Is it silly to say that I relish food? I do enjoy eating, oftentimes immensely. But there are also times when eating is simply a habit, a way to pass the time, or a compulsive act.
I have had issues with food as far back as I can remember. My brother and I watching cartoons, and I’m jonesing for more cookies, but he’s content to just hang out. Earlier than that even, I was one of those kids who would only eat certain foods. Burgers and fries were it, maybe a hot dog sometimes–but never with relish! No condiments for me, thank you.
But why? Why wasn’t food as simple as sustenance? When did it become this challenging place in my young mind? Is it because I am the youngest child of eight? Have I always been trying to get my share of the pie, even on into adulthood?
Due to my metabolism (i think) and some genetics, along with a lifelong love of movement and exercise, I have never been overweight. Therefore, the food issue doesn’t seem as obvious. But it manifests in the emotional realm, it distracts me from the real work of life, it hangs over a good part of my day, most every day. I have been able to recognize it over the years, and at least for the physical/health effects, I can do a decent job of keeping it in check. But there is the emotional component, the mental energy that goes into this effort.
I know that addiction takes many forms. I am quite fortunate to not get the alcohol addiction that my mother had, or that one of my brothers got even worse than she had. I know to count my blessings. But the internal struggle is still strong. Perhaps it is enough that it keeps me humble and compassionate for those who struggle with bigger issues.