I eat when I'm happy
I eat when I'm sad
I eat when I'm alone
I eat at a party
Food is the problem
Food is the solution
Food is my enemy
Food is a friend
I eat to celebrate
I eat to mourn
I eat when I'm sick
I eat when I'm well
Food is my demon
Food is my salvation
I talk to a lot of people about diet, exercise, fitness and health. And a lot of them want to lose weight. Some want to lose those few extra pounds, 5-20 or 30, some want to lose more. But I've learned that not all of them have the relationship with food that I've had. Not all of them are like me, a food junkie. I know when I'm talking to a non-food junkie because I see a slightly confused look as I describe some of my behaviors. They say things like, "Really? You still do that?" Well, I've changed, quite a bit, but this food thing is a demon that one does not easily expel.
So, a food junkie I am. I've used that term to refer to myself for a number of years now, and I still feel it's true. That's not to say I think I have an addiction, though I meet the basic criteria - to continue to engage in unhealthy behaviors despite negative consequences with failed attempts to change. That's perhaps an oversimplification but by that criteria perhaps you could call my relationship with food addictive in nature.
I suppose in the end it doesn't much matter how it is defined, I merely know it's been an unhealthy relationship for most of my life. I've made great improvements in the past 6+ years since I started this journey but it continues to be a battle, sometimes a daily one, sometimes an hourly one. Sometimes the battle is purely situational - a party where the wine and appetizers seem to be in non-stop supply - and sometimes it's emotional - feeding a feeling I might not even recognize. And by the way, hunger can be satisfied with food. Feelings, however, never get full. If you start out eating in the absence of hunger, and only stop when you feel sick, there's no doubt what that is.
But I also have times of freedom from the battle, when the pull of food is not there and healthy choices come easily, naturally. During these times I feel light and free, whole and alive and perfectly aligned with the world, with my appetite, with food and with my feelings. It's a glorious thing that I nurture and reinforce. I'm grateful for my sometime freedom from the pull of food, despite it not being a constant in my life, to have that experience at all makes the rest manageable.
I meet people sometimes who are still in a dark place with their relationship with food. And I think they think I'm not like them, or that I've got something special that allowed me to do this. No. I'm the real deal, food has practically been my lifelong cross to bear. And no, I'm not special. Well of course I am, but in no different way than all of us are special. I have no more willpower than the next girl, I'm no more hardworking, determined or driven than anyone else. I just did one thing well, I never gave up (and never will, god willing). And there are tons of other women out there never giving up. Problem is, they give up temporarily and by the time they come back to start the fight again they've regained weight, but they aren't giving up forever, not most of them.
Ok, so what's all this introspection about? Easy - I'm a bit sick (ucky GI bug I caught from the kids) and I haven't exercised in two days. My head is taking over and that's not always a good thing. I know I have at least one more day of rest in me, but hopefully come Thursday I can get back to it and burn off some of this angst.
Ice Storm is Upon Us - Just a short post. I worked from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and had no time for getting any thoughts down during the work day. I had another good day, follow...