I wanted to chat with you about kind of a sensitive and private topic emotional overeating and I would say honestly for myself, this was something that I really struggled with probably as early as middle school. I grew up in kind of a crazy household. I watched my parents struggle with alcohol, drugs, infidelity, and abuse. My parents’ marriage seemed like it was always falling apart. And my brother and I were just along for the ride.
When my mom wasn’t numbing her pain with substances (illegal and legal) I remember seeing her numb her pain through food. Eating became what you did, whether you were having a good day or a bad day, you just kind of turned to food. It didn’t matter if it was a celebration or a stressful event you went to food–or alcohol–or drugs. As I got older I knew more and more that didn’t feel confident about who she was and I don’t know that she ever saw herself as beautiful. She may not have been the type of person that would have turned your head by her physical appearances alone, but her smile was warm when it was genuine and she had a heart of gold. Willing to give and to serve and to love to the best of her abilities. She carried a lot of wounds. She would tell me stories of hurtful things said to her by her parents and others. I see that she turned to substance abuse as a way to cope, and in this case food was used as one of those substances.
When I really think about my own food story and how I’ve interacted with food over the years, I see that it’s really been kind of this dysfunctional relationship. It’s taken years to overcome and honestly, I am still always editing my food story just as in any other area of life. As long as there is breath in our lungs, there is room to grow, and ways to be useful..a purpose to serve.
My use of food as a way to cope only seemed to get worse the older I got. We’ve all either heard or have been the leading role in the painfully awkward stories of the teen years. No doubt, I started putting weight on and I started to become even more uncomfortable in my skin. I already sort of had this sense that there was something wrong with me. I felt broken or like I was damaged goods. I didn’t know if there was a place for me to belong.
As my weight continued to climb I started to become desperate for a solution. I had no clue what to do, and I felt so out of control. I just wanted to feel like I could do something, anything… I tried starving myself. I tried gagging myself. I tried all the quick fixes that promised quick weight loss. Little did I know at the time those quick fixes would only make things worse. Either because I would only fail again and again. I’d gain all the weight lost and more, or I wouldn’t actually be making any healthy and lasting changes. I wanted to do it in a healthy way, I just didn’t really know how to do that.
Like so many women I see, I just kept trying one thing after another hoping something would stick. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was always only trying to fix things on a surface level. Trying to use a bandage on wounds that needed to be healed from the inside out, not just covered up. It really wasn’t until I started doing some deeper work around my thoughts, feelings, and ultimately my beliefs around food that things started to change for the long term.
So, today if you find yourself in any part of my crazy story I want to ask you if you’re doing the thought work? Are you allowing yourself to be healed from past wounds that you’ve been trying to cover up with food? Have you ever questioned where your feelings/thoughts/beliefs around food have come from?
I know this is not necessarily fun work to do, but friend, it is SO necessary if we want to make lasting changes. Nothing will change unless our minds are changed. And unfortunately that starts by questioning our current way of doing things.
So today’s assignment, is to spend a few moments pondering your current relationship with food and with yourself. Ask yourself the tough questions and allow the answers to come forward. Then decide what you want your story to look like going forward. How do you want to feel around food? How do you want to feel about yourself? Who do you want to be? This is the fun part! This is the part where you decide what you’re going to do and who you are going to be from this moment on.
If you are struggling with over eating, emotional eating, or anything else mentioned in this post please don’t struggle alone! I’m here to throw a lifeline, just like I wished had been done for me.
I’ve got a 5 day free challenge coming up that will help you get the start that you may need. Email me and we can see if this is the best next step for you 😉 firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to hear from you!