Updated: Aug 19, 2022
Do you love to eat or eat to live? Do you eat to nourish or to heal? Maybe a little of both? Is it the flavor? The creative act of cooking? What drives you to eat? Is it hunger? Habit? I am no scientist and when it tastes amazingly delicious, why can I not stop eating it? What am I feeding? The compulsion for more, where does that come from exactly? I am uncomfortably considering the fact that I may be addicted to food. Not fun to admit. This is what I know, I often eat when I am not hungry. Mainly because I THINK it will make me feel better. "Emotional Eating" is the term I have heard, and yeah, it makes me feel good to think about it. But here's the truth, it's all in my head. When I get down to my body sense, I never actually heal the ache.
My friend suggested post-its of this affirmation: "I eat to nourish my body". I know I can do this, not only eat food that is good for me but also only eat food when I am hungry. And this is where 'addiction' fits in. I just found out my good friend has cancer and I know for a fact I am NOT hungry. (Haven't been for days actually.) And I just ate three, then two, followed by three more homemade DELICIOUS chocolate chip walnut cookies. This is where I go, am I not supposed to have anything delicious around? I know this is not the answer. I just need to moderate. Right?
When I was younger, I used to think if I ate the entire big bag of chips really fast, nobody (not even my body) would notice. Does this sound like a problem? I also remember watching people eat slowly, savoring every bite. The two qualities I seem to be missing while I eat are chewing and breathing. I am usually the first one at the table to finish, which means I can have a second helping. Are you with me?
What I am really trying to talk about is self image. Mine is not loving and adoring. It has been suggested that I try compassion, ugh, I would rather eat another cookie. Luckily, I am smart enough to know that not eating ever again is no solution and that cutting out yummy/delicious all together is a form of ridiculous that will not work out to my advantage. You see, I have been living with me for quite awhile, so the 'perfect' approach will only last so long which will eventually bring me back to bread & butter where my body responds all around ;-).
Small action steps. Looking at my triggers. Pausing before I react, creating space for knowing and understanding. Moving myself toward food quality, portion awareness, a fasting span within a 24hr period to promote organ function, add in some exercise, for healthy metabolism. Time for a cookie?
I said out loud this morning: "I am only interested in ridding my body of the excess". I meant every word. For years I exercised intensely. I no longer want to do that. My being gentle with myself generates a fuller flavor of living that helps me appreciate relaxing. This is important for me. No more striving and rushing to get somewhere else, I want to be happy with where I am now. Beautiful on the inside. I got this.
I am new to the process of working with my inner child. It was proposed to me this morning during a healing session. It was lovely, easy and quite rewarding. I am only speaking from my experience and I am suspecting that my willingness along with my curiosity were helpful components. My five year old self showed up. Adorable I might add. I was struck by her innocence and her playfulness. She was light and airy, with long dark brown hair, clad in a blue dress, I have an inkling it was her favorite. The other quality that almost made me cry was her capacity to forgive. She was not holding a grudge, in fact she was eager for my attention on all fronts.
Later in the session, I was introduced to four elements that are critical for a child to experience through their parents. If your little self did not get to develop these during your maturation process, the mother/father wounding will occur. (Just sayin') This can show up as issues around self-image (check), insecurities (check), confusion (check) and anxiety (check). There are two sides to every element, a deficiency and a surplus. 1. Nourishment: Did you receive care and sustenance? To promote growth and development. 2. Protection: Were you able to be vulnerable, to put your guard down? Did you feel safe? 3. Empowerment: Did you receive tools to shine your light? Were you acknowledged or criticized? and 4. Initiation: Were you brought into your family/clan, accepted and invited to be a team member? I did not receive any of these elements for numerous reasons. And put simply, it explains why I am the way I am and more specifically my addiction to food. When I'm sad I eat, when I'm happy I eat, when I'm bored I eat, when I'm mad I eat...please, I eat all the time. My world revolves around food.
All I need now is to cut these ties, no longer blame my parents (stop thinking they need to pay for the damage they caused), take responsibility and ownership for my life, my feelings, my work is to release all of us from that cycle and belief system. Whew!
So here's my big question: Why bread & butter? My life and my body would feel so much better if I was binge eating kale or carrots. I KNOW for a fact gluten does not work for me, so what gives? When I sit with the interpretation that I am actually causing harm, that my toast fetish is an assault, I feel really bad. A friend just shared with me an article where she read about the benefits of Colostrum, the sweet and nourishing first bits of mother's milk newborns get to enjoy. I was premature, came out six weeks early, was nurtured through formula and spent my first month incubated. The article suggests my predisposition for carbs is due to my never tasting Colostrum. Not sure I really buy into this, but it is food for thought.