Sparkly & Slimming….a Weight Loss Blog

Samantha's journey to slim down, while remaining sparkly!

Fat Memories

Editor’s Note: I’ve been sitting on this post for about 2 months. It’s sad for me to admit, so it was harder to post than I thought it would be. Please be kind with your comments.


You know how you can replay a memory in your head and remember what you wore or exactly what the other person said? Well I can literally look back at all my memories and tell you what I was eating. It’s kinda scary actually! I was joking with my brother and my mom that all my memories from childhood are tied to food (trips to Canobie Lake with ham and cheese calzones for lunch and hotdogs/french fries with malt vinegar for dinner), day trips to NH and stopping for lunch at this place called Neil’s (OMG the best peanut butter pie ever, sometimes I dream about it). I remember all my birthday cakes (or graduation cakes ~ like the “Snow Queen” cake from Rosie’s Bakery in Somerville I had when I graduated college in 2003. Golden butter cake layered with raspberry preserves and vanilla butter cream and frosted on the outside with vanilla butter cream Mmmmmm!).  I remember all the special meals I’ve shared with friends and I can literally tell you exactly what I ate and where before I can tell you how I felt, what was going on in my life etc.

You know where you were when JFK got shot? I know exactly what I was eating on my 29th birthday ~ right down to the chocolate layer cake with ganache.

Is that creepy?  (Don’t feel bad if you’re shaking your head yes.). 🙂

Looking back I think around age 8 or 9  I turned to food to soothe my unhappiness about being chubby….which in turn made me chubbier. It was a vicious cycle. I can’t say “oh food was only friend”. No, I always had friends. I was always “happy” but I feel like in hindsight something was always missing and I filled that void with food. I still don’t know what that was. I can’t tell you why I chose to overeat, why I chose food over activities or food over friendship – but I did and it really makes me sad to not only recognize but to admit out loud.

I guess if I was perfectly honest with myself….I was (am?) a food addict. I blogged about the topic once before and I thought I would have some clarity by now. But I don’t. I’m still puzzled.

I joke that I am a fat kid at heart, but I think it’s more than that.

I liked food. I loved food (sometimes I still do). I turned to it in order to mask the emotions I was feeling. I used food as my drug to subdue the negativity of being a teenager in limbo like all teenagers are (or a twenty-something still unclear about her path in life).  Oh wow, there we go … that’s progress. Some people mask their emotions with sarcasm (I do that too – but not as much as I used to), drinking (negative. Enjoy a cocktail with dinner, never had a drinking problem and never drank to mask emotions) or drugs (big no)….but I did it with food. I ate when I was happy, I ate when I was sad, I ate when I was angry….(you get the idea).

Food was a universal constant in my life.

That universal constant is now embedded in my memories. Like when you hear a song and suddenly you’re flooded with a rush of emotions and images of somebody that you used to know (or love). You are literally stopped dead in your tracks, reliving a time that has long since passed in a way so tangible you can almost feel it.

That’s how I feel about food.

I drove by a carnival in LA last week. The sights, sounds and smells hit me at once and I was struck my the memory of being 14 eating funnel cake/cotton candy until I could barely walk – with my best friend whom I swore I’d never lose touch with. Now she isn’t even a blip on my radar but I still have the fat memories to relive.

Sometimes I wonder if these memories will be with me forever, like stretch marks. Will I always associate food with events? Will I always remember what I ate before I remember details of the evening I shared with people I love? Will food always be my #1 even when I reach my goal weight? Can I somehow overcome this weird bond?

I honestly don’t know.

Even today, with healthier choices and only the occasional splurge I can reflect on everything I ate  before I can tell you about the conversations had. I don’t like this about myself ~ but I’m also not sure how to change it. How do you re-associate memories? Can you?




Runaway Train

I did a boatload of cleaning last weekend, and came across a tupperware container of things I’ve saved to show my kids. Dorky, I know – but I love the idea of passing along things that meant the world to me at age 12/14/whatever to my children to show them who their mom used to be. In the box was every journal I’ve ever had – whew! That’s a LOTTA journals. I thumbed through one, and came across an entry that was touching.I decided to share it, since it relates so much to where I am nearly six years later. Oh and when I write in journals I tend to talk to myself – it that makes sense. I like conversational writing. Anyways, here we go:

March 5th 2005

I’ve been listening to old songs lately, and I feel like one strikes a chord inside me. “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum. I remember the video – the singer has dread locks (I hate dreads, yuck) and it was the saddest video! Missing or abducted children. How could I relate? Well, it’s not the video – it’s the lyrics.

It seems no one can help me now
I’m in too deep
There’s no way out
This time I have really led myself astray….

Runaway train never going back
Wrong way on a one way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I’m neither here no there

I feel that way with food. I have no control. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers w/ Shar and I want it to work, I really do…..but I don’t think it can. Somehow it’s like food owns me. I have no will-power! I see something, I want it, I eat it. It’s almost unconscious! maybe I wasn’t meant to be thin? Maybe I’m just one of those people who can’t succeed at weight-loss? I mean honestly… many people DREAM about food?! I do. It’s pathetic! I hate that I can’t let this go. Sometimes I wonder if I’m masking something else. Stupid boy* (name changed to protect the guilty) thinks I have some kind of emotional baggage I’m covering with food. But, what does he know?! He’s 5’10 and weighs 145! I can’t figure it out. WHY do I like to eat so much?!?!?! Why can’t I be NORMAL?!?! Ack. I’m a runaway train with food. El Sigho. I wonder if I’ll look back at this someday and say “You conquered it when you were 26! Yay!

Six years later, and I am still pondering some of the same questions. I don’t know why I eat. I’ve never been abused/neglected/mistreated. I didn’t grow up without someone to love me or educate me…it’s baffling.Oh, and at 26 I had no more answers that I did at 23! Funny, you think as you get older the world will suddenly because more clear….but it doesn’t always. I have grown and changed and evolved as a person so much….and yet, I still have this crazy relationship with food.

I just finished reading “Confessions of a Carb Queen” by Susan Blech and I found myself completely unable to relate to her for 90% of the book. The author was raised by a single-dad who couldn’t show affection (her mom has a severe stroke when she was young) and she was literally addicted to food; more-so than any other depiction of obesity that I’ve ever read. She was not only morbidly obese and addicted to fast food (which you all know I cannot relate to. Give me creme brulee over happy meals ANY day!) – but she could literally eat a disgusting amount of food. I found the book hard to stomach (no pun intended) on more than one occasion.  She also self-medicated with sex and online “hook-ups”- which I think stems from more than just a food addiction and low self-esteem. I won’t give away the ending, but I will say it was not the best book I ever read and I’d give it 2 stars.I wanted to love it, but I found myself screaming: “We’re not all like this!!!!!!!!!” (fat people = we) more times than I care to recount.

One thing I did take away was that you have to examine what you ate just as much as why you ate in order to truly conquer this. Blech craved salt, I crave sweet. I can be SO GOOD….until dessert is mentioned, then I’m off my rocker and on a sweet binge. So, that is something I need to examine for sure. Oh and I liked her recipe for salsa – I love salsa! Haha.

Has anyone else read it? Did you like it? Why or why not?

P.S. –  since I can’t stop singing “Runaway Train” I thought I’d share the video. Enjoy!


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