How Ice Cream is Like Your Taboo Ex-BoyfriendJan 28, 2022
I’m gonna take you on a trip down Memory Lane. High School.
I was the smart kid. I was the nice girl. I joined sports and music, not because I was particularly good at any of it, but I enjoyed it and I was with my friends. One day, I’ll tell you about all the times I’ve been cut from sports teams!
When I dated, it was with the nice guys. And then in college, I found out about Jeremy. He was dangerous. He smoked and drove a really crappy car way too fast and he hung with people who were like him.
I was enthralled. My family and friends told me he was no good. I needed to stay away from him. And, of course, I just wanted to be around him even more.
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Cut to a client I’ve been working with. She described her family:
There was the pre-teen boy who just was skin and bones. He ate everything with joy and well, never gained weight. He took after his father, who is active, slim and a lover of ice cream. He could and did eat ice cream every single night. “Because he can.”
My client, the mother, described. “I can’t do that. I’ve gained about 10 pounds over the past few years, and I can’t eat ice cream like my husband or my son. If I did, I would gain more weight.”
And then the teen daughter: “I don’t say anything to her, but will tell her that we need to eat everything in moderation. She can’t just eat ice cream because she’s probably inherited my body type more than my husbands. But I don’t want to cause an eating disorder.”
Whew. There is so much tangled up in here. I bet you heard something familiar - I know I sure did.
But let’s focus on one thing:
What is your relationship with ice cream?
A lot of folks don’t know what that means….
Are you dating? Are you in love with ice cream? Are you frenemies? Do you treat it like the edgy boyfriend back in high school - the one that everyone told you no and so you just wanted him even more?
Relationships are built based on what we think and feel about…. Anything.
Our kids, our partners, our jobs (yes, you have a relationship with your job) and your food.
So what are you telling yourself about ice cream?
Are you telling yourself:
I just can’t have you
I just can’t
You’re bad for me
So very bad—
So I’m going to sneak you in private?
Or I’m going to beat myself up when I break down and have a bowl?
You can make your relationship whatever you want.
However, when it turns to “I can’t,” the object of your affections becomes forbidden fruit.
And “I can’t” looks a lot like
“It has to be in moderation”
“I shouldn’t do it”
And that becomes….
Oh, but if I could
And just this once
And oh how I love you ice cream.
You’re the answer to my prayers when I’m down and out.
You know when I stopped doing the taboo and just gave myself permission to just be around Jeremy, I found out he wasn’t the person I wanted to be with. Like, at all. And I didn’t like the person I was around him. Instead of saying “I can’t be with him,” it eventually became “I choose to not be with him.”
We really do get to choose our relationships. And that means how we think and feel about those in our lives. Including ice cream.
So what are you telling yourself about ice cream? Have you made it something mystified that you just need to find it?
This is what happens when we tell kids that they just can’t eat ice cream. It becomes mystified, something that they want, and… something that tends to end in a much larger portion/overeating when we finally do get it. Because we have no idea when it will happen again.
What would it look like to date your ice cream? To plan for it? To look forward to your Friday night date and just plain enjoy it?
Ponder away… and let me know what you think. I love hearing from y’all. Send me an email at [email protected] with which episode you’re listening to and how this fits in your life.
And when you’re ready to apply deeper to your family’s relationships with food, body and each other, go to wendyschofermd.com and sign up for my coaching programs.
Check out the Family in Focus with Wendy Schofer, MD Podcast!
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