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Have you ever just lost interest in food? (kinda long and a little whiney)

[Moved from General Chowhounding Topics - The Chowhound Team]

This is sort of weird. I'm nearly 60 and have been a 'hound since my early 20s. Loved to eat, loved to dine out at the best places. Vacations have always been planned around where the best food could be found - Paris, Rome, New Orleans, San Francisco, Montreal , etc.

And I'm a good cook. When we invite friends and family to dinner, there's never any hesitation on their part. In fact, my nieces frequently call to ask if they can come over and bring friends for a meal. Our huge family get-togethers (pig roasts and holiday meals) are always big events and my husband and I nearly always cook everything ourselves (he's my sous-chef). I just don't believe in catering a party. I mean, my philosophy has always been 'why invite people to your home if you're not going to feed them something you've made?'

Now I've started this diet (Jenny Craig) and have begun to lose weight. Yay. But, without making any concerted effort, I've discovered that my interest in food, in general, has lessened. I suppose I've stopped looking at eating as entertainment. I subscribe to just about every food magazine there is and reading them has become a bit of a bore, since I know I'm not even going to attempt to prepare any of the luscious-looking dishes they feature. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

Three of my nieces are coming for a visit next weekend and, ordinarily, I'd have already put together menus for the entire weekend, timelines and a shopping list. I know they're going to be expecting a big deal dinner and my heart just isn't in it. I definitely can't see feeding them salad and poached chicken breast. Which makes me wonder if I've lost the passion to cook or if I'm just reacting to the knowledge that, whatever I prepare for my company, I'm not going to be able to eat any of it.

I want to lose 50 pounds and I still want to be everybody's favorite aunt. Does this sound familiar to anyone out there? Would love some encouraging words.

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  1. Yes, it does sound familiar. About two years ago I made a concerted effort to eat less, and eat a little more heathily, and exercise more (I realize that may sound like a strange lifestyle choice). :)

    One of the biggest changes I made was to bring a small salad and a small side (eg yogurt, piece of fruit, etc) to lunch with me everyday. At first this wasn't enough food and I'd get hungry around 3pm. Later I got used to it and found that this smaller lunch was quite filling.

    But another change I noticed is that I stopped thinking about my day as a succession of meals. Previously I'd wake up and think about the great thing I was going to make myself for breakfast, and the great joint I'd go for lunch, etc... After I started to eat less, I noticed that I wasn't thinking about the excitment about my next meal nearly as much.

    I wouldn't say I lost interest in food. My chowhound spirit was as alive as ever.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Darren72

      I can relate to this. When I'm not busy, food becomes the focus point of my day - where am I going to have lunch, which specialty stores will I stop off at, to the point of worrying about the right ingredients and having the "best" of a certain ethnic dish a little obsessively. In the words of a picky eater friend, "food was my friend," even though I wasn't yet overweight. In fact, one of the main reasons I stayed in New York was for the food.
      After taking the plunge to graduate school, I am lucky if I feel like cooking or if I can find some top quality ingredients when I need them. Of course I lost about 6 pounds in the first month. And what do you know, where I live now there's better Indian though I haven't yet heard about any good Chinese food.

    2. I find I eat less as I get older. However, I am just as (if not more) demanding/insistent about flavor/quality than ever...

      1. Perhaps you're right-- maybe I had lost interest in the foods that I could have while I was on a not-really-but-I-guess-I'm-on-a-diet-after-all-diet. I think, however, that I really *wanted* not to want the foods I couldn't have. It was easier to convince myself that food was boring and that I shouldn't even bother trying to have what I didn't (not really) want and followed my routine of: a half-cup of non-fat cottage cheese and lemon in the morning, not-so-fresh-veggies during the day, and underseasoned grilled chicken with some veggies at night. Can you tell I was at a terrible dining hall?

        That being said, however, I normally have a cup of freshly-blended fruit juice with yogurt and flaxseed for breakfast, a salad or random Korean banchan for lunch, fruit and sometimes kabocha around 6, and usually a salad or something rather light for dinner. I think it's relatively healthy, but I now plan meals and have fun with food again. And if I have something that isn't so great, I plan it out and make allowances for it.

        1. It is difficult to keep food as a primary focus in life and still fit into your pants, etc. It makes it a lot easier to lose weight if you are simply uninterested in food - that's for sure. An ex-boyfriend would "forget to eat" - he'd come to my house and not feel so well and I'd say "hmm, did you eat something funny" and he'd say "no, I forgot to eat today". Needless to say - he was rail thing - but was he happy??

          Don't worry Deenso - you'll be all too interested again, all too soon - it's like writers worrying that therapy will cure them of their "gift" - a diet won't cure you of your love of food.

          1. Deenso, I know exactly how you feel. Somehow I get involved in total 'Burn Out Pursuits'. I was a high flying consultant for the food biz. Then, I spent 3 years of my life on the campaign trail. Then, I would have dinner parties at least once a month.

            I hit the wall COMPLETELY on all those things. Things I thought I enjoyed. But eventually just got sick of and quit. Like you, I went through a major life change in order to quit (I began my work towars a masters degree) and the CLEAN break has been surprisingly easy for me.

            Still, I do really enjoy the food business (I ADORE grocery stores and recently signed up to be a CI grocery shopper... We'll see... LOL!) and Politics (Going to a big political convention this weekend) and of course making dinner (Although my audience nowadays is mainly my SO). But I've slowed down my pace on all these things and do them on my terms and only when I have the time and interest.

            I think your neices will understand and be fine that they don't recieve a three course gourmet meal everynight of their visit. But I'm sure you will find youself in the groove once again when you decide on the night that you can go all out on your visit! :)

            Best!

            --Dommy!