When I was young, visiting Grandma’s house meant soda and honey buns — things we almost never had at home. She would also cook a ham — my Mom’s favorite. And avocado casserole — for me.
She loved us with food.
By the time I got married, I was already well versed in loving myself with sweets and other foods, so, naturally, I loved my husband with food as well. I quickly learned his favorites and treated him to them as often as I could.
Steak on his birthday. Crumb cake for breakfast. Chips and dip for football games. Ice cream just because.
I believed that if his stomach was full of happiness, so, too, would be his heart.
Loving him this way nearly killed him. Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes earlier this year, he provided a unique opportunity to change the habits in our family. And in our foods.
What surprised me most was my grief in losing this love language with him.
True, I showed my love by making healthier dinners and serving him more vegetables. But — right or wrong — my heart didn’t interpret this as loving him as well as I had before. I still equated special foods with extra love.
For those of you who do not share this struggle with food, it will sound strange. But I think a lot of you can relate.
Maybe you are known for your cooking. When family and friends come around, they expect rich sauces or cheesy casseroles or fatty meats or homemade pies. Christmas just won’t be Christmas without your famous _______________.
To change. To stop. To deny them those pleasures feels like withholding your love. It just does. When you are famous for food, it’s a difficult thing to let it go and love in other ways.
But the alcoholic makes for a lousy bartender, and food addicts have to find a way to stop being the supplier for our families.
So I’m learning new ways to show my family love. Putting out a clean shirt in the mornings. Clearing dinner plates without complaining. Watching for when my husband’s medications get low so I can have a refill waiting. Remembering to pick up more milk on the way home.
Pushing each day to find love — for me and for my family — apart from food.
In response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.
PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.