Food Wife

Living in a blended family comes with daily challenges brought on by the seven personalities in our house (nine including the puppies), but sometimes, G and I have plain old couples issues that would likely crop up whether we had children at all.

Take food. I’ve had food hang-ups as long as I can remember. We all have, right? As a college student, I restricted my diet to twix bars, nacho cheese doritos, and cherry coke, with the rare treat of a 7-11 beef and bean burrito. When I graduated, I did a complete about-face and banned those words from my vocabulary and those foods from my body. Many years later, G and I find ourselves talking often about my eating. I didn’t understand the problem. I eat broccoli galore. As time went on and our conversations continued, I started to realize that my consumption of broccoli and everything else green was bordering on exclusive; I ruled out basically all other food. Every few months, I go out to dinner with my college friends, who bore witness to my salty, sweet, and beef and bean days, but they have since figured out that if they order rib-eye steak or anything tempura, I won’t eat it. My food habits now mimic my mother’s. She and I eat virtually nothing during the day, and bring it home with a huge, long-lasting, late-night dinner.

When G and I first shared our dream of living together, I told her that I couldn’t wait to cook her brussels sprouts and tofu, something I made all the time. G wanted to eat healthily too, so we hummed right along to our lean proteins and leafy vegetables. Soon, though, there were signs that my rigidity was causing problems. The kids made jokes about how I would never eat x, y, z. Blue dared me to have a fry or a bite of ice cream (I always declined). G worried that if we went to Rome or Paris, I would be no food fun.  

Sign Up for E-News

I don’t need to control much, but I do control what I eat. G, on the other hand, likes to control a lot, but she lets herself enjoy the occasional empanada. Things came to a head recently when we went to a bar mitzvah and I was served a piece of bass with sauce on top. It was 3:30. At that time, I’m hours away from indulging in my daily meal. This mid-day fish just wouldn’t work: I’d be too full to dance, I’d feel sluggish, and I’d ruin that day’s one and only dinner. Seven-thirty would roll around and I’d be lost, not hungry and not knowing how to reward myself for helping to usher the nine of us through another day. Meanwhile, at the bar mitzvah party, while every other guest feasted on their steak, chicken or bass, I talked intently to the woman next to me and didn’t touch my plate. I later learned that questions about my abstinence abounded. People asked G if I was a food snob, if I was sick, and if I didn’t like the fish.

G insisted that my eating was a real issue for us. We have worked hard to keep our relationship strong in light of children and ex-husband conflict. I refused to believe that my all-out rejection of heavy cream could do us in.

Like many of us in desperate times, I scoured the Internet. Thinking I might really have a problem, I searched for adult eating disorders, all the while believing that family practitioners from coast to coast would wholeheartedly recommend my diet to their patients. Then, I stumbled on it: orthorexia nervosa, a fixation with eating healthy food, which can actually be fatal.  I met several of the criteria defining the afflicted, and I started to cry.

I want to devour burgers, bacon, and nutella. In theory. I love to watch people eat with abandon…down half a pizza (hi Blue), chew on gristle (hi Mom). I’m working on meeting G halfway, ordering crispy appetizers to share, but it isn’t easy. I told her she should find a food wife, which surprised me. As I said the words, I was overcome with both sadness and relief. I don’t want her to experience things without me, but I don’t know if I can do chicken parmesan over linguini followed by a brownie sundae without trying to make up for it by doing 3,000 sit-ups the next day and hating myself. If she has friends for whom food is simply food (what a concept), she should go to them. As long as she comes home to me when she’s good and full. 

Liz Kingsley lives in Westfield with her girlfriend and their five children. During the day, she teaches Special Education and Basic Skills at a local elementary school, writes poetry and columns about her family, and directs The Writers Studio. At night, she collapses from exhaustion.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Union County College Foundation’s 3rd “Close the Gap” Campaign Surpasses Goal

July 18, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ – With over 150 guests and volunteers in attendance, the Union County College Foundation surpassed their goal and raised nearly $55,000 at their 3rd Annual Close the Gap Campaign cocktail reception. Held on July 11, in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford campus, this campaign was developed by a small group of dedicated community volunteers to support the ...

Complete the Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence (PACE) Program at Union County College in Five Weeks

CRANFORD – Union County College will be offering the American Society of Administrative Professionals PACE Certification (Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence) from Monday, July 23 through August 22. If you are an executive assistant, office manager, paralegal, program analyst, benefits administrator, supervisor or meetings and events planner, this program is for you.

Save the Date for Back to School Enrollment Night at My Gym New Providence

Join us at our Back to School Enrollment Night and discover why kids from infants to 10 years old love My Gym!  Parents can explore our immaculate state-of-the-art facility, meet our amazing staff,  learn about our award winning programs, and check out our fantastic Birthday Party packages. 

We are celebrating 35 years of My Gym, so it's the perfect ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c64d737a46240c5e09c6_lean_technique_woman

Wed, July 18, 9:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Cardio Sculpt Express

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_99e9d213e1cffea2e530_yoga_meditation_image

Wed, July 18, 10:30 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Yoga for Everybody

Health & Wellness

Wed, July 18, 10:30 AM

Berkeley Heights Public Library, Berkeley Heights

Story Time & Craft with DIVA DELORES AND THE ...

Other

Carousel_image_9621ab8610aa8e73f65c_social-post-summer-camp-1080x1080

Wed, July 18, 1:30 PM

My Gym New Providence, New Providence

Summer Camp

Arts & Entertainment Education Health & Wellness Other Sports

Carousel_image_b91f21bd7ac6c164e408_wednesday_matinees_at_trailside

Wed, July 18, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_0b65677f5f95b0e69f8e_power_yoga

Wed, July 18, 5:45 PM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Power Core Yoga

Health & Wellness

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Beneficiary Forms - As Important as Your Will

As you plan for the future, don’t leave out one of the most overlooked must-do’s: naming the beneficiaries of your retirement assets. Updating your beneficiary forms ensures that the legacy you worked so hard to build will be distributed correctly. Don’t delay -- the designations on your beneficiary forms supersede those stated in your Will. 

Try answering the ...