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How can I eat normally?

Dear Cary,

I've read your column for years and have finally decided to come to you for advice on an issue that's very painful for me.

I am 32 now. During my childhood and adolescence, my parents had very maladjusted approaches to food and eating. For my father, this is a kind description of his food madness. A few years ago, he ate nothing but soybean flour mixed with water to form gruel for every meal. This sort of obsession with a type of food (if you could call it that) is completely normal for him, and has been happening most of my life. My mother was simply weight-obsessed — she used diet pills and constantly denied herself food, even though she never weighed more than 140 pounds. She didn't deny me food, but constantly made comments about the fact that I should eat less, and denied herself dinner most nights while watching me eat. When we went out, she would binge on food and desserts because she "loved food," and then feel great shame and regret for it later.

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