Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Soul Food- Our Issues With Food

I was sitting down to lunch the other day eating two pieces of fried chicken and a soda trying not to draw too much attention to myself while I ate. You see like most people the way I eat at home is a wee bit different from how I eat out.

There are no licking of fingers, no gawning of bits of flesh that hang stubbornly on the bone, nor any gawning of the bit of hangy fat, no sucking of bone, no sound of cracking cartilage, or bone. Oh, no! None of that! I do everything short of using those darn plastic fork and knives. (Luckily for me they had those even though I don't use them because it could be worse; it could have been one of those damn Sporks, half spoon half fork. Once on a date a long time ago I had to use two of those things to eat with. Didn't want my date to think that I had no home training.)

Well the reason this thought popped into my head and is now in this blog is because it wasn't always like this for me. I've been in-between jobs off and on. Had good time and bad times but whatever kind of time I've had of it some people have always felt as if I've spent most of my time eating my guts out. You see I'm a bit over weight, (think less Nell Carter and more Shandra from 227 Fame. In the 80's though I was pushing more toward Nell there.)

I went from a size 12 when I was fourteen years old to a size twenty by the time I was seventeen years old. By the time I was in college I was a size 22/24. I'm telling you all this to put things in perspective for ya'll. (The points are coming wait for it!)

During my pre-teen and teenage years all that time my mother was torn between being pissed, (you try buying a size 16 for a teenager on a budget then you'd figure out why), or perplexed, sometime both. You see she couldn't figure out how the heck I got that size. (I mean she figured I was eating junk food. Which parent didn't have a slight clue?) However you see when dinner time came around I picked and picked at my food like she was serving liver and brussel sprouts every night. (Mind you she had tried feeding our family that once or twice. At those time even my mom knew the dog would be eating better than we would. Liver, yuck!)

But those days were far and few in between that was dishes she made for our family like Curry Chicken with rice and peas (liked), Cow Feet with White rice and spinach (No on Cow Feet, strange enough yes on Spinach, not so much rice, more on that the next blog post. Yessh!), Salt Fish and Akee with White Yam and plantains (So not liking that not even now.) Mind you these are the delicacies that some of you connoisseurs of Caribbean food would happily pay anything from 5.95 to 21.50 on vacation in Jamaica and not even bat an eye. Meanwhile back in the day I was hiding Salt fish in my napkin and spiting out akee after the first chew. "Gal!" My ma Said. "Me don't know where your getting fat from because ya sure na eat no real food!"

Obviously she wasn't getting the midnight cereal eating, the after school behind her back Ice Cream eating, not the beg my Step-Father friends, my neighbor; Mrs. Bolden, for cookies or money, so that I could buy thing like Twinkies, Ho hos, Now N' Laters and snickers.

O.k people I was getting fat from a whole lot of sources however I found out later when I became a adult that I also became fat from a lot of inactivity as a child. Oh I played outside but because I was shy I preferred to play with kids younger that me or stay inside and read my little brains out. When not watching t.v of course. So mystery solve mom! Now riddle me this people; why did I continued to gain weight after college. Doesn't matter what matters is my relationship with food is just about the same as other Women and Men out there who analyze every thing we eat till our eyes glaze over.

Now the government and other health groups claim to be helping us with telling us how many calories are in the food we eat at fast food restaurants. Sometimes I think they just don't get it. Our relationship with food sometimes has nothing to do with nutrition and everything to do with our emotions. (That's it that was my point. Worth waiting for. No? Yes. Maybe. Hey give me something here!) That's why despite that fact that I take a walk every weekend around the neighborhood and park I still probably won't be that healthy size 18 everybody and my mother thinks I should have. And that is why I'll be grawing my chicken at home while watching t.v because I love the fact that I can do that and not have to justify it to anyone.

Enjoy your food and...


Chris (R-NY) said...

Ok now I'm hungry.

Have a good weekend.

clueuin said...

Well you can start by going to that bougie coffeehouse everybody's been yammering about. LOL
Get well mon frie!


NY Nerd said...

Good points! The relationship people have with food is very complicated and influenced by all kinds of emotional stuff. If it was a simple uncomplicated thing, everyone would be a Size 6. I've noticed that the people who are lucky enough to eat whatever they want and never gain any weight are always the ones to say "It's easy - eat less and exercise more." usually while they are eating something. So they never have to deprive themselves of anything but they're going to tell us it's easy to do so? Aahh well, you only get one life - I say enjoy it and eat!