Because I like food

A Self-Love reflection from Heather

Right now i feel like i need to focus on what i love about myself first. I love that i’m comfortable for my son to cuddle…he always picks me over anyone else. that might mean i have weight to loss, but it also shows me that he loves me and that he knows i’m a comfort. I love that I have a background in counseling because it makes me easy to talk to. i have alot of friends IRL who feel like i’m the only person who they can say whatever to and i value that alot. oh, and i love to run and i love that i can do it! It feels so weird sayiing what i like about myself, because i don’t want to sound boastful, since that’s basically the exact opposite of how i am.

Now on to what i’m working on… of course my weight is my number one focus. I want to be fit and healthy. I want inner peace…i want stabilty…and the only reason i don’t have it is because of myself. i make problems for myself on a regular basis. i spend out of control, i say things that are out of control to the people i love, i react in an out of control fashion all too often. to make my relationship with my husband better i need to work on me…and the aspects of my life that i can control. As much as I would love to say i can’t control my mood, that’s not true. Exercise helps keeps my moods pretty stable and i have been putting that off for MONTHS…even after my knee was in a condition that could handle it. Exercise makes me feel more content in general, i sleep better, it helps me eat better, it gives me time to myself- my exercise time is time where i’m doing something that’s totally for me. I need to be a better housewife, since for now that’s the job i’ve choosen. i need to make dinner on a regular basis…i need to clean more often and just generally take better care of the house. I know these things aren’t generally enjoyable, but they do give me a sense of purpose. if that makes sense. it makes me feel like i DO play an important role in my family, that i am capable, that i’m not just a useless object.

Can I just say that eating out, eating, thinking about food, etc. has been so much EASIER since confessing to myself, you, that I am a compulsive overeater.

God…it was like doves flew out of my chest, the angels sang, and the sun poured through the clouds.

Ok…that maybe a little melodramatic. But can I just say the freedom from having the knowledge of what I am battling with and knowing that it’s something that I can overcome is more powerful than anything I’ve ever experienced before in my whole life. In fact, it’s what I have been talking about, praying for, lusting after, and hoping that someday I’d experience.

Why not test out this feeling with food?

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My friend Ervina and I went out for Asian food. YUMMY. I had this friend radish dish, which I am eating above, and a beef stew (vegan fail).
Normal thinking pattern: Oh, just eat it all. You can start over tomorrow.
Re-adjusted thinking pattern: Enjoy the bites that you do eat. If you’re full, that’s ok, cause you’ve actually made an effort to enjoy that you’re eating.

Taking the ‘need/desired/want’ away from eating everything on your plate..takes the power that obsessive food-thoughts from the conversation and interaction with friends. It’s about the friends you’re with and enjoying the food. Not the post-guilt or during-inhale.
I felt free. I pushed back when I was full and honestly enjoyed the freedom. MORE, I enjoyed waking up not stuffed.
I then went out with Ervina and my friend Nic for brekky.
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Again, I pushed back. The ‘oh just eat that last 1 1/2 pieces of toast and all the peanut butter’ voice creeped in. I just stopped listening to it, tapped into my stomach and just didn’t fight.
So.there you go.One day in.And I feel more free than I have ever felt in the past couple of years.
What food do you honestly, truthfully, enjoy?

~M

11 thoughts on “Because I like food

  1. gemfit says:

    My father always used to tell me “it’s all paid for, whether or not you eat it” which we took as ‘don’t eat if you’re full and don’t feel guilty about leaving it’.

    It’s very freeing to remember that. It’s all paid for. You eat it and enjoy what you eat.

    Enjoy every bite. Stop when you’re full. Sounds easy, isn’t really but when you do it, you feel the difference.

  2. love2eatinpa says:

    i wish i grew up with gemfit’s dad!
    michelle, good for you for making this sel-realization into such a positive experience! it really is great that you have a ‘compartment’ to put this food thing into, isn’t it?

  3. Missa says:

    That spread looks amazing. Just remember that you can always go back and have new delights there. You don’t have to eat it all like you will never get the opportunity again.

    Cheers,
    Missa
    LosingEthel

  4. Kara (@ Kara's Marathon) says:

    *standing ovation* Great job listening to your body and banishing the negative, obsessive food thoughts!

    I think that I truly enjoy peanut butter, but I’m honestly not sure if I like it for its taste or because I associate it with warm, full feelings. It is my go-to binge and comfort food, and has been since my parents separated when I was a kid. I didn’t think your question would hit me this hard and make me think…wow.

  5. missyrayn says:

    I truthfully enjoy sushi in almost all forms. And I try to limit myself when I’m eating it because I forget how much I could eat if I just order a few rolls.

    Mish I’m so proud of you for listening to yourself and not the voices.

  6. RNegade says:

    I just finished reading “Born Round”, a memoir by a man who has battled overeating, bulimia, binge eating, and self loathing for much of his life. Then he became a restaurant critic! His take on overeating is interesting because he concluded (among other things) that many of his unhealthy attempts to control his weight were related to his false beliefs about needing large quantities of food to feel satisfied vs. eating moderate quanties of very high quality delicious food while savoring the full eating experience.

    I mention his book because it reminded me, once again, how very challenging it is for me to eat without dissociating from the experience. Being a compulsive (over)eater means that overeating (mostly in private) became a way I discovered that I could separate my awareness, briefly, from feelings of fear, pain, loneliness, anger, and so forth…when I was a child. So, the very act of eating–almost anything–has the risk of inviting a kind of separation from my being-in-the-moment and awareness of my feelings. In other words, a very loaded experience. This can happen when eating almost any kind of food.

    For me, it’s not really so much the content of the food that makes it feel akin to chemical dependency…it is more about the emotions that I am having before and during eating, and the emotions that are connected (for me personally) with my past experiences of eating a similar food. I believe my brain produces a cascade of chemicals in reaction to my eating experience and when I allow myself to dissociate, the subsequent brain-chemical cocktail that gets released in me can take me on an addictive ride for my life.

    The only way I know to eat in a way in which I do not dissociate is to eat very, very mindfully and to enjoy every bite. At first I had to practice this when eating alone because it takes a great deal of focus and time. I feel full very quickly. Later, I was able to learn to eat mindfully when dining with others.

    “Compulsive Overeater” is a social construct, a tool to help you identify your own issues, not a blueprint from nature that results in one-size-fits-all “disease” or one-size-fits-all way to “recover.” It is certainly nothing to feel ashamed about, but I also take issue with the idea that it is a disease diagnosis that can best be treated by following a 12 step program. Trying to compare alcoholism with compulsive overeating, and then treating the two as if they respond the same to similar methods of “recovery” is to invite a very specific mindset into one’s life. I actually spent years “recovering” from my “recovery”, for complex reasons that are too lengthy to describe here. Let’s just say that some “recovery” processes can eventually become just as debilitating (crippling of the spirit) as the “disease” they are intended to treat.

    Wish I could expand more on all this…gosh, maybe I will start a blog. šŸ™‚

    There is hope. Listen to the wisest part of yourself. Trust that you are loveable.

    To all: Be well in peace.

    • Mish says:

      I think that is a really REALLY interesting thought. Again, it toys with the European, perhaps Mediterranean European way of eating. Small portions, rich/high fat, high tasting foods over a long time. They’re not fat. I do agree that many times we have to actually kick back and enjoy the food that we’re eating. It’s hard..for me..you..others to do this. Slowly eating the food is like slow motion for me..but it works. Thanks for sharing this and writing about it. It makes a lot of sense.

  7. Craving says:

    To be brutally honest with myself , I use food to not only comfort me when I feel lonely as a single gal,but also to satiate me I think because I haven’t had sex and intimacy in so long .
    I truly believe one craving is trying to dull another craving.
    People say women don’t “need ” sex like men do, but I don’t totally agree with this.
    This may be too personal for some to talk about it, but for those overweight singletons out there who haven’t had sex in ages and ages….does anyone ever feel that food is your substitute in many ways?

    • Mish says:

      That’s a really interesting thought. As I wrote about earlier this week, Gena, wrote about how we all have basic urges in life and if we don’t satisfy them we will rebel. She brought up sex as one of those. I don’t think that the role sex plays in eating (lack there for due to over-eating, compensating with food, cause there is none, not feeling like you can because you’re too heavy) is a really important topic that not many people have discussed. Thanks for bringing that up.

  8. ameliawoods says:

    I enjoy Havarti cheese with True North brand pistachio crisps. I love your re-adjusted thinking pattern. I’ve just been working on eating healthier food, but I also hope I can incorporate this thinking pattern into my life. I love food, but I shouldn’t make myself sick. And I might as well leave some on the plate so I can it again for my next meal.

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