I read a blog post the other day that had me thinking “Yup, that is me”. It was about sharing food and territorialism regarding food (you can read it here if you like).
I am not always super territorial about food. My level of territorial-ism varies with my mood and hunger levels. If I am cracking down trying to eat squeaky clean and increasing my exercise because last summer’s capris are a bit too tight (and I hate buying new clothes when I have perfectly good clothes in my drawers) I highly recommend you stay clear of my plate. Especially if we go out for dinner and I am allowing myself a flex meal and the plate in front of me contains the first apple crumble or brownie sundae I have seen in weeks. It is times like these that I want to strangle the person/people who say “hey lets share a dessert” and don’t even wait for my response before they say this to the waitress and send her away. The only thing that saves these people from a cave women clubbing over the back of the head is the lack of a club in my hand. What I really hate is the look I get when I say flat out that I am ordering my own dessert. I get either the “you are a bad fatty” look or “I thought you were into fitness & health. You must not be for real since you are eating dessert” look. What I hate even more is when someone puts these looks into words. Usually I just let it slide and concentrate on my bowl and how yummy it is and how that person can go suck it. But I have been trying to push back lately by pointing out “it is ok to enjoy dessert” or “there is nothing wrong with enjoying my food”.
I also become more territorial about my food when I have a had a bad day. This is when I want a big plate of starchy something and no you can’t have a bite. I then want some chocolate or ice cream and no you can’t have any of that either. Of course I often don’t have the chocolate or ice cream available in my home. I purposefully don’t buy it so it isn’t available for me to eat all the time. And the reality is once I buy it it just doesn’t last any significant amount of time anyway. This is also one reason why I can be so territorial about my food when we go out. We don’t go out very often. But when we do, I promise myself a dessert or at least some special fully loaded entree. By the time we get to an outing I have probably already been really looking forward to that dish for a long while. And it is mine. All mine. Sharing just does not cut it.
The author in the blog post also talks about her extreme food tracking using spreadsheets. My food tracking has never been that elaborate, but I have done calorie counting. I have followed the super tight meal plan with no room for anything tasty that is not on the list of approved foods. After a few weeks just about any calorie dense anything, dessert or not, was pure heaven. Buttered toast may have destroyed my calorie count but it tasted like a vacation on the beach with fluffy puppies as far as the eye could see. I am still surprised my partner lived past saying “I thought you weren’t suppose to eat that” to me. I must have given him a really scary look because he never opened his mouth about it again. I remember another time when I had an epically bad day (the kind of day that would make me go postal if it ever happened again) at the end of which I took out a box of x-mas chocolates that I had been carefully enjoying one or two at a time and put away the remaining 80% of the box in one sitting. Again my partner asked (very cautiously) “Don’t you want to save some for later?” I tightened my grip on the box and said “No not really” and kept eating. My guy had the good sense not to ask again and to not try to take any chocolates.
As a side note: one great advantage of sharing my home with my dog is I never have to share my chocolate with her.