Sunday, August 4, 2013

How I Eat, part 5.

This post will focus on when I eat.

In my first post on eating I talked about some bad habits I learned about eating. When growing up, we also had an unfortunate rule. I was taught that it was rude to eat in front of other people without sharing what you have with them. This sounds good--polite in fact--but it has some unfortunate consequences.

1. When you had something to eat and didn't want to share it, you had to go into hiding and eat it alone, feeling very greedy all the while. This is how I consumed most of the candy bars I ever got in my childhood.

2. If someone else had something they wanted to eat, they would fix enough to share with everyone--so you found yourself eating things that other people wanted that you were not planning on eating.

3. When in a group, everyone had to eat when anyone wanted to eat. That meant that I learned to eat, not because I was hungry, but because other people were eating.

4. No one felt comfortable eating something they wanted if anyone present said they didn't want any. So often I would say I would have something to eat too, because if I didn't I knew I would inhibit them from eating something they wanted.

So how did I fix all this?

For number 1: I just fix a snack when I want it and eat it. If I don't want to offer a bite to anyone around, I don't. Everyone else in the family does the same thing, and no one seems to be shy about asking for a bite if you have something particularly tempting.

For number 2: I turn down offers of snacks if it something that I was not planning on eating, and I ask people first if they want me to fix them some of the snack I'm planning on eating, instead of expecting that they will.

For number 3: I tell people I'm not really hungry and to not be offended if I don't eat, or eat very little.

For number 4: In our home, everyone fixes their own breakfast and lunch and eats it when they are ready. Everyone got used to other people eating around them when they were not eating themselves. We all had dinner together, and even then, it was OK if someone wasn't hungry to not eat a full meal.

So when do I eat? When I want to or need to, not every time anyone else is eating.

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