Number One: Food
I love food.
Anybody looking at me can see just how much I love food.
It’s been a problem most of my life. Not just the kind of food I eat but the amount I’m eating every day.
The easiest way to explain where this came from is to go back to when I was kid.
My mom has worked and worked hard my entire life. I have no memories of her not holding down a steady job and providing for our family of six. My father was a different story. He loved marijuana and that really occupied the bulk of his time. From the time he woke up, until he went to bed at night, he was constantly in the bathroom lighting up. Christmases and Easters were a progression of my sisters and I marching up to the cracked bathroom door and presenting our gifts to our father. Who was just as surprised as we were by the gifts we displayed.
In some ways I know shouldn’t complain. As far as drugs go, pot really isn’t that bad. I know there are a lot of studies out there detailing all the good it can do and the list of uses for hemp is longer than I am tall.
And lord knows what he was like when he didn’t have the pot. Without the weed to chill him out, my dad became a regular dictator. He would clean all day and all night. Dusting, vacuuming, polishing, sweeping, moping, and on and on.
Also, not the worst thing, right?
Except that he became really particular, one might say anal, about how the house had to be cleaned. And where we, the girls, could and couldn’t go. We were not allowed to sit in the living room, nor could we touch the couches, chairs or Tv there. We were allowed to watch Tv in our parents room if they weren’t in there, if my dad wasn’t in the attached bathroom, or sleeping as he was prone to do in afternoons. Even then most of the time he was cleaning and we needed to be in our rooms.
At night my father would vacuum patterns into the carpet so he could tell if my sisters or I would leave our beds at night. Every night without fail, he would vacuum us into our bedrooms.
Now being that my father had a drug problem before the state of California recognized pot as a legal recreational drug, it was very difficult for him to find and keep a job. Which means he spent a large part of his time unemployed. Putting enormous strain on my mother and out household.
Of course with the pot, came the munchies. My dad had junk food in the house constantly. Ding dongs in the freezer, a candy dish full of candy on the table, and a host of little Debbie snacks hidden all over the house.
We were constantly eating junk. Driving through McDonalds, getting cookies when we behaved. It was an ongoing issue with food and how we consumed it.
As a child, however, I was active all the time. I took recess to the extreme, running, climbing, jumping, swinging, anything I could do to move. So I never noticed the problem. But as soon as puberty hit I was bombarded with issues. I was no longer in elementary school, so no more recess, and unbeknownst to me, I had a condition called Polycystic Ovary syndrome. Once it kicked in my weight began to balloon and all the bad food choices I was raised with became a huge detriment.
My weight started to climb.
And soon I was growing out of the clothes my mom bought me at the beginning of the school year. I went from being in the juniors section to wearing women’s plus size clothing in less than three years. And I never understood how strange that was. In my mind I was normal and everything was fine. My body was beginning to look like the people around me.
It would be years before I understood how toxic my relationship with food was.
And even longer before I would be able to do anything about it.