Control, Empowerment and Food

© Copyright 2013 Annie Zalezsak

It’s been a rebellious week. I noticed I had a child-like defiance when it came to my food choices. I remembered what a fussy eater I was as a kid. I lived on bread and butter, chocolate milk, jello and salad. My nutritionist told me kids are picky eaters when they feel powerless in their environment. All they can control is their eating.

When I was a kid and my mom sent me to the store for milk or bread, I would ask her for a dime to buy candy. Really, I was asking: “Am I a good girl? Do you love me?”

When I grew up, left home and went to work, having my own money meant I could eat out, something my poor family rarely did. It felt empowering to be able to buy my fast food lunches.

Photo credit: Johanna Goodyear |

Currently experiencing life challenges, I’ve been reverting to former eating behaviours. The nutritionist assigned me a task. For the next four days, I have to think of ways other than food to feel empowered and in control.

After the appointment, I sat at the beach. I spent nearly four hours contemplating what to eat and what a particular choice might make me feel. I’ve been craving meat for days, but had it so engrained for the last 6 months only to eat organic. It was too hard to go out of my way to the stores that sell it. More defiance. I needed nearby easy food.

In the end, I decided on a slice of pizza. Yet when I neared the pizza place, I had doubts. I walked back and forth, then decided ‘no’ because I don’t like how wheat makes me feel. Very hungry now, what was I going to do? I wound up in the supermarket.

Still perplexed, I kept being drawn to the meat. No organic. On my way down to the tinned fish aisle, I noticed my formerly favourite sausage brand was on sale.

Okay, not the best choice, but better than potato chips. And it’s protein. They tasted wonderful. I enjoyed them thoroughly. They felt good in my tummy. It’s what I needed.

I’m starting to understand that being too strict with a perfect diet can throw you into the opposite direction. You gotta give in every now and again to something that isn’t perfect. It’s all relative. I have to ease up on some of the ordinary foods, or I’ll wind up like a child having a tantrum and wanting to eat candy all the time.


© July 18, 2013 | Annie Zalezsak


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