I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Dinner Time Woes


It can be difficult to deal with your own food issues when you’re in a long-term and committed relationship. Even when you think you’ve got all of your shit nicely packed away or cared for something can just pop up out of nowhere. This is what happened to me last weekend in the middle of that great big funk I was in. While in the moment I couldn’t, for some reason, speak up for myself or explain how I felt or anything at all. It was a bizarre moment for me and undoubtedly, my husband. Allow me to explain…

I had gotten home from work, it was a Saturday and so I got home around 3:30 pm. We had plans that night to attend the opening gala for our BFFs play. I knew said galas tend to run very late and since we’re early birds I had wanted to take a nap. So I did, sorta. Well, I had the best intentions. I stripped down to my socks (it was super cold) and snuggled down into bed with our down comforter and all. The cat didn’t mind the extra body on the bed, more warmth for all! Only I didn’t sleep a wink! I just laid there, hoping the husband would come in and “wake me up” (if you know what I mean, he-he), tightly wound in the blankets trying to keep warm and relax. Well, I was warm. Ha! I found myself getting worked up and tense over nothing at all. Time was passing, but I felt lost for some reason. I still don’t know what that was all about, but I digress.

I heard the phone ring and a brief one-sided conversation about timing and transportation to the play. I figured this meant it was almost time to leave. I get up and put on fresh under garments. I look at the clock and, “Holy shit! We have twenty minutes to get ready, eat dinner and leave! But suddenly I was in full panic mode! I couldn’t figure out what to wear! I had intended to get up from my nap an hour before we had to go and do myself up nice and proper. So my head was not ready for the stress of this moment. And I fucking felt it! Whoa! I grabbed tops and pants and tights and dresses and jackets and jeans and shoes…it was all a mish-mash! I couldn’t decide on anything! I ran out into the living room in my undies and bra and my husband looked astonished. He was putting our dinner plates on our dining room table! He had just brought the table in from our balcony after many months. We had it in the dining room when we first moved in last year, but only ate there once. I was startled by it’s presence and how the food was just THERE.

I tried to explain that I was panicking and couldn’t make a decision or choice to save my life. He didn’t seem to understand my urgency or need and so I ran back to the bedroom. I finally threw something together that was neither too formal nor too casual. I wasn’t satisfied, but it would do. I then went back out to the dining room and sat down. I looked at the food on my plate. I picked up my fork and poked at each item. My appetite was gone. I should have been so hungry! I ate my green beans and most of my potatoes, but I couldn’t deal with the turkey meat loaf. Just smelling it turned up my anxiety. Looking at it made it worse. I took a very small bite. My heart sank. Something was up with me but I couldn’t grasp or point to what it was. What’s worse is that I had an immediate instinct to run, to get the fuck away from that food and that table right away. I couldn’t speak. I just ate what I could and hoped that time would run out and we’d have to leave anyway. My husband realized I wasn’t touching the turkey and so he said, “You don’t have to eat everything on your plate or anything.” I knew this, yet hearing it from him gave me some relief. And then we did have to go in a rush.

Later, as I was thinking back on that awful moment, I realized that it was a bunch of things that killed my appetite. For one thing, I grew up in a house without a dining room or dining table. We ate in the living room in front of the television. On Sundays we would go to my grandma’s for dinner, but everyone would be talking or she’d have the radio or t.v. on or something. When I sat down to have dinner that night, I didn’t know what we were having. The light above our dining table is unforgivably bright. I felt like I was under a spotlight. And suddenly being faced with eating at a table instead of on the couch all in silence? It made my skin crawl! It wasn’t until a few nights later when he again served dinner at the table that I said I couldn’t handle the silence. I do have a problem with silence in general so he wasn’t shocked or anything. But the light! OH that light!!! He tried to adjust it but no dice.

So that is that and I eat my dinner on the couch in front of the television as I have most of my life. Even when I didn’t watch television for a year, I had one and would watch the same movie over and over and over. I have always had a hard time with silence. Nothing new there, but specifically? Silence + eating = Anxiety!!! I can’t explain why. And I did go through an intense period in my teens where I couldn’t eat in front of people. So the combo of it all, all at once, wow…really freaked me out!

What is my point in telling you this? Well, that sometimes we can’t always speak up for ourselves even when it seems like a dire situation. We’re all human. We all have things that can be triggering. Respecting those things, especially when in a relationship, is very important. I don’t think that my husband did anything wrong or anything. He didn’t know. I didn’t even know! It was just so sudden and well, shit happens, right? Even after all of these years actively participating in Fat Acceptance and all, well, you just never know what will come up! And it’s completely okay! I don’t often talk about my own food issues. I think that is mostly because I haven’t addressed them myself. So I will begin to share with you all and hopefully we can support each other.


posted under Blog, Buzz, fat, Fat Acceptance, Food
6 Comments to

“Dinner Time Woes”

  1. On April 4th, 2011 at 8:10 am Shaunta Says:

    I have lots of weird food issues that sometimes feel to me like some kind of traumatic stress disorder. For instance, I have to have a certain amount of food in my house. If I don’t, I go into total anxiety mode. And while I can’t tell you exactly how much that is, my brain knows. Someone will eat something and my brain will take it in and realize…yikes, below the red line! I’ve gone grocery shopping at midnight, because someone’s midnight snack made it so I couldn’t sleep. It’s ridiculous, I know, but there it is.

  2. On April 4th, 2011 at 9:45 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh man, I think I have a bit of that anxiety, too! It’s never kept me up, but when we do have a house full of food/supplies I do sleep much better. For me it has a lot to do with growing up on bare minimum of everything. So when the shelves are stocked, I feel wealthy!

  3. On April 4th, 2011 at 1:20 pm purplekeychain Says:

    This is so interesting to read. I wonder how much of this has to do anxiety instead of the food itself. I don’t say that to judge — I say it from my own experience. When I was a kid, I used to freak out in the mornings before school if I couldn’t find something to wear. From, say, the age of about 7 until I was about 15 or so. I would scream and shout and hyperventilate and cry and have tantrums that wouldn’t make any sense to anyone who would see them. I was totally irrational, and it didn’t make a stick of sense. I would usually stay home on those days; I think it’s one of the reasons I didn’t like fashion as a kid — too many options. My mother was terrified, and even though she’d joke about how I always stayed home from school because I couldn’t find anything to wear or didn’t know what to do with my hair, her smile was forced and it was something no one in my house ever talked about.

    It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned that these were anxiety attacks that were triggered by too many choices. One of my favorite lines, growing up, came from an episode of Golden Girls, when Magda, defending Communism, says “When there is only one road, no one gets lost.” I didn’t understand at the time how profound that was. Anyway, it sounds like you were already feeling anxious and depressed for the last few weeks, and the abnormal food situation totally exacerbated that. I’m glad your hubs was so understanding and calm about it. Wish I could give you a hug.


  4. On April 4th, 2011 at 1:34 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    “When there is only one road, no one gets lost.” That is so beautiful! I must remember this. Thank you for that.
    Honestly? I’ve rarely if ever felt the way I did that night about food or when about to eat. I just felt so overwhelmed. Also, I think, because I had no idea what time it was or that dinner was being cooked let alone served.
    Thank you for your kindness. You’re so sweet you make sugar taste like salt! <3

  5. On April 5th, 2011 at 10:03 am E Says:

    I also get a little panicky when the food gets low! It’s kind of a problem, because I have a tiny kitchen with very little storage space (so I can’t stock up on canned/boxed foods), and I’m also a poor grad student, so I feel like I really shouldn’t go food shopping until I really HAVE to. However, I definitely start feeling like I want to go food shopping when there doesn’t seem to be enough variety….like, I could probably have 5 boxes of pasta, but if there aren’t “options” I start to freak out a little.

  6. On April 5th, 2011 at 11:16 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Small kitchens are all I know! And yeah, if I don’t have things stocked up I get a little anxious about it. Pasta is such a fab thing, too. It lasts forever! =0) Thanks!

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