Having issues with food isn’t easy. Especially if you don’t know you have issues. They say ignorance is bliss, but the truth is that ignorance makes you sad.
You know something is wrong, but you don’t know what.
You know it’s not working right, and you don’t know why.
Worse yet, you don’t know how to fix it.
So, here are 12 ways to tell whether you have the dreaded “food issues.”
12 Ways To Identify Food Issues
1. Eating Off Others’ Plates
If you are eating off someone else’s plate after finishing your own, the impulse behind this is checking wastefulness. Many of us, especially in less-than-affluent families, paid high penalties for wasting or throwing out food.
2. Buying For Two To Eat Alone
Going through the drive-through pretending to order for two people when it’s really all for you. Judgment. And fear of judgment. What would they say if they knew it was all for you?
I would go through a doughnut drive-through on Friday mornings (because everyone knows about doughnut Fridays, right?) and order “a dozen for work,” then eat them myself on the way to work and destroy the evidence when I got there.
3. Lusting After Cartoon Or Play-Doh Food
Any TV food counts. This is a product of deprivation. When you restrict your food choices, your body will try harder to get your attention by possibly making you salivate over cartoon mashed potatoes and green peas (true story).
4. Eating Out Of The Trash
Yes, you can think this is gross and still find yourself doing it. Like a drug addict willing to use the dirty needle or the smoker lighting up other people’s used butts. This is typically frantic desperation.
5. Find Excuses To Visit The Store
Making special trips to the store to get your special food, especially if disguised as a trip for something else. Conveniently forget to pick up something that now give you the perfect excuse to get your secret pleasure food and eat it in the parking lot, or on the way home, or put in you “stash” just in case.
6. Avoid People Or Places, Fearing Judgment
If you have to avoid something, a place, or someone because of your (or their) food choices or because you’re afraid of their judgments about what you’re doing, you’ve lost your power. Let’s get it back.
7. Thinking About Food Constantly
This is an “obsessive” place many of us get to when we are constantly restricting, depriving, or neglecting ourselves (body, mind, or spirit).
If you use food to try and fill the other gaps in your life, you’ll always be disappointed and empty/never full enough.
8. Can’t Pass Certain Foods Without Eating Them
Usually, in this situation, it’s deprivation or Last Supper mentality: that idea or feeling that if you leave it there, you’ll never get any ever again. Another fear could be that someone will steal it.
Fantasizing about food can also cause this phenomenon.
9. Eating Droppings Off Your Child’s Bib Or Plate
Again this is fear of wastefulness, but is easily disguised as “oh honey, you dropped a little bit there.”
10. Sneaking, Hiding, Or Hoarding Food
Typically, this goes hand-in-hand with the rituals of acquiring the food and what all you have to go through to get it. The rituals around food can be as addictive as the food itself.
11. Eating Food That Make You feel Bad
Eating things that don’t agree with you or make you feel bad, because it’s better than the alternative, typically happens when you are trying to substitute something “healthy” for something not healthy (like sugar-free candies for their sugar and HFCS versions or low-fat greek yogurt for ice cream).
Some foods cause digestive distress or set you up for cravings, but you continue to eat them because you’re giving up the “bad stuff.” Yes, there are gray areas. Just make sure you are doing what’s right and best for you.
12. Being Unable To Discard Expired Food
I want to be clear about this. Once you (or someone) has purchased the food, the money is already “wasted.”
If you do not eat the food, it spoils and should be thrown out.
If you eat the food (just a little, the right amount, or too much) — it also becomes wasted, as it moves through the body and turns into poop. Either way, it’s going out.
So why make it make the detour through your body (some landing on your stomach, thighs, and butt) instead of going straight to the trash?