Why are so many feelings wrapped up in our eating patterns? Call it emotional eating, comfort eating, weakness, or whatever. The foods I love are foods that bring back feelings and memories of the past. Comfort food.
As I struggle to regain my focus on eating healthy and losing weight, I find myself doing a bit of comfort eating. A friend and I took her son to his grandmother’s in another East Tennessee city. We also went back several days later to pick him up. Both times we took a ride through her childhood memories and they reminded me so much of my own. I was on a memory high. On the way back both times, we stopped at an old style drive-in. You know the kind . . . you drive up and they come to the car and take your order. Or you can sit at one of the wood picnic tables. The menu boards list what seems like 100 options, from breakfast biscuits to burgers, hot dogs, chicken, chili, and sides. And then there are the ice cream options – cones, sundaes, floats, and milkshakes.
Memories from my childhood came back. I always loved crinkle cut fries with lots of salt and ketchup. I ordered the large size. I asked the waitress what kind of milkshakes they had. She rattled of the standard flavors and then kept going. She said banana and my eyes got very big. “With real bananas or just banana flavored?” She responded, “Real bananas” and I did not have to hear anymore. Mmmmmmm. My mom used to make us banana milkshakes.
Emotions definitely come into play when you make choices about food. I let the emotions control what I ate and didn’t think twice. I can’t do that all the time or I need to find healthier alternatives that will satisfy that emotion. This is my biggest challenge on this road to healthy eating.
What is your biggest struggle?