Sunday, October 30, 2011
This year, I did some serious soul-searching to try to figure out why I overeat.
It would be easy to blame my mom - she has an unhealthy relationship with food, was put on diets when she was very young (she was actually not really overweight then, but as she tells it, "all of the other kids in the neighborhood were skinny, and my parents looked at me and wanted me to look like them.") She did the same thing to me, putting me on the Atkins diet when I was nine, telling me that "you'll be a happier, better person if you are thin."
Nevermind that the tendency to carry a bit of extra weight was strong in her father's family. His daughter would not be fat - he'd make sure of it. Mostly by judging her and hounding her and making her focus on food as a source of guilt. She did't know any better. She still doesn't, and I can't teach her. She's not ready to hear that food is not the enemy.
Part of my journey this year is to separate emotion from situations where it does not serve a purpose. This does not mean that I don't HAVE those same emotions, but that I'm learning that sometimes (more and more often) I can choose whether or not to react to those emotions, and whether I SHOULD.
Growing up, emotions were attached to every situation - lost mittens, spilled milk, tape on the woodwork, missing Twinkies from the freezer, etc. Each of these things caused a loud, explosive barrage of harsh judgemental words. Blame was always assigned-usually to me as the oldest daughter-whether or not that was appropriate. This cause a lot of confusion and guilt. I turned to food for comfort, and have used it ever since.
Yesterday, DH and I I went out to dinner with friends. I ate what I wanted, and I'm now "writing it all down". I enjoyed myself and I'm taking accountability and moving on.
Guilt won't help - and I won't give it any more space in my head.