Archive for October, 2006

Children in Ethiopia

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

Speaking of those darling starving children with the distended bellies that were all the rage in the 80’s… I even had a nice little UNICEF boxes a few times when I was a kid to take up donations… I think these poor children were a large contribution to the rising fatness of America’s children. Well, they’ve contributed to my little eating issues, that’s for sure. Thanks, mom.

It was, of course, because of those children that I had to clean my plate at every meal. Even when I kindly offered up my boil-in-bag veggies smothered in nasty-assed cheese sauce to the little children, I still had to eat the shit. Because children were starving in Ethiopia. Nevermind that it had nothing really to do with a shortage of food in the world and everything to do with wars and politics and governments and all that crap. The children were starving, and I was a bad person if I left food on my plate, because it was a waste, and you shouldn’t waste food when others are starving.

It’s not like we helped the local poor people who had starving, or at least malnourished, children. That wasn’t the point. The point was that I was supposed to clean my plate, and guilting me with those little children living in huts with flies everywhere was the popular way to do it. The children were all over the damn tv, after all, and “We Are the World” was a sucky song, but it was played constantly.

Now, this cleaning of my plate wasn’t so bad when I was a kid. My parents didn’t actually overfeed me. The problem wasn’t normally even that I was full, as what had to be cleaned off the plate was the nasty-assed, afore-mentioned, most hated, boil-in-the-bag atrocity called “vegetables.”

Now, here’s the thing. I didn’t hate veggies as a kid. I loved damn near anything that went in a salad. From all the greens to the peppers to the tomatoes to the carrots and onions. My snacks were frequently veggies that could be dipped in a bit of dressing, like carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, etc. I liked cooked veggies. I would consume as much corn on the cob as you put in front of me, I loved green beans, peas and carrots were staples next to my mashed potatoes, and I even liked spinach. IN A CAN! (Which, of course, is the NASTIEST way to store spinach… EVER!) Hell, I loved spinach. A bit of apple cider vinegar and I was there. It totally rated up there with corn. I have no idea if Popeye had anything to do with that. The ironical thing, was I even liked the steamed broccoli I got with the beef and broccoli at the Chinese place I occasionally got to go to.

But here’s the thing: Boil-in-the-bag broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in cheese sauce are not decent vegetables. Without the cheese sauce would have been pretty gnarly too, as the shit was sooo damn mushy it was gross, but at least I would have eaten it. With the cheese, I absolutely refused.

So, at age 7 we have the beginning of the “clean your plate” phase. Of course my plate was “cleaned” initially via trips with a full mouth of NastyShit ™ to flush down the toilet. But, I got in trouble for that about the time I gave myself away by nearly puking because the NastyShit tasted so bad. (I had to cram a lot of that shit into my mouth when my mom wasn’t around so that I didn’t need to take more than one or 2 bathroom trips.)

Anyway, my point is, I hate wasting things, even food. I’m sure that a good portion of this stems from not having much as a child (not where food was concerned, but just in general) and being guilted from wanting anything I couldn’t have and, of course, wasting food that the poor African children couldn’t even get the chance to waste.

I will state here that I don’t think my mom was a bad mom. I think she just did a lot of little things, that a lot of parents did, that shaped my issues with money, food, candy, belongings, etc. Some of these things are good. I take care of my shit, I take care of other people’s shit. I don’t trash stuff, I am willing to keep something that isn’t broken instead of buying a new shiney thing just because it’s new (sometimes). But, of course, some of these things are bad. My issues with clearing my plate are one of them, as are my issues with candy (my personal vice, when it comes to “shit I do that’s really not good for me”).

I got so used to having to eat even when I was full or didn’t want something, that it can be second nature at times, and I don’t even notice it. While if at a restaurant I have a huge pile of shit I know I can’t eat I’m perfectly capable of limiting myself, my issues come along when it’s only slightly more than I need. If there’s only a “little bit” left, it’s a bit silly to justify bringing it home for later… there’s not enough for later anyway. So, rather than send it off wasted, my ingrained inclination is to finish it off. Not a single bite, of course, but a few. And then I’ve eaten too much and feel like shit a bit later.

I’m not saying this is the only thing that has contributed to my issues with weight/food. It’s nice, mostly, because I don’t really have much of an emotional attachment to food. But I like to examine and see how the pieces fit together. Identify where my issues are so I can stop doing dumb things counter-productive to my goals. It helps to not only know what the problem is, but where it came from. So I can know how incredibly stupid it is that I do certain things. Makes it easier to stop, I think… knowing the source.

I’m able to overcome it, for the most part now. I can push food away, I don’t bring it home, and I realize that the poor Ethiopian kids are starving because of circumstances not related to the food I eat or don’t. I’m also able to understand how people can become unable to rely on their own “I’m full” mechanisms, as years of overriding “I’m full” with “clean your plate” can certainly create huge issues for some people. It helped create a rather big issue for me too; along with lack of exercise and many other things.

At 7 I was pretty sure that the poor kids in Africa were better off than I was… pretty sure they would have tossed out their boil-in-the-bag mush too. I still think I might have been right. Poor kids.

At least I’m not that bad

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

10 uses

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

Dear Pencil-Dick

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

If you died today

Friday, October 6th, 2006

Catmas

Friday, October 6th, 2006

Figures…

Friday, October 6th, 2006

Sweet! City of Dis

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Workout logs

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Google Analytics

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Insexts

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

My problem

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

How much I suck

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

Hard to top

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

Top 10

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

In my head

Monday, October 2nd, 2006