A reminder of my research

I have loved reading your responses to my “sweatiness”.  It seems I’m not the only lady sweating like a man in the gym.  I need to work out with you guys,  because I definitely do more than “glow” if I’m really working out. 🙂

This morning I cracked open my box of Van’s whole wheat frozen waffles.

Until I get a waffle iron, frozen waffles will have to do.  These are my favorite. 🙂   I topped them with 1 Tbsp. of sunflower seed butter and a drizzle of real maple syrup.  A juicy orange and an egg white puff made lovely side items.

Frozen waffles are one of those things I’ve been eating since childhood.  And just like all nostalgic food, they bring back memories.  Familiar smells and tastes are points in time I have frozen in my mind.  Sometimes these snapshots are significant; they remind me of a happy moment, the essence of someone, or something that made me think differently.

I catch whiffs of scent sometimes that remind me of my grandmother who passed away when I was 13.  I bought a particular face lotion once that instantly reminded me of my grandmother, later learning from my mother that it was the exact lotion my grandmother always used.  Smells are funny that way.

For some reason, frozen waffles remind me of being at a friends house the morning after a sleepover, when I was about 11 or 12.  It was late morning and almost time for us to leave.  I clearly remember that two of my friends, my very skinny friends, were in the process of eating an entire box of Eggo waffles slathered in butter and syrup.  I watched in amazement as they shared plate after plate.  As soon as they sopped up the syrup and polished off another two, they went back to the kitchen and toasted two more.  They must have repeated this several times because I was truly amazed at how much these skinny girls were eating.

You see, I had just become aware of the fact that I was chubby around the age of 10.  And like most girls who come to this realization, I did not like it.  But I wasn’t sure quite what to do about it. Being a very observant child, I realized that if I was chubby and my friends were not, then I was doing something different than them.  I was eating differently than them.

Such began my participant research study in the way skinny people eat.


In my mind, something was wrong with me and it was up to me to learn how to fix it.  I have always been somewhat of a perfectionist and a problem solver.  When I identify a problem with myself, my natural instinct is to attempt to fix it.  Even at 10, I was painfully aware of my inadequacies and how my body looked differently than my friends.


I questioned why.  Why did I look different? Why did I feel different?  All of my friends were athletic.  I had resolved that I was just not.  I was born with no athletic abilities and no amount of trying could ever make up for this lack of natural ability.  It took me several years as an adult to realize that this was not true.

At this time, the only answers to my why questions involved my eating habits and for the next umpteen years I considered how much less my friends ate than me.  I began to judge how much I should eat based on how much my friends were eating.  But not only that, I also began to make food choices based on what my friends were eating.  I remember several times in high school ordering whatever food my friends ordered with no particular thought as to what I actually wanted to eat.  When my friends ordered greasy food, I ate greasy food.  When my friends ordered a salad, I ate a salad.  Brad says I have an uncanny memory, but food has always been a bit of a preoccupation for me, so it doesn’t surprise me that I remember these seemingly insignificant details.

Studies have been done on the way women eat in social situations.  I was reminded of this several months ago when my Women’s Health arrived and I found this article Lose the Weight: Are Your Friends a Fat Influence? This article makes a completely different point than I am trying to make.  My friends did not make me fat. But it does address some interesting studies concluding that women look to each other to determine how much and what they eat.  A point with which I can relate all too well.

I spent so much time comparing myself to my friends and trying to be socially acceptable that it took me a very long time to figure out what I like to eat and how much should I eat. It took me quite a long time to determine that there isn’t a simple answer.  What I like to eat and how much I should eat is a moving target.  But, figuring out that I should be looking inside myself to answer this question, rather than over at my girlfriend’s plate, is now a part of my daily eating habits.


Some snarky people have said that food bloggers/healthy living bloggers/whatever you want to call this genre of blogging have an unhealthy preoccupation with food.  I couldn’t disagree more.  Stumbling upon this little world on the internet full of expressive, healthy, and talented people was a turning point in my relationship with food.  It was my long held curiosity about the world of other people’s food that drew me here.  But it was the variety and the creativity that kept me here, taught me that my body knows best,  and eventually led me to join in the discussion by starting this blog.

What my “research” has taught me is that everyone eats differently based on their preferences and health needs.  Everyone eats different amounts based on all the factors that affect hunger levels.  What makes me feel good doesn’t necessarily make you feel good when you eat it.  If I’m a little  hungrier than you, maybe it’s because I worked out a little more this morning or my breakfast was lighter than yours.  Or maybe it’s just because I’m hungrier.  That’s a good enough reason for me.

What has your “research” taught you?