Also. I’m out of coffee.

I’ve had a rough few weeks since climbing LeConte. I think I had been thinking about that mountain all summer and when I finally did it, all of the other crap started seeping in once I stopped worrying about surviving that trip. Also, my Mom should legally be able to drive again early next month so I’m contemplating what the next phase of my involvement looks like. Part of me is happy to get some stability back in my life, being able to spend more than 3-4 days a week with my family again. But most of me knows that helping my Mom gave me a purpose which I desperately needed after losing my job earlier this year and where will I find my purpose again?

I’ve been binging a lot to cope with the feeling whizzing around in my head. I don’t need to be on this cycle again because my weight had finally stabilized after 18 months of 10lbs up, 5lbs down, 10 up, 5 down etc. I’ve kinda naturally settled around 20lbs lighter than I was when I peaked in May and I’d rather not start the +10/-5 roller coaster again. Which I’m totally starting if I’m honest with the binging and the lack of running. 

I’ve caught myself relying on a few phrases lately I’ve realized I don’t love. I’ve caught myself saying, “I can love this body!” when I referring to the fact that if this is where my body has naturally settled when I stop obsessing about weight/calories/exercise and just try to be mindful with eating. The implication is, “If this is where I’ve settled, I can love this body! But I do not love this body now.

And you know what? While we’re talking about necessary language changes? That’s one. I need to say: I LOVE THIS BODY no matter what in the fuck I’m eating and no matter what in the fuck I weigh. 

(Sorry for the f-bombs right there. My Mom’s 6am alarm clock is “Tomorrow” from Annie and it’s been going off for 15 minutes now and I think it’s switched the RAGE switch in my brain which tends to remove the damn that holds back the f-bombs.)

ANYWAY.

I also want to meditate on something a friend of mine posted on Facebook. She’s chronicling her own journey with therapy etc for food addiction and she said something about learning how none of this is about food. That phrase keeps bouncing around in my head: None of this is about food. 

If I let that sit in my own mind for awhile it kinda makes me uncomfortable. Because I like to talk about my “unhealthy relationship with food” which is a phrasing one of my therapists used once. But maybe I need to stop centering all of this around food and maybe dig a little deeper. Yesterday a friend guided me to sit with those feelings that push me to eat, which is excellent advice and removes the focus from food and puts the focus on the feelings. 

But last night, the first second I decided I was going to eat Ruffles and French Onion dip for dinner and some beers on the side, the feelings were gone and all I could think about was the food. I never even stopped to look at the feelings and could only think about how much better I’d feel with that food in my belly. 

Now. THERE WERE FEELINGS. I was stressed and sad over a phone call I had gotten yesterday and I really could have and SHOULD HAVE sat with those feelings instead of drowning them in food and beer and a Twilight Breaking Dawn rewatch. But I let the middle part between the TRIGGER of the high-power feelings and the DECISION to medicate with food pass by too fast. I need to stop the SECOND the extreme feelings hit and not let them immediately drive me to thoughts of food.

I need to slow down in that transition phase. The phase where I go from: SOMETHING UPSETTING JUST HAPPENED to PUT THE DONUTS IN MY FACE. That middle part seems to be where I need to stop because once I’ve hit the FOOD part, my brain can’t be reset.

IT IS NOT ABOUT THE FOOD. I need dig into the feelings before I get to the food part. And then, if I’m digging into those feelings and I can honestly still really want that ice cream, then the food is secondary AFTER processing the feelings and that’s fine. I can eat that ice cream all I want because it’s not about the food. But when I’m relying 100% of food to drown out the feelings, then I’ve got problems. Which is where I’ve been the last few weeks. All of the feelings are creeping into my brain without the LeConte challenge to block them out and I can’t cope with them so instead I’m drowning them out with Tonight Dough from Ben & Jerry’s. 

Honestly, I thought maybe I needed another LeConte-type challenge to focus on, but that seems to be just another temporary solution to ignore the feelings. And while climbing a mountain is a healthier way to drown out the feelings than a giant plate of nachos, it’s still a tool of avoidance and as long as I’m using any tool to avoid the feelings, I run the risk of turning to food again.

(THE ALARM HAS STOPPED! THE ALARM HAS STOPPED! YAY!)

ANYWAY PART 2.

So I’m going to quit talking like I can’t start loving this body until [fill in random goal here] and I’m going to start talking like I love this body now. BECAUSE I LOVE THIS BODY. 

Shit. That’s hard to say. I obviously need more work than I realized.

And I’m going to keep reminding myself: None of this is about food. Because it is 100% not. It’s about the feelings I’m using the food to cope with. Some of the feelings stem from years worth of abandonment issues which I will be dealing with for a long time. Some of the feelings stem from the Generic Upsetting Thing That Happened Recently which we all deal with but I seem to be unable to deal with without food to drown out the processing. Either way – it’s about the feelings I’m shutting down when I cram fast food down my gullet. 

Here’s to a new day. Here’s to sitting with the feelings from yesterday and actually trying to work through them instead of drowning them in grease and sugar. Here’s to loving THIS body and EVERY body from EVERY day. Here’s to honesty with myself and respecting myself enough to let myself be upset for as long as I need without shutting it down with a donut binge. 

And here’s to finding purpose again. The bigger challenge looming in the horizon. 

4 Comments

  • Julie

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I think I have mentioned before that Tapping (EFT) has really helped me SO, SO much with anxiety, managing pain and feeling overwhelmed by being a parent. I really like the organization that Nick and Jessica Ortner have created and feel like they give back to the community and are changing the world. Anyway, she has a book about Tapping and food— it’s Tapping for Weight Loss and Body Confidence. I think you summarized the whole book with your comment–it’s not about food.
    I have not read the book, only know of it but thought I would pass it along as Tapping has been so helpful for me.
    Take care
    Julie
    ps finally gave my friend the paper copy of your last post about race and once again he commented that you “were amazing”

  • Hillary

    I could not start my day with a Tomorrow alarm. And I like Annie! But that would make me start out every day feeling murderous.

    I cannot claim to have anywhere near the struggle with emotional eating that you do, but it is definitely something that I do. I have found that acknowledging the need can sometimes help me overcome it, which I think is what you’re saying above.

    But I also read what you wrote and thought “Twilight, beer, chips and dip sounds pretty damn good right now” so I get that too.

  • Grace

    Ha. I am out of coffee (covfefe?!?) too. GRRRRR. I turn into a vampire zombie (not a movie one, no sparkly here) when I’m emotional and hungry.
    Here is a suggestion. I keep a crapton of boxes of almond/rice chip-crackers and have guacamole and salsa in the fridge at all times. I order the chips on Amazon, much cheaper than one at a time at the store. They are not great, nutritionally, but better than chips. They fill the need for comfort munching. BTW, it’s not comfort food, it’s comfort munching. If you still smoked, you’d do that. Munching better than smoking. Seriously. There is truly a dif between comfort munching and comfort food. I have both of these habits.

  • Liz

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve been following the Fit is a Feminst Issue FB page and picked up their book. I recommend it, because they focus on movement and loving your body. I’m working through stuff too, so I’m not saying I have answers, but thank you for writing and being who you are.