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Monday, March 19, 2012

Interesting... Leftover Freak-out

I have a serious problem with "wasting food." Even when I am full, I start to feel a little panic about the food going to waste. I can't really keep leftovers because I am a binge eater and leftovers are a SERIOUS trigger. I will start asking everyone if they want to finish my food, if they don't, I still wonder what I could do with it so it won't go to waste. It's in that moment where I start to wish I had my old stomach back so I could finish that food and binge. The mind is powerful. Why does my mind freak out at the thought of wasting food when I see other people casually put their scraps of leftover food in the trash like it's nothing? Especially if we eat out. I remember taking the kids to McDonald's for a play date and I was mortified at the amount of food the parents were throwing out. They would buy a meal for their little ones knowing they are way to small to eat all that food and after the little one took about three bites, they threw the rest of the meal away! Why should what they do bother me?????? It is none of my business! Why is "wasting" food such an issue for me? I always buy my kids a normal amount of food for their age and if they finish and they are still hungry, then I will get them more. 90% of the time, they don't want anything else. Why is it almost painful for me to watch someone at another table throw away food? I do this everywhere. If we are at some type of fun event where there is food, I see what people are eating and what they are "wasting." This is something I struggle with every day because this is part of my food addiction/obsession. Right now there is a SMALL amount of food left over from dinner last night. I have been thinking about it ALL NIGHT/DAY. It is such a small amount I could just throw it away and get rid of the temptation, but I can't bring myself to do that because it would go to waste. I used to have several friends when I was in high school that would take a few bites of their burger and then throw the rest away. Even then I would always ask them why they were doing that and didn't they want to save it until later. I envied their nonchalant approach to food. I imagined how free my life would be if food didn't have such a strong hold on me. I still daydream about the day I can go ANYWHERE without thinking of food. Even after my surgery in the few months where i did feel free from this, I worried that feeling would not last and of course it didn't. I long for those days again. No matter what surgery I will ever have or what diet anyone will ever try, if you are a food addict you will battle the addiction forever. I am really hoping that after a few months of OA my obsessions will decrease to a point where I can enjoy my day without any thoughts of food. My food or SOMEONE ELSE'S! :)


Laryssa said...

From another perspective, it isn't just having a food addiction. It's hard when we've gotten so used to cooking large amounts of food. My mom still cooks for 6 people even though it's only her and my brother. She also taught us how to cook for 6 people and it was hard to learn to cook the same meals in smaller amounts. I still have a hard time with making just 1 cup of rice; it's seems so .... little. :)

My Saturday Weight Watchers leader said that was a battle for him too because he was raised that it was wrong to throw out food. His mother would make him eat everything on his plate even if he was full because "there are starving children in Africa". After losing 109lbs, he said one thing he had to do was rewire his thinking. He had to convince his brain that whether he eats it or not, there will still be starving children somewhere in the world and there's no way to give them his leftover foods.

I hope your OA meetings help you to rewire your thinking too and make the rest of your journey easier.

Sunny said...

I am the same way about wasting food. I hate to throw away food. And I often find that my eyes are bigger than my stomach, but I can't leave the etxtra on my plate, so I end up eating more than is comfortable just so it doesn't get thrown away.
On good days, what I tell myself is this: It isn't doing any more good for me in my body than it does in the garbage. In fact, it does more harm to me in my body than if I just throw it away. Mind you, that is on the good days. On my bad days, I just can't leave it on the plate.

Taryl said...

It is a huge issue with me! Both for the eating and watching people do it. I get it at restaurants, where the portions might be huge, but people who load up their plates and toss half of it seems so wasteful and ungrateful. Take only what you'll eat and don't waste the rest!

I have gotten better with this, as my kids occasionally are full nd won't finish even the modest portion of food given them and I'd rather they listen to their hunger cues than satisfy my desire for clean plates, but it is a struggle to not get into the "clean plate club" mentality. Daily struggles, I suppose.

Linda Sherwood said...

I have really been struggling with leftovers because I am still making foods in large amounts, so we have a lot left over. It ends up going bad before we can eat it.

I've started dividing the leftovers into two containers. One goes in the fridge for immediate leftovers. The other goes in our freezer.

Lyn said...

This is hard for me too. I have to keep telling myself "I am not a trash can." It is more of a waste to put unneeded food in my body than it is to toss it.