Sunday, October 16, 2011

My mother's daughter or a true Southerner?

I was sitting in my bed eating (shhh, don't tell Teh Mom) a crushed up brownie with vanilla ice cream.  This is the type of thing I do as an adult.  I'm a rebel.  I break those rules Teh Mom always enforced as I was growing up.  We weren't allowed to have food in our bedrooms (despite this rule I usually had a serious candy stash in a box somewhere in my room).  Other than the points in my life where my room was the same as my "house"..  I rarely break this rule.  Seriously.  I even almost feel a little guilty now that I've told you what I did.

It's like having oreos for breakfast.  Very rebel move.

But, as I was sitting in my bed, enjoying my brownie, I realized... I'm eating to comfort myself (the packout/impending move/hotel stay/dwindling countdown/arrival in America/seeing family again/buying a new car/finding a place to live/being in a new state/dealing with not-hot weather/etc).

Then I had a debate in my head.. Was I eating to comfort myself because I am Southern.. or because I am my mother's daughter?

A few months after I got to Bahrain, I was in the shop and someone said they were having a bad day.  I said, here have some (food that was probably chocolate).  I'm not even sure what the exact food was, but one of the Chiefs that was standing there said, "Just like a Southerner to offer someone food to make them feel better!"  She was of course only kinda joking, either way I laughed, because she was right.

Honestly, I couldn't decide if it was the way I was raised or because I am Southern, which I guess really goes hand in hand.  I don't actually remember having a plethora of snacks/sweets around growing up.  I remember cakes/etc being baked for events (birthdays, holidays, etc), but I don't feel like we usually had cake just hanging around waiting to be eaten (unlike the brownies that are sitting on my stove).  It wasn't like the pantry was on lock down.  If we were hungry, we found/fixed ourselves something to eat if it wasn't in or around lunch/dinner time.  I feel like my usual go-to was cereal, but maybe I just have a bad memory (Teh Bear would probably say so since I often repeat the same stories to him).

This entire train of thought led me to the acknowledgment that knowing I eat to comfort myself is probably the first actualization towards having a better attitude towards food.  The second acknowledgement is that I eat when I get bored.

Since I've been in Bahrain, I've been able to cook for myself (hallelujah).  I've also taken up working out regularly and better-ish eating habits.  My snacks throughout the day include fruit.  I also try to limit "bad stuff" like chips/cookies/entire pans of brownies. I've helped myself by sticking to the 100 calorie snack packs (like fudge rounds, because everyone that knows me understand that I need chocolate in my life, but you can keep your soda).  Yes, I have days where I eat my 6" sub, a snack bag of potato chips, and then follow that up with a Krispy Kreme doughnut.  There are days that I have breakfast, eat an apple, have a sammich for lunch, eat a banana, go work out, and have fairly healthy, controlled portion, leftovers for dinner.  Then there are days where I have breakfast, don't really get hungry for lunch, so instead I "snack" on swiss cake rolls, a pumpkin cookie with cream cheese icing, and half a bag of fruit snack gummies, then later decide that I'm starving for dinner and eat an entire Totino's pizza.    

I then bitch about feeling like a fatty and guilt myself into going to work out.  True story, it happens frequently actually.  Don't judge my motivation for getting to the gym!  Some days I don't even have to guilt myself into going to the gym, I just want to go..  It is a strange phenomenon.


When I arrived in Bahrain, I weighed around 160 lbs (which was under the embarrassing weight I'd reached in GTMO).  Definitely over my military weight limit.  Now I'm teetering around 145 lbs.  Obviously, I've done something right!  :)  I've plateaued at the 146lb mark and Teh Bear suggested doing some weight lifting to encourage my metabolism to start moving again to mix it up for my body, instead of just doing my workouts.

At the end of September, we had a uniform inspection.  I was pleased that my uniforms (that were fitted in bootcamp) didn't fit like they once did and, thankfully, not in a bad way!  I have wayyyy too much fabric in the butt/legs of my dress blues.  Shoulda Been a Cowgirl was able to grab handfuls of fabric before the legs even started to pull tight!  I personally was impressed with the inches I'd lost, because weight is just a number.  You can have a super low number and still not be strong or healthy.

Teh Mexican and I were having a conversation recently about getting depressed if you don't work out (if you work out regularly).  I agreed with what he was saying because I do start to feel down if I haven't worked out in 3-ish days.  I start to feel anxious and restless.  I find that I can't fall asleep as well as if I had worked out.  Then I get hard on myself, which leads to a guilt tripping myself (like a true Catholic) because I know I've not worked out and I ate this and this and that and I'm going to get fat!

Disclaimer: The "you're gonna get fat" part is really just a mean thing I say to myself.  I don't actually think I'm fat (in an unhealthy way) and I do not have (nor have I ever had) an eating disorder.

When Teh Mom used to see me roaming around the house, then staring into the pantry/fridge like I was looking for something but couldn't figure it out, she would ask me if I was bored eating.  It didn't happen too often, but it led me to come up with a clever remark, "Nope, just checkin' to make sure all the food is still there."  This worked out in 2 ways.  She helped me see my behavior.  When I would say my clever comment, I would realize that Teh Mom was right, I wasn't really hungry, I was just bored eating, and I needed to find something to do, besides eat.  This worked out because instead of her just telling me what to do (which general led to opposite results), it became my own idea to walk away from the food (usually).  To this day, I still get bored and roam around my kitchen.  Usually around closing the 2nd cabinet and opening the 3rd, or the fridge then freezer, I'll say to myself, "You're 'checkin' to make sure its all there'," then make myself leave the kitchen to find something to entertain myself with instead of eating.

But back to the main question...  I definitely know two ways that makes me my mother's daughter.  I love the idea of gifting food.  Probably due to the memories of making coconut and/or peanut butter balls almost every year to give as Christmas gifts.  The second is that no holiday is complete without a family meal, which can be a gift in and of itself.. hey, food isn't cheap ya'll!  Just bringing deviled eggs isn't a serious contribution to the overall meal (price-wise), despite how much the kids love them... just sayin.  This meal wasn't just Teh Family, but Teh ENTIRE Family.  Cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, friends..

So.. maybe its both?  :)

I'll leave you with a disturbing image...
I'm so grossed out right now.  Who thinks this is appropriate?!  This person hopefully doesn't have the ability to reproduce..  Because that would be inhumane... for the children to learn these practices of inappropriateness!

1 comment:

  1. Unless you have had good southern food you haven't been exposed to the comfort food can provide. Pralines, tea cakes-which are actually more like a cookie, and the various other sugary or fried foods.


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