finding peace with food.

i took a bit of a break from this space.  the husband whisked me away to dc for valentine’s day to see my most favorite band, mumford & sons.  we were able to catch up with friends.  we won our oscar ballot pool for a third time.  we were thrilled to welcome addison grace, my first niece, into the world.  lots of pillow orders completed.  opening day is right around the corner.

i have found myself stuck.  stuck with the overwhelming confidence and accomplishment of losing 100 pounds and yet not able to consistently get far from that goal.  i have stopped writing about my relationship with food because i thought it was getting a bit old for my readers.  but then a stranger wrote to me that my blog was making a difference.  i felt inspired again to fill this space with my words.  i felt the need to get back on track with documenting my successes and struggles.

losing weight is hard. let me say that again. losing weight is haaarrrd. but there’s motivation and reinforcement when you see the changing of your body and health. each week the scale gives you a big pat on the back. and all the while, you’re telling yourself it will get easier. and it does in some ways.  and in others it is still the same hard struggle.  every day is a new day to make good decisions for your health or the same poor decisions that landed you to be morbidly obese.

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i read a lot of weight loss stories. i am always interested to see how others have gone about their journey. more than the path they chose and the foods they ate, i am looking to see introspection. not the diet, not the will power, not the tips. i am a firm believer that diets do not work. you have to make a life change. you have to understand the relationship with food. i want to know the ‘why.’ at the end of the day that is the only question that matters.

the problem with weight loss magazines is they treat compulsive eating and emotional eating as a physical problem. that it can be remedied with tips, advice, and weight loss plans. if i am to be honest with myself, i know that this information, no matter how many times i read it, will never cure me. if there were real answers to why i have always felt like i need a frosty and a large fry from wendy’s to get me through the night, then maybe i wouldn’t have to write this now. my compulsive eating is a problem of psychology. it is deeply rooted in my emotions and it will only be “solved” when i allow myself to feel the things i run away from.

i understand the movement to love your body no matter you size. this is a health issue. self worth is not up for debate. our value is not determined by the number on the scale.

throughout my lifetime i developed what geneen roth calls “the inclination to bolt.” she is the incredible author of such books as “when food is love,” “feeding the hungry heart,” and her latest, “women, food, and god.” she has a keen understanding of emotional eating and her writing has made a world of difference to me. i highly recommend reading her books. her book, “women, food, and god,” deals in part with this “inclination to bolt” as it refers to the intense desire to leave yourself, to flee, when life becomes difficult. it is the wanting to be anywhere but where you are. sound familiar? me too. to escape boredom, anxiety, sadness, fear, and loneliness. food is the place i go to escape. obsession, in any form, be it with food, with schedules, with the future, with alcohol or drugs, is an avoidance of the present. it is a way of passing time, a way to “get through” life.

not to live life, but survive it.

so i am here, 100 pounds lost, confronting my emotional eating. something i should have done a good time ago. trying to learn what got me to 300+ pounds so that i won’t go back. i have to stay here, to sit with myself. because if i leave the moment when i feel uncomfortable, i am missing the opportunity to grow, to learn, to be strong, and to move forward.

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for valentine’s day my husband gave me a magnet.  a quote from my favorite human being, eleanor roosevelt.  it says, “do one thing every day that scares you.”  breaking habits is scary.  breaking routines.  breaking from the norms we have created over years.  it is all scary.  but in those moments of fear, you have the opportunity to grow.

my path has become much less about the number on scale.  my motivation is to learn about myself {why i make poor decisions when it comes to my health}. to challenge myself {to do better than i have before}. to grow.

 

3 comments
rachelpage1985
rachelpage1985

I also read motivational quotes to help me live a healthy lifestyle.

jetweedy
jetweedy

I enjoyed reading this. Overeating (as I can attest myself, and can reaffirm from experience with an "exercise-bulimic" ex-girlfriend who exercised away her nightly binges instead of throwing them up) is psychologically HARD. I stopped smoking last April as part of my big fitness step-up (running made smoking really unappealing), and as hard as THAT was, I still overeat, and I don't smoke. That should say something.

 

Generally speaking (since I don't comment much), I really enjoy reading what you write. Keep this up!

jetweedy
jetweedy

PS... I like the point you make about the value of loving your body without refusing to see that you might still need to be healthy. Too often, overly-supportive friends tell us (even if we're significantly overweight) "we're great the way we are". This is harmful. Instead, they should be equally supportive by positively reinforcing good decisions. My best friend back in Bloomington asked once when I I Was 265 considering 240, "what if you were 220?". I'm 220 now, feeling terrific, and STILL see that I ought to lose 10-15 more pounds. What if he'd said "that's ridiculous, you're about the right weight?"