Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Expectations of Gold Stars

On the IPOD "Save Me From Myself" by: Christina Aguilera

Yesterday was a tough day! As I said to my friend Jamie I seem to be just frustrated with my own personality. I know I have touched on the fact that I'm a pleaser, but I am discovering little by little that it is deeply related to my issues, food included! I think it has less to do with the actual pleaser part of me and more to do with my expectations of how I should feel after the pleasing is done. I guess in some ways I'm looking for a gold star. It is really not fair to my family and friends that I tend to give them so much power over how I feel about myself. I don't think anyone wants to feel like something they say or do is really going to phase someone else's self esteem. But I think probably more times than not our actions do phase others even if we don't want to...

I have a sometimes annoying need to spread the wealth... I feel very lucky that I have such amazing clients and that I have had unbelievable opportunities in my career. That being said I sometimes feel like it is my duty to help out the new guys on the block, whether they are other chefs or just friends that are small business owners. I think I sometimes forget how hard I worked to get where I am today... 11 years ago I think I might have walked away with about with $25 on my first cook day which easily took 7 hours. To get in with the right clients I have done much more than a standard cook day...I have organized their kitchens and gotten involved in their charities, I have rocked their kids to sleep and counseled their teenagers, I have been a secretary, a toddler tamer, a carpooler and a friend. I have been there when they first made their money, when they almost lost it and when they made it back again. I have cried with them, I have hugged them and I have in most cases I have become part of their family. My job is much more than just being a chef...sometimes I might bitch and moan about it, but I know that the dues that I paid have in general made me a better business owner.

So that being said I think I need to just stop helping people so much! Mainly because I am obviously not doing it just for them, I am somehow expecting to get something out of it, like say a gold star! To say that I'm going to stop helping my friends and family is a joke, it won't ever happen. But I really need to work on what my expectations are because the under appreciated feeling really sucks!

I still can't get over the fact that I rely so heavily on food to make me feel better. It is like in my head I have decided that it is just the miracle cure for anything. Unfortunately then the cycle continues... I have a bad day...blame myself for it...try to find some amount of comfort in food (and believe me its not a grilled chicken breast)...then I feel horrible guilt for eating the terrible off limits food...and then I just end up feeling bad again...

I know some of you feel that at times I am too hard on myself, well in general you are right but writing about this in such an honest way seems to be an eye opening experience and even though it doesn't always stop the behavior it at least allows me to see it and really be aware of it...

xoxo chef a


ATR said...

We are our own worst critics, that's for sure. And while you are right about not giving others the power to control (or even greatly affect) how we feel, it would be nice to get a gold star every once in a while!

This blog post really made me think, Amanda. I too turn to food for comfort and also for celebration, thinking that it is somehow going to make me feel whatever way I want to feel. Having said that out loud (or having written it down), for me the question becomes - what can I do instead of eat that will provide the same results? What can I do when I need comfort or want to celebrate that isn't related to eating? I don't have the answer yet, but I'm going to challenge myself to figure it out. Thanks, Amanda. Lots of love.

sharyn said...

If you want to look at it this way, now that you have captured the awareness, to whom do you owe the responsibility to act upon it?
Love you Amanda.