Growing up, we never had a lot—at times we would have been considered very poor—so we learned not to waste food. The rule in our household was if you took a second helping you were expected to finish it. We didn’t get punished physically, but got yelled at, so we usually pushed ourselves to finish even when full. The lesson was so ingrained we usually did the same if we got full before finishing the first helping.
By the time I was 16, however, food became more of a comfort and rebellion than a necessity. Because my abuser controlled everything else about my life, I took to eating more than I really wanted because the amount of food I ate was the one thing he couldn’t control.
Over the years I leaned more and more on my comfort foods of choice: chicken and dumplings (my favorite), meatloaf with mashed potatoes, pinto beans with cornbread, biscuits with heaps of cream gravy, chicken-fried steak (again with heaps of cream gravy), lasagna, and Mexican food. I used food to stuff down the feelings and anger I wasn’t able to deal with.
I’m doing better with portion control now, but these are still some of my favorite foods.
BTW, do you know the best way to assure good attendance at a meeting or event? Two words: FREE FOOD.