Let Go Of Having Control To Gain Control

by Meg on February 26, 2014

Today’s post answers a question that I was asked by a reader of mine who is currently healing her relationship with food. Her question is as follows:

“When you were in recovery how did you handle meals prepared by others? Were you scared to eat those dishes because you didn’t have control over the ingredients and amounts of those that went into them? For me, the amount of oil others use – their “tablespoons” are more like 1/4 cups – is one of the scariest parts. I’m not counting macros or am afraid of fat in general but seeing others mindlessly pour way more oil into a pan than actually needed is an entirely different thing. And I know for a fact my family and friends won’t change their ways of cooking so it has to be me making a change and working on overcoming these fears. How did you do it?”

I loved this question from my reader, who will remain anonymous, as it really hit home with me. As she described the “tablespoons” of oil her family and friends use are more like “1/4 cups” I couldn’t help but think of a time when I was in the same situation and thought the exact same thing…

Last winter, a few months after Eddie and I started dating, we cooked a lot of dinners at home together. Rather, he cooked a lot of dinners for me.

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He’s much more experienced in the kitchen than I, so I let him take over. However, when I watched him cook I could feel my eyes grow wider and wider as I watched him pour the oil into the pan… and keep pouring.

He’d use more oil than I thought anyone would ever consider using and, admittedly, it scared me.

Even though I knew fat is not bad, it still scared me.

Even though I knew all of the benefits of fat, it still scared me.

Even though I knew I needed fat, it still scared me.

He’d cook me omelettes every morning, sauté vegetables at dinner, and pan sear fish while always using more fat than I was comfortable with.

But that’s the thing. He was using more fat to cook with than I was comfortable with. His cooking habits were making me uncomfortable. Why? Because I was putting restrictions and limitations on the amount of fat I should be taking in throughout the day.

When I realized that I was actually the one causing myself to feel uncomfortable due to the restrictions and limitations I was putting on the food I ate, I gave myself a reality check and knew I had to make some big changes in order to fully recover and heal my relationship with food.

So, I let go of having control over my meals. I let Eddie, or anyone else who was cooking for me, have complete and utter control of my meals because I felt that the only way that was going to gain control of my life was to give others control over the thing I was trying so badly to control – food.

When Eddie cooked and poured more oil in the pan than I thought was necessary, I’d watch and remind myself that this was good for me. It was healthy for me. The only way I was going to ever fully recover was if I was comfortable with others having control. 

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Now, over a year later, Eddie and I joke about the amount of fat he used when cooking for me. He knew it freaked me out, without me even having to say anything, but he knew I needed it. He knew I needed to challenge myself and challenge myself I did! Thank goodness I did, too, because I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t.

Today I am comfortable eating meals prepared for me by others and it is all because I let go of having control over my food to gain control of my life. 

Can you relate to the topic of today’s post? Did today’s post help you in any way? 

Love always,

Meg xo

p.s. don’t forget that Friday is approaching! If you haven’t submitted your high fives to me yet please email me at adashofmeg@gmail.com :D

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Linz @ Itz Linz February 26, 2014 at 8:03 AM

so proud of you, as always… such an inspiration to so many! :) xo

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:42 AM

wow thanks love <3

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clare @ fitting it all in February 26, 2014 at 8:25 AM

perfect:)

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:42 AM

i get so giddy every time you comment on my blog :) thank you clare <3

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Stephanie Tucci February 26, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Meg I love when you write about this stuff! You are such a positive example to women everywhere xxoxo I’m so proud of how far you’ve come!

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:42 AM

thank you so so soooo much, my love! hoping we can chat soon <3 just gimme a text and let me know when you’re free :) it would be fun to catch up on Skype

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Cara's Healthy Cravings February 26, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Great post Meg! There are definitely bits of this I can relate to.

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:13 PM

thanks for reading :) <3

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Morganne @ Nut Butter Runner February 26, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Such a great post!

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:13 PM

thank you :) <3

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More February 26, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Such a great post and such a great answer to the question. We do sometimes have to learn to let go of control in every aspect of our lives and just learn to EMBRACE life and enjoy other people cooking for you. :)

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:13 PM

couldn’t agree more babe :D

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Christa @ Edible Balance February 26, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Yes!! Letting go, and allowing yourself to have freedom in food. When we stress about every single little thing, it disrupts even how we absorb food and it disrupts quality of life sometimes. Speaking from personal experience! Love this post friend, and love you! xo

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:14 PM

ahhhh i love you too my friend :) i hope we see each other again soon xoxo

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Sara @ LovingOnTheRun February 26, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Really love this! Sometimes you really do just have to let go and allow others to have control. If not its’ really hard to live a happy life!

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:14 PM

so true!

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Amanda @runtothefinish February 26, 2014 at 9:31 AM

I love that you have found what works for you. I have never had any kind of eating disorder, so I can’t comment from that side AT ALL. I do however prefer to control the food making mostly because those around me who cook…don’t tend to do it in a healthy way. Life is a process of learning how to be who we are and comfortable with it :0)

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:14 PM

thanks Amanda! that is so true

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Alexandra February 26, 2014 at 9:37 AM

I 100% relate to this. My mom uses so. much. oil. when she cooks. I tell myself its okay, good and healthy (nutritionally and mentally) to let her use the oil. Letting go of control is so scary, but its also liberating! And I like the feeling of liberation :)

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:15 PM

good for you girl :D you’re doing the right thing

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Stephanie February 26, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Such a great post, Meg!

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:15 PM

thank you so much!

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Marieve February 26, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Thank you for the post, I can relate as well. I dont mind the fat as much as refined sugar and “bad carbs”. Saying no to a sweet treat at work, feeling guilty at a family dinner. So hard to overcome those feelings, because I know once I start I have a bit of trouble with portion control….any advice?

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:17 PM

hmmm good question. from what i know, in some circumstances, when you cannot control the amount of food you eat it is due to restriction of that food. does that make sense? so one thing i do is “allow myself to have whatever i want whenever i want in whatever amount”

once you follow by this rule you realize you don’t REALLY want all of that [insert food here]

i hope that helps!

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Mariève February 26, 2014 at 8:29 PM

It does thanks!! Weird thing is I don’t crave it at all when im home, but in a social context I do! But It will be my goal of 2014.

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Keri February 26, 2014 at 10:20 AM

This was such a great post, Meg! Your honesty heals others! And this also just reiterates how wonderful Eddie is! You both are pretty darn wonderful! xoxo

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:17 PM

HAHA yes Eddie is wonderful isn’t it ;) had to get that across in this post ;)

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Steph February 26, 2014 at 10:42 AM

You are a brave, strong woman who is doing tremendous things. Super proud!

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:17 PM

i am BLUSHING! :) :0 thanks Steph <3

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Michele February 26, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Meg- I love how you are able to break down and articulate these challenges to building a healthy relationship with food and with ourselves! Even once “recovered” it is still so important to notice when we are putting restrictions on our diets, it is all too easy to deny these unhealthy thoughts but having self awareness can only make us healthier and happier! Thanks you for being so open and honest with yourself and your readers! It makes it easier to examine my own thoughts and behaviors when I am reminded that it is okay to have weaknesses and we are all works in progress always :)

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:18 PM

wowwwww thanks Michele :D love hearing from you!

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Ashley February 26, 2014 at 11:29 AM

I can totally relate, but I wish it was only a matter of the amount of olive oil being used! My main issue is when someone prepares a dinner and everything is swimming in it’s own sugary/buttery sauce. I love my veggies plain, and it makes me sick when their drowning in syrup! It’s hard when there’s literally nothing they made that you want to eat but you feel rude not eating the food that they prepared for you..

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:19 PM

I know what you mean, honey. It’s ok not to prepare foods in that way for yourself if you do not enjoy it prepared that way, but I think it is important to be OK mentally when we are served foods like this :)

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Tatum | EATS from the oil patch blog February 26, 2014 at 11:48 AM

I love you,
that is all.

Well actually it’s not all, that is seriously the sweetest that your hubs is supportive of you. Doesn’t it feel great to enjoy a meal that someone put love into preparing and truly be able to appreciate it. You’re always an inspiration girl.

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Ahhhhhhh you’re such a sweetie pie!!!!!!! Oh I love you. Ok, so we need to meet ASAP. Email me. I have news.

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april February 26, 2014 at 12:28 PM

i can completely relate to this post 110%. at the moment, i feel like i MUST be in control of my meals and cooking. i’d probably get intense anxiety if i watched someone prepare my food with that much oil, which i know is COMPLETELY silly. fat is good for me and my body craves that fat, yet for some reason, i feel the need to be in control. i just gotta keep telling myself that it’s okay to let go of some control. i’m sure i’ll feel much better as a result. :) as always, thank you for the inspiration, meg! xo

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:20 PM

awwww april :D i am so happy i could be an inspiration <3 always here for you

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Lindsay February 26, 2014 at 2:19 PM

It’s obvious he loved you from the very beginning!

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:20 PM

totally :) <3

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ottleo February 26, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Having started my weight loss journey when fat was considered bad for you, I struggled with the idea of adding fat back into my diet. Now I love olive and coconut oil :)

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:20 PM

good for you :D

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Amanda February 26, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Great post Meg…well said. I feel the same way u did when others cook for me. Since I am so particular about food, when others cook for me it is hard because I want to have control and get them to cook my way. But u are right it is good to let go of that control sometimes! Thanks

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:21 PM

thanks for the comment Amanda :D it’s so healthy to NOT have control some times! Good luck <3

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Carolyn February 26, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Thank you for this post! I am SO inspired by your progress. This was a great post about letting up control and I really love when you share things like this. I think about the times you’ve shared when you were nervous to try something new, and considering your great progress and also inspired to try new things myself. Thank you for being open I know being so personal on a public blog is not the easiest but i really appreciate posts like this!!!

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:22 PM

awwwww sweetie! i love hearing from you and writing these types of posts makes me FEEL good. if there is anyyyyyy topic you’d like me to address please just email me and let me know <3

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Purelytwins February 26, 2014 at 8:01 PM

girl if people saw and watched how much healthy fats we eat in a day it would scare people. it is hard to get over that fats are good for you :) for some reason though eating a lot of fat never really scared us as much as carbs do to a point. but again we know they are all good for us :)

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 8:22 PM

love hearing from my sisters :D i look to you for inspiration for adding even more fat to my diet than i already do :D salmon skin anyone? ;) heck ya

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Natalie @ lovenataliemarie February 26, 2014 at 8:25 PM

I still have that uncomfortable feeling when people cook for me. I am getting better with not questioning everything, but I just still have food fears. I am in recovery, so I am taking everything one step at a time. I hope that the freedom comes soon! :)

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 9:59 PM

you’re doing so well sweetie! <3

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Kristen February 26, 2014 at 8:45 PM

WOW, Meg! This post blew me away, everything about it is just amazing! It’s SO hard to let go of anything sometimes, but you really made me realize just how freeing it can be!! I LOVE reading your blog!!

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 9:59 PM

oh you make me tear up! I LOVE YOU MY FRIEND!

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GiGi Eats Celebrities February 26, 2014 at 9:57 PM

OMG I can relate in SO MANY WAYS!!!!!!!!!! I remember when I had more strict eating, I would go home to visit my family and my dad would GLUG GLUG GLUG GLUG GLUG the olive oil into the pot. I was okay with GLUG GLUG but really? All of those other glugs = NOT necessary, to the point where I would get MAD at my dad!!! Ridiculous!!! HA! Now, I am a HUGE GLUG GLUG GLUG GLUG GLUGer- except with COCONUT OIL… So I guess that makes a different noise ;)

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Meg February 26, 2014 at 9:59 PM

haha cute!

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Jody - Fit at 56 February 26, 2014 at 10:16 PM

LOVE!!! You really have grown & learned so much!!! Happy to see is while you are young too! :)

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Meg March 1, 2014 at 7:57 PM

thanks Jody :D you’re such a great friend

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Melanie February 27, 2014 at 6:48 AM

Oh Meg,
I definitely can relate.
Every night at dinner in fact. My dad is a chef so his passion in cooking, but everything is loaded with a “splash (1/2 cup) of oil” “a pinch (handful) of salt”. Sometimes I swear there is more salad dressing on the salad then actual salad, or more sauce then actual vegetables. But then I realise It’s only because I’m choosing to notice that.. everyone else eating it doesn’t even notice the unnecessary oil etc. Admittedly I’m making progress, but I know I still have a long way to go.

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Meg March 1, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Recovery is a journey, Melanie! I’m always here to support you! Just an email away <3

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Livi February 27, 2014 at 8:00 AM

I definitely relate to this. When I was recovering from my ED, it was nearly impossible for me to eat with my family, because I couldn’t imagine eating the ‘unhealthy’ things they thought were ok. Now, that seems ridiculous, and I can enjoy family dinners or meals in restaurants for their social aspects as well as JUST the food’s “healthiness”.

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Meg March 1, 2014 at 7:58 PM

good for you girl! yay for health

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Brittany @ Delights and Delectables February 27, 2014 at 6:06 PM

love… absolutely love this!

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Meg March 1, 2014 at 7:59 PM

thank you so much sis xo

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Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen February 28, 2014 at 10:06 AM

What a wonderful response! I have noticed that one of the most important ‘steps’ I had to take was not obsessing over meals that other people cook. In fact, I still have a healthier mindset, and focus less on the food and more on the experience of dining, when I’m NOT in charge. Overanalyzing everything only happens when I’m on my own, and that was (is?) usually when the ‘relapses’ happen. I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but NOT knowing is always when I have a better relationship with food and meals, such as the times I’m with my family, or dining out, or at a friends house.

Anyways, I’m proud of you for continuing to express your experiences in such a clear, and positive, way! (Much better than I am doing now…)

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Meg March 1, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Sarah,

When you said “not knowing” is when you had a better relationship with food reminded me of this summer. Eddie and I ate so many meals out in restaurants. Think all you can eat ribs. Because I felt like I could push myself farther and harder when I didn’t know what was in my food. I would stuff myself silly and it was wonderful for my recovery. Absolutely wonderful. Funny how that works, huh? But, I totally know what you mean by saying that! Thanks for the comment <3 love you always. Missing your sweet face, too <3

p.s. if you need me i am always a text/email away :) i hope you still have my number <3

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