Does this ring any bells to you?
Because for me it’s a great big gong.
Those days when you find yourself hungry, all, day, long. You find yourself looking through the cupboards. There’s nothing in because you haven’t done a shop recently. But still, you want something. You don’t know what. In fact, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not the food, but the act of eating you are actually focused on. Something isn’t sitting right with you and you don’t know what it is, but you know that eating will stop you worrying about it, just for those few moments.
So you eat.
A jam sandwich, some dry cereal, some pasta with the scrap of cheese you had left in the fridge. You stand at the fridge, wondering what else there is to nibble on.
Until the point comes when you feel full. And miserable.
And all those feelings of anxiety and upset come rushing back as you sit with nothing to occupy your mind and mouth. Suddenly you feel disgusted and disgusting. Why did you let this happen again? Why have you no self control? You deserve to be fat and miserable because clearly you are incapable of looking after yourself. You don’t deserve friends or happiness. No wonder people bitch about and hate you. You’re so out of control and ugly and unloveable.
Does this strike a cord?
What is really going on? What is really happening that has brought you to this point of feeling and hurt? To this place where you blame yourself wholly for all that’s going wrong in your life?
How did this day start?
For me, often these feelings come when I’m trying to squash down some other feelings I don’t want to deal with. I’ve been hurt by a snide comment or bitchy remark. Or I’m worried about my kids and a situation around them. I’m remembering a sad occasion and am trying to avoid it.
For me, often these periods of mindless eating are because it’s the one time when i don’t have to think about anything else in the moment, and so it brings a time of peace, no matter however brief. And it works, in that moment, But the problem is it doesn’t last. At the end I am left with the same situation I had temporarily escaped, only now I’ve topped it with feelings of self loathing and and berating, because I tried to eat away my feelings, and am now full from food I didn’t really fully enjoy, and another step away from losing the unwanted weight I have.
It’s not an ideal situation.
And it seems to be something that becomes all the more prominent when one is trying to lose weight. It seems an oh so often event on diet boards.
But the sad thing as I see it, is that these people who do this are simply using a coping mechanism that they’ve used for years. They’re trying to escape uncomfortable feelings, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
But it is possible to change. It is possible to slowly get rid of this habit. Slowly, facing up to our feelings (and realising they won’t kill us) and dealing with horrid situations, we can take away the habit of using food to squash down the feelings.
That person who has made a snide comment, most probably has their own issues going on, and is lashing out at whoever might respond. (Something I can relate to!)
My kids, well, they have to grow and go through their problems, I can only do so much, but I can keep being the best mum I can be.
That sad occasion, it’s hard to remember, but I lived through it, and learnt from it, and remember the good from it.
The food I ate? It’s just food. I can make better choices net time around.
Those feelings of worthlessness? I need to stomp on them and believe better of myself. We would never tell a friend they’re worthless or loathsome, yet we allow ourselves to say the most horrendous things to us!
This extra weight? It doesn’t define who I am, and bigger or smaller I’m still the same, more or less 😉