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.
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 I 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.
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?
p.s. don’t forget that Friday is approaching! If you haven’t submitted your high fives to me yet please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org