Dear Food,

Well, my surgery date is quickly approaching.  Yesterday, the anxiety of it all was overwhelming.  Someday’s are just like that though.  So I was thinking that I should write a letter to food.  Yes, a letter to food.  I have not had a good relationship with food for a long time.  It’s time to think about food in a new way.

Dear Food,

I don’t remember us having problems when I was younger.  I really didn’t like you or obsess about you like I do now.   I guess I thought of you differently as a child.  You didn’t taste good to me.  I didn’t wake up and start thinking about you.  So, I would say when our relationship changed was when I had more freedom to make choices about what I ate.  I would say around age 14.  I fell in love with Doritos.  I would eat them as often as I could.  Thankfully, my Mom was there to help me control what and how much I was eating.  I was still average size.  When I was 16, I started working as a maid on the weekends.  I had my own money and I could do pretty much what ever I wanted.  I remember one day, I got off work and I was really hungry.  I stopped at the grocery store on my way home.  I bought a package of cookies and a half gallon of milk to snack on when I got home.  The cookies never made it home.  I remember still to this day thinking, what the hell is wrong with me, I just ate an entire package of cookies while driving home.  I started hiding food in my car and in my bedroom.  I would sneak food into the bathroom and eat it.  I wasn’t too sneaky since I often forgot the wrappers in plain sight in the bathroom trash. I tried to be more careful about the choices I made with you after that until I turned 18.

When I turned 18, I made a lot of bad decisions.  I tried to move all the way across the United States, that didn’t work.  I moved back and started dating someone who I didn’t trust from a previously short lived relationship.  I got drunk and decided to get married to the person that I didn’t trust.  I worked at a fast food restaurant where I served you to people all day long.  Milkshakes, sundaes, bacon cheeseburgers, onion rings, and you get the idea.  So, food, our relationship started to get a little damaged at that point.  I created all types of combinations when I was bored at work.  I wanted a baby so bad that I often convinced myself I might be pregnant and started eating for two.  We didn’t have much money because we both made minimum wage.  I was very naive and didn’t know much about being a wife.  The next door neighbor offered to sell me his food stamps one day.  I didn’t really even know what they were.  I also didn’t know it was illegal for him to sell them to me, I should have known that paying $50 for $200 was not just my lucky day.  If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is fits here.  So I had all these food stamps that I bought and I went to the store.  I asked the cashier how they worked.  So I bought a lot of different versions of you.  Cookies, cheesecake, hot dogs, of course Doritos, lots of soda, and several versions of frozen deliciousness.  After that food ran out, I thought maybe I could sign up for my own food stamps.  I did and I got $400 per month.  Then it all went down hill.  I didn’t clip coupons anymore.  I didn’t plan meals anymore. I ate you whenever I wanted and it which ever form I wanted.  I often had a quart of chocolate milk and a king size peanut butter twix bar for breakfast.  I didn’t realize I was in trouble with you yet.

When I was 19, I finally got my wish.  I was pregnant.  I couldn’t wait to me a Mom.  As it turns out I would have to wait a little longer.  I had a miscarriage.  I was so sad and lost, I turned to you.  I ate an entire cake by myself the day after the miscarriage.  I convinced myself that it was ok because I was so upset.  Several months later, I got pregnant again.  I was very worried all the time.  I started eating more of you more frequently.  I was gaining weight quickly.  I had tried on a pair of bib overalls one day and I asked my little cousin how I looked.  She said I looked like a pregnant farmer.  The problem with that was that I was only a month along.  There was no way I was starting to show my pregnant belly.  It was my food belly she was seeing.  When I was 21, I had my son.  Life was stressful.  My relationship with his dad was very damaging and the more stressed I became, the more I turned to you.

By the time I got pregnant for the second time, my relationships with my husband and with you were bad to put it mildly.  I would steal you from the store because I thought I needed you to fill an empty space.  I was able to feed the kids good versions of you or what I thought at the time were good versions.  When it came to me, I would hide you and sneak you when nobody was around.  I ate horrible, unhealthy versions of you.  My favorite was cookies.

So now we are here.  I’m 46, the kids are grown up.  The bad marriage ended.  I’m happy with most of my life.  It’s our relationship that isn’t any better and possibly worse than it was.  I have eaten way too much of you and made almost every wrong choice I could when it came to you. I’ve tried every diet, every trick, every short cut, pills, special drinks, blah blah blah…it never worked. Your hold on me was too strong.  I am having this surgery.  You will not be able to control me anymore. I will not be your victim. I won’t be physically able to consume you fast or in large amounts.  I won’t think about you when I wake up.  My world won’t revolve around you anymore.  No more buffets, calls to Pizza Hut, or late night drives up the road to Sonic. We have had some very yummy memories and I’ve loved you and hated you for what you’ve done to me.  So, I’m done with you.  I’m ending our toxic relationship.  Goodbye food and hello healthy, happy Janice.  I’ve really missed you.

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