Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Food Isn't Meant for Guilt

I made some comfort food tonight. One of Tim's friends had one of her friends over for dinner and he said he was bringing "Mormon Funeral Potatoes". She didn't know what they were so she posted a message here on Chowhound. After some people responded, I realized what she was talking about - hashbrown hotdish! This is a yummy concoction of potatoes and other delicious things that are horrible for you. I developed a really strong craving for them so tonight, I made meatloaf and the potatoes. Tim just posted something about it on his blog, so I'll let you read the recipe and look at the picture there. Tim had a small amount of the potatoes and then said he wanted more, but wasn't going to have more. I had a second helping of the potatoes, but I felt guilty about it.

I've been thinking a lot about food and emotion lately, and how they are so intricately intertwined. Tim and I have been trying to watch what we eat lately, and we've both renewed our dedication to the gym. It hasn't been easy, because we are two people who have made "lounging" and "dining" an art form. Unfortunately, we both look like it, too, and we're both tired of having problems finding clothes that fit and being tired all the time. One thing that I've noticed is that I comfort myself with food and I reward myself with food. If I had a hard day at work, chances are I'll want to cook something really bad for me, or have a big piece of chocolate cake. If I want to reward myself, I usually reach for chocolate or red meat again. I think a lot of Americans are wired like this. Think of a first date, your grandmother's funeral, your graduation, your wedding shower. Food, food, food. We associate emotions with food because that's how we've been trained.

I don't think guilt should be anywhere near food, though. I truly enjoyed my dinner tonight, despite the fact that it was red meat and potatoes that were loaded with carbs, fat, and cholesterol. But because of the guilt I felt, I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I've been really trying to keep guilt away from my food, because food is for enjoyment. I love going to the store and picking it out, I love cooking it, and I love eating it. Guilt doesn't belong there.


Geggie said...

Hi there...found your blog through CH (I'm geg5150). Great post! It's so true! Good luck!

Carrie said...

I hear ya on the emotional eating! I'm famous for that. I am having to be more careful with what I eat now because although I lost the pregnancy weight, there's still LOTS to go and even though working out has helped a lot, I realized I needed to change the eating if I wanted anymore results.

It sucks!