Yep – you heard me. My weight is not my problem…my style of eating is my problem. My tendancy to eat lots of flour and sugar at 5pm is my problem. My need to eat my feelings is my problem.
If I were 164 pounds, but most of those pounds were muscle, I wouldn’t have a problem with my weight. That number is just…a number.
And the fat on my thighs? It really is not the object of my hate. A source of disappointment, yes. But hate? No.
The number on the scale, the jiggly thighs, the bat wings, they are not in and of themselves, the problem. They are the physical manifestation of my lack of self care and lack of knowledge about how to best express my emotions. When you see me and see that I am a good 20-30 pounds overweight, what you are really seeing is years and years and layers and layers of boredom, stress, anxiety, loneliness, disappointment, heartache, happiness, and joy – all soothed and encouraged with food.
I tried a little experiment a couple of days ago. Instead of eating right after I got home from work, I tried to just deal the anxiety of the transition. I tried to just “sit with the feeling” and damn, it was hard. I think I kind of get in small way how a smoker feels when they decide to quit. It was not a pleasant feeling, so I soothed it with whatever was handy…I can’t even remember what it was that I ate.
So yeah, I’m an emotional eater. I’ve confirmed it. I’ve diagnosed myself as an overeater. Now I have to figure out how to deal with it. Notice, I didn’t say “conquer” it – I said deal with it, because I don’t think I’ll ever conquer my need to eat for emotional reasons. If I can at least find a way to deal with it though, and live somewhat peacefully with it, that would be good enough for me. Coexisting peacefully, that’s all I really want.
I can go on any diet in the world right now, and I would fail, because it doesn’t matter if I’m eating donuts or carrots, if I”m eating them to comfort myself, I won’t lose weight. Believe me, I’ve overeaten a salad just as ravenously as a slice of pie – different foods, same need to soothe. I’ve overeaten healthy food just as much as I’ve overeaten junk food. One may be nutritionally better than the other, but does it really solve the deeper issue? No. And that deeper issue is the one I want to face head-on. I want to confront it and put it on a leash, so that I can have some control over it, and not the other way around.
So that’s where I am right now. Ordering books, doing exercises, and thinking – lots and lots of thinking in hopes that I can start to inch my way to a happier place.