I spent a great deal of my life struggling with my relationship with food. It was an emotional thing. It was unconscious and it was so deeply embedded in my habits, genes and self sabotage cycles. It consumed me in some ways and stopped me from living a normal life in a lot of regards.
I never really had a “normal” relationship with food (whatever that means anyway..?) I grew up having to sit at a special table up on a stage in the cafeteria with the very few other “special kids.” My classroom doors had a DANGER ZONE sign on the front and I was always to blame for not being able to pack your favorite pb&j sandwich to school.. It brought me the deepest, most subconscious shame from the earliest of ages..
As I grew into middle school & high school I schemed up my lunch money on ice cream or French fries. I skipped breakfast and drank a monster energy drink every single day. Candy was common in my home and little Debbie snacks were not far from reach.. After school called for Goldfish & Cheez-Its and I would regularly creep my way into some midnight ice cream ever so sneakily.. Never once did I ever consider that food was meant for nourishing the body & fueling your brain.
When I went off to college I didn’t know how to take care of myself, so once I stopped my regular routines of high school sports for 5 hours a day and switched that out for 5 hours a night of drinking alcohol, I got “fat…”
As I gained weight, my very vicious cycles of self sabotage escalated: emotion, eat, feel worse about myself, eat.. mix that in with drinking and smoking pot and making bad decisions and man.. that’s quite the concoction. It just was not safe for a sister’s self love in the slightest. It’s never been discussed until now really. Only now am I able to let the light in on my dark, dark times in hopes that it can help someone who is circling these cycles.
Over the course of my 26 years, there have been many patterns of emotional, unconscious, binge eating habits. It’s been a deep dark and extraordinarily HIDDEN battle for the majority of my life.
It was only once I realized that I cannot treat this like a battle, did I experience any bit of reprieve. If I continue to shame myself, bask in the guilt and fight this as a war, it will simply just keep fighting back. I came to realize that the more I hide these shadow aspects of myself, the more they will eat away at my soul.
I was treating it like a personal problem but it’s so very much more than that.
These problems are bigger than us: they are passed down through generations and societies and world wide epidemics. It’s not our personal fault. It’s not our family’s fault. It is programmed deep within us to find a way to get out of our bodies. Whether it be through drugs, sex, rock ‘n roll, watching tv, social media scrolling or eating your face off - we are all familiar with vices that take us out of our minds and kick us into the unconscious. It is in the awareness that saves us and it is only you who can save yourself.
First step, compassion. Give yourself some serious lovin’. So you mess up? You unconsciously feed your emotions with chips and salsa for hours or ya eat a whole dang box of Oreos. All good girl, all good.. Tomorrow is new. It doesn’t mean you are terrible or fat or ugly or awful. It does not mean you are undeserving, unworthy or unlovable. It means you are in need of a little self love, a bit of compassion and perhaps a nice long walk to breathe it all out.
This is how we stop the cycle from repeating itself.
Second step, grow your awareness. What triggers you? Is it stress? Is it being out of alignment? Start documenting the patterns. What are the emotions attached to these sort of trigger responses? Once you can grow a little bit of space in between your emotions and the response, you can start to watch yourself in the act. You will slowly and surely become a little bit more present, giving yourself more control.
Third step, change your perspective. If you can shift your mindset from seeing yourself as a monstrous unstoppable, nasty eating machine to a beautiful woman who has a fetish with the divine flavors of chocolate, things start to shift a bit.. You add a little amusement in there. One thing that I never realized was that we are not only consuming the food, but more importantly we are consuming the emotions associated with the food. Ever wonder why some people can just eat and not get fat, while others are so anxiously healthy and gain 5lbs from one piece of cake? Well I know there are many factors involved, but I wholeheartedly believe in the power of the mind. If you go into a piece of cake with your body in ‘flight or fight mode,’ thinking that you are going to gain 10 lbs from this, then you probably will. If you enjoy each bite thinking “Wow, this cake is going to satisfy this deserving goddess so damn deeply..” then it will. It will allow you to start slowing down to bask in each bite.
It surely won’t happen over night but there’s a start.
It has been a life long journey for me and the awareness that it was an issue only came about a few years ago.. I ignored it for a long time. I let it eat away at me causing me to spiral into depressions, mood swings, weight gains, and a whole lot of insecurity issues. Right now, I am receiving acupuncture sessions to get more in alignment, I am inviting over friends to cook for them and I am actively trying to clear out distractions while I eat. No laptop, no phone, etc. etc. etc. I am surely still in my process and still struggle with this relationship with food regularly but it is all a part of the healing journey. It’s no easy path, but it’s surely worth it.
& Ps. breathe baby girl, all will be well. We are in this journey together and it’s surely no easy ride. The ups and downs make us come out on top and each day is new. Let’s heal together. Let’s relearn and rewrite what feels good. It’s in those little moments of emotional woes that make or break us and the way out is through simple awareness and some self-love.. Breathe baby, breathe.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally or comment below about your path. I am no professional, but I am avid seeker of healing techniques. This is simply an account of my own healing process. Sending you all of the light & love ~