Eating to Please Others

16 JAN 2017

Our seven month old Sheltie, Sophia Scarlett, never knows when she’s had enough food. She always wants more. 

We keep the box of treats out of her reach on the chest of drawers. She well knows where they are and will sit in front of the dresser hoping for a treat!

We have to dole out her food. If we didn’t, Sophia would eat and eat and eat some more. 

We have to keep her treats out of reach. If we didn’t, I think she would eat the whole box. 

Sophie is definitely food motivated. 

But we humans don’t have anyone to allocate and measure out our food. And like Sophia, we often do not know when to quit. I know I didn’t. I ate beyond the point of fullness and what was a reasonable portion of the food set before me. I would leave the table stuffed and shortly thereafter feel lethargic and sleepy. 

Part of my food issue was eating to please people. How is that possible?

It was easy for a former codependent like me. A codependent is dependent on another’s approval and praise to feel esteemed and liked. And, I had a deep-seeded need to be approved and liked by others. This carried over into my eating habits. I didn’t know when to quit for fear of offending another. 

Invite me over for dinner and I’d clean my plate. Offer me dessert, and I’d take it. 

This even carried over to my wife who is the finest Southern cook at whose table I’ve ever sat. She often asked me what I wanted for dinner and fix what I wanted. Then half way through the meal, she asked, “How is it?”  I dared not leave a crumb on my plate!  And I really enjoyed every bite. My wife can fix. 

My favorite meal is southern country fired steak, mashed potatoes, and her mouth watering biscuits slathered with butter. I salivate just thinking about it, and she could fix it better than mom did!

At a restaurant, I’d eat eaveryrhing served. A couple of rolls, the entre, the sides, and maybe dessert. I wanted to get my money’s worth. 

I’m thinking my restaurant eating habits may have been formed from childhood. I was taught to clean my plate and seconds were encouraged. “Want some more? Did you have enough? Mom would ask. Add to that that throwing away food was wasteful and wrong. 

I didn’t have a childhood or teen weight problem. I was quite active playing chase, kick the can, basketball, and other active games with my friends. But, over the years, I have morphed into a couch potato and look like a giant Irish potato. 

I’ve started walking now. 10 miles last week, 5 miles this week, and a mile and a half yesterday. Bike riding will begin soon on the beautiful Augusta Canal towpath. I don’t ride on the roads. Too unsafe for me. 

I’m feeling the best I’ve felt in a long, long time. Thank God!

“Now, I hold the power over my food choices. I hold the power – NOT food!  If I’m not supposed to eat it, I won’t put it in my mouth.” – from “Made to Crave” by Lysa Terkeurst 

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