Nostalgia Eating: As Time Goes By

by Michelle on January 5, 2011

This Christmas, we bought Froot Loops® for our grandchildren.

It’s been a while. My boys, who live at home, really don’t like Froot Loops® any more, so we don’t buy them.

Since the grandbabies were here,  we needed breakfast food, and apparently, we aren’t overly concerned about feeding the newest members of our family sugary and nutritionally questionable breakfast food. We bought what was on sale; Froot Loops® and Frosted Flakes®.


I just threw the (nearly) empty box of Froot Loops® away. Then, I remembered something. I remembered the first time I ate Froot Loops®. Or at least, the first time I ever remembered eating them.

When I was very small, age 4 maybe, back when I was still the center of my universe, my parents and I lived in fourplex. An old couple lived downstairs and I LOVED them. I can’t remember their names, so I will call them Mr. and Mrs. Old People.

I remember, very clearly, sitting at Mrs. Old People’s dining room table eating Froot Loops® and little powdered donuts. Mrs. Old People gave me my own cup of coffee, but it was just for dunking, not for drinking. She was very clear on that. Children didn’t DRINK coffee, but you could dunk your donuts in the coffee.

I really don’t think I’ve ever dunked donuts in coffee since then, but right now, 43 or 44 years later, I can still taste those donuts and Froot Loops®. How powerful our memories are.

I was raised by crazy people. And I don’t mean, “Oh, yeah..they are just so crazy. Ha ha ha”. I mean crazy, getting electroshock therapy, and clinical depression crazy. So, a sense of security was not something I had. Except in small doses. My memory of Mrs. Old People feels warm and cozy.

Anyway, I threw the leftover Froot Loops® away, but DAMN, I wanted to eat them. I wanted them bad. After I had that memory, I wanted them even more.

Which got me thinking about how many of my eating habits are tied to feeling secure. I understand the concept, I just didn’t really think it applied to me at all. I’m not an emotional eater. I don’t eat for security. But is that really true? Maybe, I do eat for security. Maybe, a lot of my childhood memories that I associate with a feeling of security, also include eating.

Yeah. I can think of a dozen right off the bat. My Great Aunt Marg (and she WAS a GREAT Aunt) making me dried beef sandwiches on wheat with mayo and the crusts cut off. Goetta on white bread with grape jelly. I could go on, but that would bore you and it’d just make me hungry. The point? I never spent a second in my Aunt Marg’s house where I didn’t feel safe and loved. It’s not ALL food feelings, but there are many food feelings.

I must admit to myself. Habits exist that have to be examined. Perhaps, understanding the source of my habits will help me better deal with them.

I am not four years old anymore.

I am safe and happy.

This change in lifestyle is difficult in ways that I never imagined it would be.

Oh, and I DID eat a few of the Froot Loops®.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlie January 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Oh, I can already tell we are gonna get along GREAT! I hope I don’t have to give Victoria’s Secret credit for this! lol


Michelle January 7, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Nah..not necessary.

However, It’s possible that I might require some Fredrick’s of Hollywood.


Gayla Tanner January 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Michelle, you brought a tear to my eye. I’m not a crier, so I’m blaming it on my cold causing watery eyes.

And a small handful of Loops never hurt anybody. ;-)


Michelle January 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Thanks, Gayla.

I have to keep reminding myself of that. Every time I eat a little of something that I have deemed ‘forbidden’ does NOT mean that I fail.

Losing weight and getting into shape is NOT for wussies. :)


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