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Problems with food

Problem: I have a food problem. No one would guess the lengths that I go to, but I have so many rituals that go along with food, and weight.

My mother was grossly overweight and I promised myself I would not follow in her footsteps. She died from complications related to her weight. My mother was a nice lady, but she was ill most of the time. Her time was spent in an unhealthy relationship with food. She ate all of the time and was always tempting me with some of the foods that she prepared. Her food was greatly laden with fat, and I guess it just turned into more fat on her body. I was chubby as a kid, but I knew exercise was my friend. If I ate what mother prepared, I exercised hard to get rid of calories. I worked at it and I got to a slimmer body.

I think my mom woke up thinking about food, and it ruined her life. I am slim and still in an unhealthy relationship with food. I am just like her because I have an obsession with weight and food. I doubt that I am mentally or emotionally healthy because I do not have a life other than with food.

I am not sure if you can understand what I am saying, but the truth is that I do not have time for other relationships. I date around just a bit, but have not ever been in a serious relationship with a man. This sounds bizarre to me, but my time is spent either exercising, counting and figuring out how to eat what I want, how many calories I have to burn up to maintain my current size. I watch the Food Network and spend time trying to figure out how to eat good food and be trim.

Discussion: It sounds like you have a problem with your thinking. You are consumed with food, but the problem seems to be more than that. You have spent your life thinking and dwelling on all things related to weight, and food. I wonder if you have time in your life for anything else. There are family issues and they seem to center on food. You have not dealt with these issues except to carry on a food obsession. It sounds like your mother had an eating disorder and it showed. It sounds like you have a similar problem, but you keep it pretty well hidden so no one notices. You do not have close relationships because it takes time from your obsession with food. This is a problem because you can’t be healthy in other ways because of the time you devote to this challenge.

I do not think you would be writing this letter without wanting some help. It seems that a counselor who deals with eating disorders or someone who understands addictions would be a place to start. There are so many emotional pieces to this problem that I believe you need a professional outlook as a way to start working on this problem. I encourage you to find a good counselor that you can easily talk to and begin to work on this issue.

P.S. A strong want to change is a good place to start.

To submit problems contact Juanita Sanchez, psychotherapist, by email at or contact High Plains Journal.

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