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Discovering hidden food related childhood memories?

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Old 01-31-2007, 11:19 AM   #1
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Question Discovering hidden food related childhood memories?

Ok so this seems strange to me. I can't say that I really remember much of anything before jr. high and that's just always how it's been but since I've started getting healthy, eating right, not drinking and smoking etc. I've noticed myself remembering things from when I was a kid that is showing me how far back and deep my issues with food go and although its a very interesting part of my journey its also just really strange.

Things I've remembered:
I must've been about 7 or 8 and I went bathing suit shopping (must've been with my mother) and got the only bikini that I think I've ever owned...well a 2 piece at least, I remember it had palm trees. I remember being told that I 'just didn't have the figure to pull of something like that' The same trip I got a full piece too...a real hideous bright pink number that when I would wear it and be convinced I was fat was told it was just baby fat and it would go away.

4th grade, we were asked the question do you 'live to eat' or 'eat to live' I remember answering that I 'eat to live' and knowing that I was lying

I remember fantasizing about when I had a license and a car because then I could drive off and eat all the mcdonalds cheeseburgers that I wanted because no one would know about it

Being on vacation at the beach at the Cape, and even though friends were with me I often forfeited going off to do fun things so I could stay at the cabin and just eat...eat anything.

I remember sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night, all the time really, at many ages and really through high school, to raid the kitchen cabinets for anything I could get my hands on. I mean anything, bowls of cereal, spoonfuls of peanut butter, toast, chips, ohhhh and the time I thought that the bakers chocolate was meant to eat....that was a bad thought.

Stealing money from my parents (never much, a couple of dollars here or there) to stop at the store after school on the way home and buy candy...they sold those 'air heads' candies 10 for $1 and I would eat them all before I got home (which was less than a mile away)

These are only a few that I've remembered but its really been helping me realize some of my adult habits... a couple of months ago I couldn't have told you about these because I had literally blocked them all out. I look at it now and see where my habit to stand in the kitchen and eat a box of cereal in the middle of the night began, why once I lived alone I would go out and get takeout be it burger king, or mcdonalds, or Chinese food etc and often order way more than for one person and just stuff my face in the car getting it home then stuff more when I got there. I've been able to begin to recognize and amend these habits recently but I can't say before now I remembered when they started or that they really started so young.
Anyway I'm not sure this even makes sense but I just thought it was interesting how the more aware I become of my body and how I use it and what I put into it the clearer my mind becomes so I thought I'd share it. Has anyone else recognized things like this along their journeys?
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:21 PM   #2
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I remember stealing money from my folks for candy, too. And my Mother constantly told me that I didn't have the figure to wear certain things. But would she help me to lose weight? No. She was big on foods with sauces and gravies. I guess that's where I get my craving for rich, creamy casseroles--my comfort food.

I remember being in 5th grade. We had some sort of pentathalon and one of the requirements was that we all had to be weighed. My girlfriend, who was easiest the fattest in the class, was teased relentlessly about her weight. When she told me what she weighed, I was astonished to learn that she weighed LESS than I did. Ok, I was the tallest in the class, but come on. I obviously had a problem.

In junior high, there was a fat boy 2 years ahead of me. On his last year (9th grade) he decided to go on a diet. I have never seen anyone so determined! He had to have lost 80 pounds that year--mostly by eating lots of salads and by taking up running. It motivated a lot of us to try and lose weight, but of course we didn't do it the right way. I remember my staple lunch back then was Doritos and Dr. Pepper (and not diet Dr. Pepper). I'd starve all afternoon. No wonder I'd binge when I got home.

It's good to remember these things and put them into perspective. If we remember, we won't repeat them (hopefully).
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:47 PM   #3
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My earliest memories regarding weight, I don't know that I have any memories without weight being an issue. My entire family is tall, naturally thin and the women seem to all have a size B or less cup size. I'm tall, I've fought my weight my entire life and I was in a C cup at 9 years old. I always carried an extra 10-15 pounds around, but to me, as a kid, looking back as an adult, I was just as active as all the other kids, I played the sports, ran the neighbourhood, rode horses, did everything they did. The only difference is, I was ALWAYS on a diet, my mom had me on Herbalife at age 8. An 8 year old on a liquid supplement diet. Then, I would sneak food, because I was HUNGRY. And, I watched my brothers and sister, and cousins, all eat fried chickem, mashed potatos, popcorn, candy etc, and I was having an iceberg lettuce salad for dinner. I didn't understand the WHY of it. Through the years, the extra weight I was carrying steadily got to be more, from an extra 10-15 pounds of what I am still convinced was strictly baby fat and more than likely would have been used when I had that ginormous growth spurt in 7th grade, taking me from 5'4" to 5'9", I would have actually been a tad underweight and needed to gain weight. That extra 10-15 pounds, grew to an extra 20-30 pounds by my teen years, to an extra 30-50 pounds in my 20's to what it is now. I've thought over my childhood, and the reactions to my parents, my family and my weight. At one time, I was 13, 14 yrs old, I was 5'9"'s tall and weighed 160 pounds, just slightly over the upper range for that height and my build. My stepdad, put me on a diet. I ate the same things everyone else did, just smaller portions, and he introduced me to REAL excersize. When I got home from school, I had to do Jane Fonda videos, 3 times in a row, and then run 2 miles. Everyday. I lost 40 pounds in 2 months. Yes, I lost it the "right" way, via improved diet and increased excersize, but it wasn't long term. I still didn't know HOW to manage the loss, how to maintain the loss HOW to make healthy choices. Now, I do. Now I know to NOT ever let my daughter hear the "I'm on a diet" refrain pass my lips. I just serve healthy, whole foods and excersize, I include trips to the park on weekends when they aren't at day-care, we do trips to flea markets where we walk, slowly, but we're moving, we DO things, instead of WATCH things. She's only 3 yrs old, but for me, its vitally important that she never look back and see weight, mine or hers being the prime focus of her childhood.
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:08 PM   #4
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This is a really good thread-I am on my way to a meeting, I plan on posting later today when I have more time.
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:50 PM   #5
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My mom was always on a diet. My grandmas were always on a diet. My family is big-boned, somewhat tall, and tending towards plumpness in the women. When I saw pictures of my grandma and her three sisters recently taken when they were young adult/middle aged, I was like, wow, they're ALL plump. I have very few slender blood relatives. I remember my great-aunt's funeral last year, paying last respects at the coffin, and noticing her HUGE man-hands, bless her heart.

Following family genetics (and probably culture) I was a plump child. I thought I was fat, huge, grotesque. I sometimes had to get pants in "pretty plus" sizes. I see pictures of myself as a child and go, uh, that's a normal-looking kid. A little chubby, but it's baby fat. My mother was a very chubby child, and as a result of that I think she wanted to make sure her kids didn't have to feel what she did.

The net result was to confuse me. Old-fashioned traditions existed with the new in a bizarre melange. Clean your plate. You'll sit there until it's all gone. Oh, don't just have one slice. Try all three birthday cakes and two flavors of ice cream. Then there were the new-fangled admonitions. That's fattening. You can't eat like your friend/cousin/whomever does because you'll get fat. Isn't that wonderful, when your cousin wants a snack, she gets a carrot out of the fridge.

I actually ate normally until puberty. In 9th grade gym class one assignment was to record what you ate for a week. I remember comparing lists with other kids. My weight was 153, and like above, I thought I was grossly fat but I was only chubby, and the lists really comforted me. I saw that my eating was nearly identical to the other kids, except I always had 2 cookies after school, and no one else seemed to. I thought, "Wow. I bet if I cut out those 2 cookies, I'd lose this bit of extra weight." And I was probably right, though I really liked my after school snack and didn't do it.

Then I hit puberty and everything went pear shaped. As I've noticed earlier (and probably rambled about in another thread) the eating "habits" I developed then—"use food for comfort under any kind of stress"—became so ingrained that they persisted even when I wasn't under stress, or under miniscule levels of stress. It's a crude, childlike solution arrived at by, well, a child. I'm not a child anymore and I have more elegant ways to handle stress, boredom, and anxiety nowadays.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:23 PM   #6
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This is facinating. I also have started remebering some key moments. I think as a young child I always felt ignored or in the way. I was never the sparkle in anyones eye, that's for sure.
-I remember at the age of maybe 7 or 8 asking my mom one morning before school what we would have for dinner that night. She said " Is that all you think about, food?" Well, it was.
-We'd go to my grandparents house all the time and I would just look for food and sneak into the cabinets. I now see that I did that because I was being ignored. I was either looking for food or sleeping. Food was a nice warm hug.
-I even remember at the age of 5 or 6, I had a skinny little friend, her mom picked her up and said "light as a feather" she picked me up and said "heavy as a rock". Talk about messing a kid up.

They keep creeping up to the surface. I try to understand these memories and feelings they bring with them. I have people to hug me now. I don't need the food for that. We're all worthy of good health.
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:09 PM   #7
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ohhh and another one. My grandmother was obsessed with food...and I suppose I really just forgot about it because we weren't really close and she was actually a bit nuts...like legit mentally ill kind of sick. Obsessed with food, and she would always poke at me and make off comments.
When I was little and would spend the night there, my cousins too...who never got poked cause they were thin...we would have to discuss (it was almost like a rule) what we were having for breakfast the next day the night before, in detail down to the last crumb, I suppose thats nothing major except it was always more of obsessively detailing not fun planning. huh
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Old 01-31-2007, 06:59 PM   #8
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Ok...what is it with grandmas? To this day, (that's right, I haven't let it go) I'm bitter at my grandma for her verbal abuse. First of all, she's the reason I began to gain weight...it all started in 2nd grade when I would walk from school to her house. School was about a block away so it wasn't much of a walk. I would stay at her house until my mom picked me up, so from about 3 to 6 o'clock. In those 3 hours I got to eat pretty much whatever I wanted and it was so fun. I ate cheetos, doritos, cookies, soda, candy...whatever! She had good food, well junk food, all the time. So I would sit there all afternoon and eat and watch cartoons and she didn't care. Well about fourth grade is when I started putting on the pounds and boy did she let me know, she told me I was fat all the time. I distinctly remember one time coming in the house from the pool, we swam there all summer, and I had my swim suit on and she said, boy you're getting fat with this snobby look on her face. No one in my family is fat, only my brother and my cousins. I'm really the only one who has been able to lose the weight and I think it's because I've analyzed the crap out of why I eat so much.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:24 PM   #9
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What really burn me are the people who tell children they're fat, but don't do a darn thing to help them lose the weight or make better choices. What eight-year-old knows anything about Doritos and potato chips, other than that they taste good?!?
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:26 PM   #10
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When I think back, I had a very nurturing childhood. Yes, there was the usual "clean your plate" type thing, but if I was full I sat there at the table until my mom said I could go. I would NOT eat if I was full. My family would call me beautiful no matter what. They never mentioned weight, and even though I always had a low self esteem... I don't think it ever had to do with them commenting on my weight. The first time I think I ever felt bad about my weight, was when I got in a fight with my best friends little brother, and he called me "Killer Cow." It hurt, but, being a child I got over it in a day and that was the end of it. I was always running around and playing outside, and I ate just like everyone else did. I think the thing that was bad for me was all of the soda. I drank tons and tons of soda. In Jr. High I always thought that I was a little big, but I wasn't huge. There were boys who had crushes on me, and I had good friends and my weight wasn't a big issue.

One summer I lost a bunch of weight (growth spurt) and christmas of that year, my mom had bought me some new pants and i went and tried them on. My grandpa was there and told me to turn to the side, so I did, and he says "HEY! Where'd Melissa go?!" So, my family was always proud of me, big or small.

I got depressed when I was 16 (I'm going to be 19 in March) and that's when I started to gain weight and use food to make me feel better. It was just easier for me to relate to food, I lost my friends and I had no one to talk to and food was there for me. I've been depresssed since then, and 2 years as using food as comfort has deffinately made it an addiction for me. Now that I'm getting my depression under control, I'm realizing that food is losing it's importance with me. The thing that I have the most issues with now, is conventionality. It's easier for me to heat up a hot pocket in the microwave than to broil some chicken and cook vegetables, etc.

Great thread, btw!
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:03 PM   #11
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Hi, Sunshine!

This is a GREAT thread! I'm a BIG believer that weight loss is A LOT more complicated than just "calories in/calories out", and I think that the fact that we spend so much time agonizing over our weight certainly is proof that there is MUCH to learn about ourselves!

We are a combination of all the things that have ever happened to us, words that helped us and hurt us, people who made us feel special and those who helped us feel more inferior than we already felt.

The good news is that we have each other! We can become more than we ever hoped we could be. We can be the person we only dreamed of before we found one another here at this special place!

I am grateful for a safe place like this to share our valleys and our mountaintops!

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I remember my mom telling me that I was a very small baby- just four pounds, and I was full term! Back in those days doctors didn't want women to gain much weight with their pregnancies. I also remember that my mom tells me that they put two diapers on me and gave me two bottles of milk so that I would weigh the five pounds that was required to be released from the hospital. When I got home they fed me and fed me and I got chubby. I had lots of baby fat rolls in pictures! I think now- What if the doctors had encouraged my mom to eat well during her pregnancy so that I would have been a healthier full-term weight? Maybe then there wouldn't have been the need to "fatten me up" and maybe I would have fewer fat cells in my body now! I think that my weight issues just might have begun in utero!!!

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Old 01-31-2007, 08:18 PM   #12
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I was big as a kid. Not big as in fat, but big as in tall. I hit 5'5" by the end of sixth grade, and 5'7" by the end of seventh. I had my full adult height at age 13. Because of that, I pretty much towered over all the other kids, except for Katie F. and Katie R. I still remember their names because they were the only other kids anywhere near my height. So I always felt terribly self-conscious. Add in the boobs that developed WAY early - wearing C cups by 7th grade, D's by frosh/soph year of high school - and I was always getting stared at. I was so uncomfortable with myself, I started tuning my body out. I was a cerebral kid already - the only sport I liked was horseback riding, I hated running or soccer or all the other "usual" sports at that age - and just got more sedentary.

Then, my father. Ah, my dad. Emotional abuser, and very good at what he does. Around that age, I was tall, but I hadn't developed the curve of waist and hip that comes a bit later. I was pretty much (except for the boobs) straight up-and-down, which made me look thick in the waist. So my dad took to prodding my stomach or sides every time I ate, including at mealtimes, saying "Do you really NEED that?" in a very snide tone.

My family loved pasta, too, and whenever my mom cooked spaghetti, she would make TONS of it. I mean, this is a standard family of four, and she'd make enough pasta so that when she drained it, it'd be overflowing out of our biggest colander. Overflowing. Literally. So I grew up thinking huge portions were normal, and hiding my eating from my dad, and spending my time hidden in books instead of up and moving around. Kept my weight in check pretty well all through high school, but then I came to college, and suddenly I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted, as much as I wanted. And I had NO concept of balanced eating or how to cook for myself. So I started eating macaroni and cheese all the time. Pure refined carbs, and soda with it.

I'm having to retrain myself from the ground up, basically.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:44 PM   #13
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This is a great thread. It is really intersting to hear people's stories. to all of you.
When I was in second grade, I was a little plump but my sister was extremely thin and tall for her age (she's a year older) My mom would only buy any kind of junk food (cakes, pies) for after Sunday dinners. She would always give me a little portion, telling me I didn't need it and then gave all my brothers and sister, my father and herself huge portions. She fed my sister all the time and always telling me I didn't need it. My sister was always the "perfect" child, pretty and thin. Thus I began to hide food and stuff my face whenever I could before my mother would tell me that I couldn't have it and then feeling guilty. I was always about 10 -15 pounds overweight when I was young. At 18, I went to England as a foreign exchange program and worked my butt off to get money to go. I lost the excess weight and my mom for the first time told me I was beautiful. Now that I know how to eat right, I teach my kids how to eat healthy but I still feel that I need to feed people to show them my love. Even though the food I make is healthy, I need to teach my kids that love isn't about food.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:47 PM   #14
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I was a skinny skinny kid until 4th grade. My parents were always trying to get me to eat..well they succeeded. In 4th grade I weighed a mere 50 lbs, by 7th grade I weighed 100 at only 4'8"

I remember eating huge quantities of food, stuffing myself til I was sick. I ate when I was bored or lonely.
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Old 02-01-2007, 01:28 PM   #15
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I was jolted into a childhood flashback just this week. I went to the doctor for a checkup, but since it was my first time there, the doctor brought me into his little office to talk to me after. Then, next thing i know, he's telling me that i am overweight. I laughed. Then i told him that i had lost almost 40 lbs this year! He shifted nervously and then congratulated me on my loss and went on to explain that according to BMI...

Well, there i was, right back to being a kid. I'm sitting in Dr. Baraway's office with my mom while he tells me (like he tells me every year) that i am in the upper weight percentiles for my height. All i heard though is that i was fat. He never told me what to do about it or offered any support. He just kind of threw it out there. "You're fat". Gee, thanks, that was helpful. You're fat too!

Do i really have to hit some magic BMI number before i stop hearing that? And to top it all off, this way my gynecologist!!! Leave me alone about my weight or at least offer something constructive! God, this is why i love the dentist! They don't weight you!
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