emotional eating

Usually where I have come from is not an issue but yesterday it was very much part of my day.

The things my head is trying to process:
– I have lost 25% of my start weight and am halfway to a healthy weight. That is simultaneously wonderful and difficult. I have come so far! I have so far to go! How did I get that overweight? I am doing so well!
– I found pictures of me at Christmas to put in an album to show where I started from. They were hard to look at. I remember at the time thinking they were realistic and that I looked terrible. I had already started working on a plan so it reinforced my motivations. But I felt ashamed looking at them.
– I had pictures taken of me yesterday and I look so good in comparison! I look thinner and happy. I put one on facebook and lots of friends commented about how well I am doing. And again, simultaneously wonderful and difficult. And I also felt vulnerable. I was letting people who didn’t really know what I was doing that I was doing something.

Last night we went out to dinner and that was nice. We had Indian and the food was fabulous. I found myself missing green vegetables even though we had one vegetarian dish. I ate more than I needed but I did not overeat. And we stopped at the Indian Grocer next door and I got one Galub Jamun for desert. I just wanted something a little bit sweet. But in the course of events, it never made it home. Which was frustrating.

My man was going out, I was staying home with the toddler. I had a little bit of the chocolate slice he was taking with him. And that did not ease my frustration. He left and I prowled the kitchen looking for … something. I deserved something. I had worked hard all week at tracking and exercise and had been spot on. I had such a stressful week at work as well. The scales were going down – quite quickly and so I was entitled! I was entitled!

And what did I do with the feelings of entitlement, frustration, vulnerability, loathing and success? I ate. I had one bottle of cider and a packet of choc finger biscuits; the whole packet. And while I was eating I felt relief and acceptance and comfort. I knew last night that it was a one off. I knew it was not the same as a couple of weeks ago where the compulsion stayed with me. I knew that I would be ok the next day. This morning I got up, did 60 minutes fast walking up the hill and back. I have eaten well and am tracking everything and I have had not problems with keeping to my plan or any desire to deviate.

Tonight, I told my man a short version of what happened last night with the biscuits. I guess I was testing myself. I did not want it to be secret eating. I wanted to say the words and make it real and have it known. But I had not worked out why I had eaten the way did last night, I thought it was just the frustration and did not link it to the photos and stuff from earlier in the day. And so I was left with feeling exposed and I wish I had said nothing. I just wanted to hide and I slipped quickly into control/freak out behaviour. I cleaned up in the kitchen, I got my food ready for tomorrow, I kept myself busy as my thoughts spun and spun and spun.

Not normal, not normal, what is normal anyway, it was normal for me, not good certainly but it was my normality, what do other people do anyway? Why would I want to be like other people? I like who I am, I am strong, I am clever, I am making my own way. This is my path. Not normal, what is normal?

I don’t know what normal eating is. I don’t know what the average person eats. I know what books tell me people should eat but I don’t know what people actually do. But I know that food is not just food to me. Food is acceptance and comfort. Cooking and eating is about sharing and love and family and acceptance. This is me. This is my struggle.

With all of those emotions last night – the self loathing at what I had let myself become, the vulnerability, the fear, the frustration and the sense of entitlement, is it any wonder that I ate? No, not really. Did I feel better? Yes, at the time. And tonight? I have worked through my reaction and understand why I wanted to say it out loud and why I then responded the way I did. And now? The spinning has slowed down and I feel like equilibrium is returning.

I don’t want to be normal. I want to be me – understanding where I have come from, where I want to go and be real along the way. My man supports me. He doesn’t understand my twisted relationship with food. I suspect he eats for hunger while my normal patterns for so long have been to eat for acceptance and comfort. I am trying to build new patterns and they are getting stronger every day I keep at it. I have a long way to go on this journey. Eating well and exercising is the easy part.

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