I encourage you to have unconditional permission to eat what you want, when you want. And, it is time to acknowledge the big huge unacknowledged bolder of a barrier: financial privilege. We explore a letter from someone without access to food and guest expert Lori Short-Zamudio from the Nourished Circle podcast helps us understand why food is elitist.
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This episode’s Dear Food letter:
You and I have the pretty typical binge/emotional eating disordered relationship that is talked about often in the Health At Every Size and Intuitive Eating world. With the help of resources like Julie Duffy Dillon and the Love, Food podcast, I am slowly working on improving our relationship. There are still things I loathe about you, part of which we’ll get to in a second, but I have optimism and hope for our future together.
Today, I want to ask you about some of your relatives, which NEVER get talked about, especially in resources and books outside of actually working with a nutritionist. Generally, when looking at intuitive eating I’m encouraged to think a lot about your siblings body positivity and intuitive movement (aka exercise). But you have some OTHER relatives that I really want to talk about too. I want to ask you about your siblings Money and Housing. I know you are only food, but you can’t deny that you are related to money and housing, no matter how many times I hear the protest that you and I can have a good relationship on any budget and that it doesn’t matter how small the kitchen counter is, I can still cook on it.
I’ve worked so hard recently to get to a really good place with you- really trying to listen to and honour my body and hunger and not place judgment on you, food. Today, I had eaten a home made packed lunch until comfortably satisfied, and as the day went on I began thinking not unhappily about what I would have for dinner. I felt like I wanted to treat myself- I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow, I had been stressed and working hard all week, and I wanted to eat something that would put a smile on my face. My thoughts turned to the burger restaurant in my neighborhood. It was exactly what I wanted. I hadn’t been there in weeks, the staff are friendly and welcoming, and it’s actually a nice way to wrap up a day. I started to look forward to going, and working on thinking about eating you neutrally and with joy, food. I had Julie’s voice in my mind saying “dieting or restriction of any kind always leads to a binge of some sort later on” and I didn’t want to restrict or stop myself from going or feel bad about going in any way. So I went. And it felt great…. until I got the bill.
I had to go into debt on an already precarious credit card, food, to eat you. I had perfectly good groceries sitting at home I could have eaten, but that’s not what I /wanted/, and I deserved to have a treat. I felt just as deep guilt, food, of spending money I couldn’t afford on you as I have in the past about consuming the calories of you to begin with. How do I separate the guilt of spending money on you from the guilt of consuming you? Can I? Should I? Whats the difference? I feel so triggered with a sense of shame and guilt that it’s almost like I’m back at square one with my eating disorder but it’s shame and guilt at the money you are so closely related to, food. But to have NOT honoured that craving would have been restricting in a DIFFERENT way. There seems to be no way to choose a satisfying solution to my problem. How do I not connect my extremely restricted, minuscule and unpredictable financial situation and housing and kitchen access with restriction and out of control eating? I can’t be the only one who is struggling with this. Some unclear statistic of the connection of poverty and obesity keep floating in my head and I just don’t know what to do or think or feel about it all. I need help. I mentioned that there were still things I loathe about you, food, and one of them is that you DEMAND to be interacted with every single day and always cost money even if my bank account can’t handle even the most basic of you sometimes.
I know I can’t blame you for costing money, food, but can you at least tell me you’re sorry for your mean relatives and maybe how to separate my feelings for you from the rest of your family that hardly gets talked about? What happens when it’s not the toxic diet culture telling you to eat a lot less but the very dollars and cents in your bank account?
Hungry Bank Account With No Space To Cook
- Julie Dillon RD blog
- Link to subscribe to the Love Food’s Food Peace Syllabus.
- The Nourished Circle Podcast
- Lori Short Zamudio website
- Lori Short Zamudio blog
- Lori Short Zamudio Instagram
- Lori Short Zamudio Twitter
- Find Eating Disorder Dietitians near you.
Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com.