me something...satiety, nutrition, protein, etc. And somewhere along the line, this has started to become the norm. My habits changed. Obviously I still eat naughty from time to time (ie donuts and cheetos last night), but things are different.

So what about you guys?

Ironically, my joy of cooking has grown with the band. I watch the food network like a crazy person. I love to try new recipes. I love to cook and even cook yummy desserts. I get some enjoyment out of watching others enjoy food. Odd? Perhaps?


  1. I can't comment on how my relationship with food has chnaged post band, but I can say that my relationship with food is fraught with a lot of cliches about why people eat too much. (of course it's also more complex, too but still).

    I eat for comfort, love, to soothe myself. I eat for security. But one thing I've also noticed over the years is that I eat to punish myself. It's kind of like this: "Whoa, whoa, who do you think you are Missy? flying so close to the sun like that? Hold on a sec, I'm gonna make you eat 2 bagels and a donut so you can come back down to earth. Don't go getting too far ahead of yourself."

    It's a mean voice! I recognize that and so I have been trying to tell it I deserve to feel happy and meeting my goals doesn't make me "high and mighty", just fulfilled.

  2. I can totally relate to Brooke! I think I overeat to punish myself. That mean old voice just loves to put me in my place. Geesh, I need an exorcism!

    Thanks so much for posting this, I am looking forward to reading the comments.

  3. I can honestly say I was never a 'Bridget Jones' type eater either. I try and look back and figure why I blew up like a balloon and I still think - for me - it was dealing with deep depression and 'letting myself go.'

    I just didn't care because I was finding it hard enough to keep everyone else happy, fed, clean, and clothed (metaphorically speaking) that what went in my mouth was the last thing on my mind. Suddenly I've come full circle and I WANT to look after me, hence putting my heart and soul into losing this crap weight. Thanks Amy. Your posts always make us examine ourselves and this one was great. You're a doll. x

  4. I think pre band, I ate because everyone else was eating.. Kids have an earlier dinner than hubby, so I would eat with them, then eat with hubby, I would also eat if I was having a down day.. (comfort perhaps, never put much thought to it).. I would eat to celebrate (birthdays, promotions, good news, sad news, xmas, catch up with friends over FOOD... Go shopping, head straight to the food court.. and I wasnt happy with just one serving.. I couldnt decided exactly what I wanted, so i got greedy and went and got something from each outlet.. GREEDY!!!
    Post band, I guess I have started to compensate with cocktails (alcohol).. dont get me wrong.. I dont drink heaps and heaps.. but I have started to have more than I used to. instead of drinking only once per month or 2-3 months, I will have one or 2 drinks per week.. LOL.. just clarifying that I dont have a drinking problem..
    I have also found that I am more willing to explore with different foods that I never would have eaten pre-band.. And I have also grown a liking to cooking..
    xx Nene

  5. It's funny how so many people who have made peace with food (if there ever is such a thing) also really start to love cooking.

    When I was feeling really together and lost about 70 lbs I was cooking up a storm. I experimented with quinoa (sp?) and other whole grains and spent whole weekends crafting healthy, delicious meals.

    It was almost like I respected food a lot more. (And myself and my health by extension, I think).

    A big part of why I stopped losing and regained about 25 lbs is because I stopped respecting food and started valuing convenience. I think maybe by putting more emphasis on convenience I was sending an unconscious signal to myself that I wasn't respecting myself as much as I should.

    My switch to convenience had a lot to do w/ trying to make a crappy work/life balance succeed. But I knew that the only way I could make that situation work was to sublimate what I needed and push my needs down so I could get them out of the way quickly and ultimately have more energy for my job.

    For a while there it felt like surviving, not living, so self care went out the window.

    Wow. I just had a huge moment!

    Thanks for posting Amy, and thanks to anyone who took the time to read this :-)

  6. Gosh, I can relate to your comments and all the ladies comments. I think when I was going through depression I ate to survive it and numb my feelings. It was a way to soothe my anger, sadness, lonliness,...ect. I would sneak food, go through a drive-thru on the way home, and just eat to feel better. Now, I can't do that because I things will get stuck. I don't even crave that stuff. I eat with people. I find my self drinking more caffiene, especially in the a.m. Then have a glass of wine in the evening. I don't miss the worthless feelings that I would have. I love my band. Thanks Amy for giving us the opportunity to think and process what having a band has done to our lives:)

  7. Holy, moly, this is overwhelming. I went a few days without reading (haven't been on much) and you had so much to say.
    -you look fabulous!!!!! You have the "boobs stick out in the pic" thing going on that I do...I swear it is the first thing anyone sees anymore
    -have a wonderful time when you go on your cruise
    -I can't believe mom brought cheetos and donuts in the house...sometimes they just buy it out of habit and don't think about it
    -aren't you glad you can now stop after eating just a few?
    -I still LOVE to cook, and yes, the food channel is so much fun, Alton Brown is one of my favorites
    -It is wonderful that you can list so many things you are doing well, you are doing a lot better than me, that is for sure
    I enjoy your blogs. They are inspiring and always pick me up and make me laugh.

  8. These are really great comments! Tracey was getting frustrated with me last night bc I was so intently reading all the posts I wasnt paying him much attention (high maintenance man:) It gives me a lot to think about. I think it will help those who are preband that may be worrying about what happens next.

    Cindy! You know you are my "original bandster". You helped me so much in the beginning! SO you are my mentor. I dont know what my mom was thinking. She does that and then when we are eating dinner and I go to take another bite she scolds me. I dont think she even knows what she is doing...its just her nature!

    I like Alton bc he explains things to me but he kinda gets on my nerves. I loved Chopped, Diners Drive Ins and DIves, the next food network star, etc.

    Thanks guys!

  9. Great Post Amy...I wondered about how peoples relationship tp food changes post band...and it all seems positive!

  10. Me before band was I was eating beause I Love the food in my tummy and the taste of the food,I was eating at buffet's until I felt like I would explode, eating out all the time getting fries and burgers, not eating anything healthy at all!

    Now I cook almost every night, I cook a well balanced meal[meat/protien, veggie, sometimes carb] sometimes I still over eat beacuase I am eating to fast, but most of the time when I feel full I go and throw the rest of what is on my plate in a tupperware container with the other leftovers and take it for lunch the next day.

    But I also see that its not only helping me with my eating habits its helping my daughter form better eating habits, and my Boyfriend hasnt been eating out as much either and has been eating the food that I make and he has also lost 30lbs since Ive been cooking at home every night.

    occasionally I will get to the point where I want something bad [like the other night my daughter and I made sugar cookies and I ate 2 of them] but I am still working out, and eating healthy most of the time so it all balance's out.

    I also love cooking now and trying new recipies I cant watch the food network channel because all it makes me think about is food all the time and that is a "recipie" LOL for disaster for me.

  11. I seriously know that I eat out of boredom as an adult. That and my lack of attention span. When I was younger, I was always going out and doing things with friends, being social even when I was "blah" on some of the company that I would be in. But I didn't make my night about eating. Drinking, maybe... ha.

    When I was in high school, hell, throughout my whole life, my mom never said that she thought I needed to lose weight. But she was this hippie who was satisfied with those old fashioned bricks of shredded wheat that if I was lucky, I was allowed to drizzle a small amount of honey on with my milk. I wasn't allowed to have sugary snacks, and so when my uncles (my mom had 3 brothers, her youngest died of cancer a little over 10 years ago, but he was only 17 when I was born, so he was the cool uncle who bought me the candy she wouldn't) took care of me, I got to indulge.

    But my mom is also a Virgo like you. Things have to be done her way or they're the wrong way. I love her to death, but she ended up raising 3 daughters who are lazy about household chores because she'd do things like "You didn't vacuum right" and then revacuum our rooms, so eventually my sisters and I figured "Why bother?" and didn't even do the initial attempt.

    So for my mom and food, she would sit down and have these discussion with me about why I "needed" to have candy or Sugar Smacks cereal. I was a kid! I saw the commercials! And I always felt like I was letting her down. So the secretive eating began then. And the more tasty something was, since eating just one in front of her made me feel bad, turned into me eating a dozen in a locked bedroom closet. It was horrible.

    Now that I'm older, I really take the time to savor the foods that I enjoy. But I still overeat because it's there, I'm bored, etc. I can go to a theme park and eat one meal for the whole day and not want any snacks because I don't want to spend too much money on their crap - I'm a cheapskate like that. So I know I have it in me to possess more control on a day to day basis. I just really needed to know what it feels like to NOT feel hungry every waking hour. I understand the head-hungry part. But I need to eliminate the tummy hungry part (which has already kicked in big time these last few days - I don't even have a desire to be in a hurry to move to mushy foods and I didn't keel over and die when Craig made a grilled cheese sandwich for himself for dinner and kept repeating "I'm sorry" because the smell permeated the entire apartment and he understands my thing with cheese) in order to focus more on the head hungry part.