Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When Food Is Love

I'm hoping what I'm about to write actually makes sense as I'm really tired and about to go to bed........

Today was a bright sunny day and 80 degrees.  Finally the warm weather has arrived after many months of cold weather.  I wore my shorts today along with a t shirt and some flip flops to my WW meeting.  The scale said a -.8lbs (I think it's because I wasn't wearing my usual jeans :-).  It was funny today was the first time I wore shorts since last summer and my legs didn't look that bad.  Standing I felt great but once the fat pressed onto the seat of the chair I was like - eek!  And in plain view there was at least an extra 10lbs on my thighs just sitting there.

I'm so close to being at the top of my healthy BMI range.  Only 8 more lbs to go.  What will I do with myself once I reach my goal?  What will my new 'hobby' be.  I've put so much energy into my diet and exercise I kind of feel like I'm coming to the end of the road.  Or is it really just a beginning?  At the meeting tonight the question was asked does anyone here eat when they aren't hungry? I raised my hand and said that I eat when I'm not hungry because I'm upset about something or there are emotions I don't want to deal with.  I use food to make me feel better.  She then asked how does someone deal with the emotional part?  My answer: a good therapist (the room burst out in laughter).  In all seriousness emotional eating is a part of many people's lives and is hard to conquer but can be done (so I've read).

I read the book When Food Is Love  - Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy by Geneen Roth.  I must say I love this book and I can't wait to read her other books on the subject as well.  After reading the book the main point I've learned from her is that it's possible and achievable to only eat when you are physically hungry (it takes a lot of self discovery and looking inward).  Unfortunately many of us use food to make ourselves feel better and therefore eat when we really aren't hungry hence putting on the extra lbs.  In the book she talks about her struggles with food and how that took the place of intimacy in her life. Focus was on the food not her feelings.  Food covered up feelings from her past.  Feelings from relationships in her past were very much in her present day relationships and she used food to cope with those feelings.  To self comfort.  The trick is to acknowledge and feel the emotions and learn from them in order to move on and break the cycle of eating for comfort.  Food for her was a barrier of true intimacy with her own feelings and others in her life. 

I try to ask myself before I put anything in my mouth:  Is this about feeding my body or feeding my emotions?  Someday I hope to say nearly 100% of the time "it is about feeding my body" and when it's not about feeding my body I would like to have the strength to connect, feel and articulate my emotions in that moment and clearly make sense of them.   No more hiding behind food. 

One step at a time....... No matter what!

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