Frame of Reference

I sent my son to Trader Joe’s for an item.  He bought exactly that item.  That’s it.  One item at Trader Joe’s.  Really?  I could NEVER go to Trader Joe’s and not even look around, get tempted with their goodies at every end-cap.  What a light bulb moment to know that some people truly will never have a food problem.  I envy them, but need to accept that weight problem or not – I will always have a food problem.

I can’t keep up with those people.  I think I can.  But I can’t.  And they do not understand me either.   They don’t understand that someone might eat past hungry.  They don’t understand that passing up chocolate right in front of you takes an act of God – or at least a superhero cape.  They don’t understand weighing and measuring food portions.  They don’t understand because they have no frame of reference.

Frame of reference is defined as a set of criteria or stated values in relation to which measurements or judgments can be made.

We all judge.  But unless we’ve walked in those shoes, we have no right.  (We do it anyway, I know this.) I have a friend who can go hours and hours without eating or thinking about food.  She doesn’t ever eat anything other than for sustainability.  Again I say…. Really?   Unless she gets that physical hunger, food doesn’t enter her thoughts.  And even then she doesn’t even care what she eats – just something to sustain.  On the other hand, I know heavier people get judged, too.   “Oh how sad.”  “She has such a pretty face.”  “Look at what he’s eating.”  “I bet you she doesn’t do any activity.”  “I wonder if the local McDonald’s knows his name.”  Again, the judging has to stop.  The people judging have no frame of reference. 

I swear I think I dream about food.  Some days all day I think about what I can cook or bake or what restaurant I’ll eat at or want to eat at or what’s for breakfast, then snack, then lunch, then dinner, then tomorrow’s…. and so on.  Some days.  It’s not every day.  (Really.) 

People without a food issue can’t fathom that.  And for the life of me I’m thinking to myself, “what occupies their heads if food doesn’t?” 

Everyone has issues.  Issues come in all shapes and sizes.  Some people who have a lot of money all their lives don’t understand the concept of living paycheck to paycheck.  Some people have been discriminated against because of tattoos or piercings or skin color or sexual preference.  I do not have a frame of reference for that but understand and accept that these issues arise – but many of those are visible. 

Food issues aren’t always visible.  Thin people don’t get judged on food issues because it’s not obvious.  But how do you know that person doesn’t obsess about her chocolate?   Some may even binge and then purge.  Some may obsess about their food even though they no longer eat the way they do.  I don’t have a weight problem.  I have a food problem. 

Frame of reference. 

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6 thoughts on “Frame of Reference

  1. Marci, another BRILLIANT post. The “frame of reference” idea is a remarkable insight. And, as always, your honesty in writing about your OWN thinking around your relationship with food is a wonderful gift….knowing how successful you are with maintaining your weight loss AND getting to see how you still struggle and accept yourself just the way you are….it’s tough, but you’re doing it. And gracefully. Thanks for the inspiration to keep on keeping’ on!!!! And…GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Pingback: The Disordered Mind | Let There Be Light

  3. Your blogs that you write like the others said have so much insight and you get right to the point. You are brilliant and I am sure like everyone else feels, why can’t you lead a group in my town, or maybe can I put you in my back pocket as my coach. (Smile)

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