Part 2: Relationship with Food vs. Relationships with People

Missed Part 1?

 

In Part 1, I described how a therapist once told me, “Your relationship with food mimics your relationship with people.”  I then discussed my relationships with people.  To sum it up, I explained that I am needy, attention-seeking, an overachiever, not trusting, too nice, shy and anxious. 

 

How does all this relate to food?!?! Let’s begin.

 

 

  • Emotionally and physically needy and attention-seeking

 A majority of the time, I eat to the point past “fullness.”  Since I count calories, it is a struggle to “eat until satisfied” because well, I can eat more…according to Mr. Calorie King!  When I used to binge frequently, I would stuff myself so much to the point of physical pain.  I feared that I wouldn’t get a chance to eat those foods again since they were on my “forbidden” list at the time. After incorporating my forbidden foods slowly back into my diet, I notice the bingeing has occurred far less often.

 

Secondly, I use food as a tool to get me praise.  I bake vegan cupcakes and bring them to parties and family functions.  I am on my toes until someone tries one.  I always expect that they’ll hate them and that I should give up baking.  Usually, someone will say, “these cupcakes are great!”  After that, all is right in my world. Even when I cook a meal for my boyfriend, I anxiously seek that praise and attention from him as well. 

 

When someone does criticize a dish, I do not take it well… AT ALL.  I turn it into a personal issue and begin to think they have a problem with me!! Silly, right?  I’m very sensitive, and I know I should not take these things to heart. I guess it’s because I pour myself into everything I do, so when someone rejects something I create, I feel like they are rejecting me.  Something to work on…

 

I always need a stamp of approval to show that I’m needed and loved.  Food gives me that exact feeling of comfort. When I’m emotional eating, food lifts my mood (for the moment) and I feel soothed.

 

What We Can Learn From This:

 

  • Love yourself so that other people can love you.  We can’t expect everyone else to “fill our emotional tanks” so to speak.  Neediness is an outcome of low self-esteem.  You might be looking for someone to make you feel better about yourself, but the fact is that you are the only person who can really do that. You shouldn’t base your happiness on someone else. Sure, it’s okay for someone to make you happy, but if they’re your only source of happiness, it’s unhealthy.  We need to find fulfillment within ourselves.  Happiness is something YOU create!
  • Slow down!  It can be nerve-wracking not knowing how a certain connection is going to unfold, but it’s also exciting. Be patient and learn to savor that excitement. Don’t try and push the relationship/friendship into a stage that it’s not ready for.
  • Start doing things by yourself until you feel confident.  This may seem daunting to those who rely on human contact to get them through an hour. Read a book, go for a walk, and be with your own thoughts. Figure out what you like and want to do. Learn to say no, and practice boundaries.
  • Learn to trust.  Once you sort out what’s going on inside, you can deal with any issues you might have in relating to other people. Neediness is often associated with a shortage of trust, and sometimes a fear of abandonment. When you find yourself doubting someone’s feelings for you, or their loyalty, ask yourself why you don’t trust them. Is it because they did something questionable? Or is it because someone in your past hurt you, and now you think this new person is going to do the same thing? If it’s the latter, then remind yourself that it’s not really fair to judge one person by another person’s actions, is it? If you really care for this person, and they’ve earned your trust, give it to them.

 

Are you needy? Why do you think you are? Have you tried to change?

Does your neediness mimic your relationship with food?

 

Get ready for Part 3 of Relationship with Food vs. Relationships with People, where I’ll explore more areas of my food/people relationship.

 

Thanks for reading! It’s been fun.    😀

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you. “ ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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November 29, 2009. Uncategorized.

4 Comments

  1. Emily (http://funnyemily.wordpress.com) replied:

    thanks so much for stopping by my blog!!

    You might be looking for someone to make you feel better about yourself, but the fact is that you are the only person who can really do that. <– i have such a hard time with this, i seem to always need others to justify my actions so that i can believe that what i am doing is worthwhile, one day i hope to accept that i like what i like to do and that is what is important.
    wonderful post!!

  2. shell625 replied:

    very interesting post, like i said before i feel that the structure aspct o my life w/ my friends and food is simliar. i don’t have the same neediness necessarily, probably because i don’t cook! However, if i did cookk/bake I could totally see how maybe I would feel the need for other’s approval

    xoxo
    shelley
    http://findinghappinessandhealth.wordpress.com

  3. laurasworthlesswords replied:

    This was really fascinating, I can relate to alot of what you have said.
    I think I find that I am so unconfident and have such low self esteem I constantly feel like I need to prove myself to other people, I feel like I need to earn their love and need them to like me.
    I do this through pushing myself very hard at work to be the best and I get upset if someone thinks I havent done something right. Its a bit like your scenario with the baking, I do the same as well, if I bake something I want them to think it was great. It all boils down to wanting people to like me.
    Food can end up being used as an emotional response, it can be abused either over eating or under eating. Its as though at times it fills that little hole that we cant seem to fill ourselves.
    I think one of the most important steps is your first one, learning to love ourselves. Once we do that we can then make peace with ourselves, accept that we may have flaws and no-ones perfect.

  4. sandyb replied:

    This is such an honest post and thanks for sharing it. I’m sure a lot of people can, and will, relate to your struggles. We all have our vice(s)- some food, some drugs, some booze, some even sex or self abuse- and even though I haven’t ever personally had issues with food, I definitely have my own fixations/comforts to fall back on. We are human, after all. That said, identifying it (although it might sound cliche) is such a powerful, positive step, which you have so obviously taken. Amazing.

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