Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Is Home a Safe Haven
For sixteen months we have been a divided house when it comes to food. I eat my foods, my husband goes out of his way to make sure he does not bring in food that would trigger me and our youngest daughter (an adult) eats what she wants. Seeing her undesirable (for me) foods was disconcerting enough that I asked her to please keep her food in in her dorm fridge (in the garage) from when she was in college and the non-perishables in a large corrugated box kept away from the kitchen.
It wasn't the ideal safe place for me but I am not the only important person in any relationship so we made an imperfect arrangement work for all of us. She could eat her food in front of me, I just didn't want it sitting around, talking to me, when I was alone in the house and feeling antsy. Using this approach, she was not forced to her to eat her stuff between home and work or sitting in her car. It has been hard for the past 15 months that my daughter lived with us. Sometimes her food called louder than my food sobriety. Sometimes I asked her to limit what I had to smell and see. She was usually very accommodating.
As much as I can appreciate Norma's do like I do or die approach it does not work in relationship's with other adults when the other adults have their own lives and the freedom to live it as they choose. The experience of having a different eater in the house gave me the opportunity to expand on my guidelines and see just how important they are in my life.
This week she moved into her apartment and now I have a home that is a food-safe haven in all rooms at all times. The outside fridge lies empty and there is no longer a box of food bombs in the other room.
When my husband asks for my help in choosing food for him I give it. If he rather have something else I tell him to have whatever he wants and leave me out of it. I make my choices independent of his. Trying to control his choices only builds resentment in both of us. What I have learned is I need to keep my eyes on my food, on my choices.
Our only problem as been the issue of eating out spontaneously. I no longer like to eat out just because. He loves to eat out. He respects my decision (and need) to eat in according to my personal eating plan and therefore we rarely eat out anymore. In return, I like to surprise him with choosing to eat out occasionally. That way I plan for both the surprise and for my food guidelines.
In any good marriage there has to be give and take but it never has to involve giving up or taking in too much. In almost thirty years we have never given up on each other and we resist taking too much into our lives that could interfere with our relationship. In keeping the pounds off I apply that same principle. Taking in too much of anything can be harmful and giving up is never a viable option.