Friday, March 5, 2010

Evening Out the Score

I've been posting alot about kettlebells and training these past few weeks, as the past few weeks have been, for me, mostly about, well....kettlebells and training! But this blog was never meant to focus on that part of my life, in fact, the biggest reason I started this blog was to write about food and eating.

I used to spend so much time staging foods for blogpost pictures about cooking and preparing homemade foods, or taking pictures and writing about Farmer's Markets and organic foods....."local", "seasonal", etc. (more about that another time)

The other part of this more private blog was to share the craziness of food addiction, compulsive overeating, binge eating, and other sorts of eating and food behaviors that, I believe most people understand, but don't admit to eachother. Just look around....more people than not are overweight, it seems. And the question is not how did they get there....more importantly the question is why?

I was laying awake one night thinking about being fat. I can use the word fat because I was fat. Not overweight, but fat. Fat is fat.....whatever.

Before I go any further though, let me say this one thing. I spent most of the past two years weighing 10-25lbs more than I had at my lowest (my "perfect" bodyweight was 129-132lbs), and I will admit, because if I don't, Mark will tell on me, lol, that I was miserable about the situation, and at times I hated myself....just plain hated myself. BUT, during this time I never thought I was fat. I knew I wasn't fat. 140-150-155lbs who knows? But what I did know was I wasn't fat....I know what fat is. Enough said.

Anyway, I was thinking about being fat.....and this thought came to me. I overate as a way to "even up the score" Overeating was under MY control, and I was going to eat everything I wanted when I wanted to, and no one could tell me any different. There were plenty of times in my life when it felt as if things weren't under my control, or so I thought, but taking, and eating, all the food I wanted to, and could afford to, was.

This came to me afer having a conversation with a new friend and we were talking about "restriction" and dieting. Restriction is a feeling, and it's a feeling that we will rebel against, as no one likes to be restricted. What do we do when we are? The opposite....if we can!

"Evening up the Score". Since I could remember, all my life, unfair things have happened to me....or at least that's how I saw it. (this is where my anger comes from)

We were "low income"....other people weren't. "Other people" had stuff I didn't have. Toys, new clothes, a bike, birthday presents.....two parents!

Two parents. Was I the only girl in the world with no father? A father I would never see, a father I would never lay eyes on. No one to call daddy? Why? Why me?

I had this big gap in between my 2 front one else did, why not? (did that come from my father? I'll never know.)

Smarts. I was never good in school. I was lazy? That's what I was told. (I scored high on my tests but I was too lazy to complete my homework)

"Skinny-ness" My sisters were stick'm sorry, super stick thin! Why? What did they do that I didn't do? Clothes fit them. Boys liked them. They looked "normal" I was the "chubby kid".....the only chubby kid in the whole school....Elementary, Jr High AND High wonder I cut school so much.

Speaking of High School....what's a High School Diploma? I wouldn't know, I don't have one....but everyone else does....not me.......

A normal life, with normal family and friends. A normal job. A normal house. Normal spouse (2 parents), normal kids, normal names, normal, normal, normal. (what kind of name is "Tracy" in an hispanic family?)

Do I care now what's considered normal? Hell no. But I wasn't always a 46 year old woman, I used to be a little girl looking out into this big world, intimadated and scared. Luckily I grew up, but still a little scared, and certainly, intimidated. Finally, no one was in control of least not in my private world. You know, the private world of being able to eat a whole quart of ice cream. That private world of drive-throughs, ordering enough food for a whole family, but it was really all for me. My private world of cupcakes, cookies and candybars. I was going to "even out the score" and take for myself, what looked like, everyone else had.

Why do you eat? Do you feel slighted? I suspect you may. It was only in the past few months that I realized, in terms of food, that everything and anything I wanted was here for me, in fact I had too much, too often! I would cook and prepare so much food, and then feel as if I had to eat it before someone else would, would go "bad" before I could eat it all....and I had to eat it all, because it was mine.....

It wasn't until I reminded myself that I could have anything I wanted, whenever I wanted it. I could make it, afford it, drive to go get it, order it, whatever...anything I wanted I could have. and you know what? I started to feel as if I didn't want it as much! I simply didn't feel the need to get my fair share before it was all gone....why? Because it will always be there for me....always. And if it's not something else, something just as good, something better, will be there to replace it. This world is in no short supply of good, really good, stuff to eat.

I successfully cleaned out my freezer of all of the homemade goodness of soups, stocks, etc., that I was "hoarding"...."it's mine, it's all mine!" The summer tomato soup that I was so afraid of running out of, the seasonal fruit chutneys I was afraid to run out of..... I'm now restocking the freezer, but with a different attitude.

I'm busy! I love to cook, and I love to eat, but the more I cook, the more I eat! So a compromise? What I love about cooking is really the preparation of the ingredients. So I spend everyother night only preppping ingredients, and then, I cook the meal the following night. I still cook extra to freeze......and on the nights I dont have to cook, maybe I'll write a blogpost, lol! (I currently have a huge batch of spicey slit pea and smoked turkey soup, plenty of fixin's for numerous salads, farro and lentils, and bean soup....whatever I want. I can even make kettlecorn if I want too!)

I'm not saying that alot of my motivation doesn't come from trying to prove that I'm worthy because it does. I want to be better, to prove that I am better, but I don't have to "out eat" everyone to "even out the score" anymore.....if you do, then knock yourself out!

Top, and my skinny ass sisters Christy (back) and Donna (front), middle picture, my 4th grade picture when the photographer made me say something silly, like "pickle", and I was trying to hide the gap in my front teeth by using my lips to cover my wasn't until my 30's that I finally gave up the embarrassment of my "gap" and now I'll smile "full gap-toothed", screw anybody that doesn't like it, lol! bottom....again in Santa Cruz CA, with my skinny ass sisters.....I'm the chubby one on the right hand side....could you guess? (in this case "skinny ass" is a term of endearment BTW, lol)


Diana said...

Nice post Tracy!
Lately I've hated being the age that I am and yet you reminded me why I "love" the age I am. Nice that we finally "grow up" and face what we wish we could so many years earlier!

The statement of your name and not really hispanic.....lmao!

Keep on a swingin'

Annika said...

You gave me goose bumps. Reading that I feel VERY familiar with most of it!

I was always the chubby one growing up and eating was my 'secret garden'. And later on in life eating was something I just didn't want to control in a world where there are so many "shoulds" and "have to's", it was my personal desire.

I have, like you, also learnt to balance the pleasure of eating. And I adore to cook! And still do, and I am actually better then ever!

But sometimes it does hit me that I wish to "let go" of the balance but then the "I'm better then my previous 120 pound heavier self pops up!"

Anyway, thanks for a great post Tracy!

Tracy Reifkind said...


What have you hated about your age? The only thing that bothers me about my age is how certain bodyparts look! But some of that can be fixed, lol!

I forget that I'm closer to 50 than I am to 40....heck I forget that I'm even in my 40's. I don't feel it.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I have so much more than my 120lbs+ self did. She has nothing I want!

If I want to overeat, I overeat, but I don't want much!

Alot of other stuff came to mind in the same conversation, and hopefully I can find a way to articulate and express it in a blogpost.

Blogging about deep personal feelings and experiences puts me in a position of a certain vulnerability that is a little scary sometimes.

Jen said...

Hi Tracy, I'm trying to find a picture of me that is similar to the last one you posted. I'm standing there with my "hero tummy" we called it. I don't remember why, but my belly was sticking out. Lot's of similarities between us my friend! I had a gap between my teeth too, until I broke my front two at 17 (another story)... also no diploma for me, but got good grades when I tested.... I think I turned to work instead of food for a long time, but food has always been my friend! LOL!

Your writing is beautiful and the message that you share is so meaningful. I think about being fat ALL OF THE TIME...and I can say fat because I still am!! A struggle that is currently underway....stay tuned for a happy ending, at least that's my hope and desire.

and as far as being close to 50...sheesh, I'm about 60ish days away, but I don't feel it either.

xoxo Jen

La Saun Taylor, RKC, AFAA-CPT said...

Great post!

mollyfn said...

Love this post Tracy and that you shared that with us.

Amber said...

Thanks for sharing Tracy, this is a beautiful post. I used to sneak food and hoard food as well, It was hard to feel in control of my life when I was younger. And really, I think not being normal, is normal!

Shellene said...

I've never posted before but your blog just always speaks to me. Especially as someone who ate to fill the wholes in my heart. I was musing on hunger just this last week and how being hungry to me was a sign that no one loved me and that I was alone. So I lived afraid of being hungry - of having that emptiness inside. But really, it just means that I need to eat in the next couple of hours. Why does food have to be mixed with so many emotions for me? One day it will be just food/fuel!

Tracy Reifkind said...


"hero tummy"....goodness, I would never describe as something to be proud of.....maybe because I always stood next to my unheroic sisters!

I also had, and have workaholic tendencies...only now it's "work-out-aholic" tendencies! Hey that's a good blogpost title, lol!

I've got to think about how I feel about this description of food being a friend so I can write more about it as it is a common feeling. But I don't think it's quite right....

Anyway, about thinking about being fat all the time. I think it's more about feeling fat, not "being" fat. We are what we feel, reality changes.....

Start cutting into all of the time you feel fat by feeling something else. Feel cute! Even if it's for a second....the worse that could happen is that you feel cute for 1 second!

Tracy Reifkind said...

La Saun & mollyfn,


Mark Reifkind said...

you are SO cute my love/ Always. even at 250.