Women, Food, and God- You're not unhappy because you're fat, you're fat because you are unhappy.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
So I've gotten some books from the library about eating, particularly emotional and compulsive eating since I've finally admitted to myself that exercise (while I could do more) is not my problem. My problem is my unhealthy relationship with food. One of the books I checked out from the library is Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth. I'm only a few chapters in since I just finished another book, but WOW! Every time I read another passage I'm thinking, " I'm not the only one that does this? Is the woman inside my own head?"
Here's a passage I enjoyed and related to:
Like everyone else in this diet-mad culture in which we live, my retreat students all loath to stop the frantic attempts to change themselves. They know that something is not quite right in their lives, and because they are not at their ideal weights, they believe that food is the problem and dieting will fix it. When I suggest that they're trying to fix something that has never been broken, a wave of anxiety courses through the room.
They ask, " How could you say that nothing is broken when I can't fit into any of my clothes?.... Can't you see something is terribly, terribly wrong?"
And I say, " Yes, something is terribly wrong, but it will not be fixed through losing weight." - Geneen Roth
That passage is enlightening because I could just as easily be one of those students saying, " I'm fat and that is the cause of my unhappiness." But truth is, I'm fat because I'm not dealing with my unhappiness and my anxiety. I'm in therapy now and I'm learning to surround myself with a support group, but up until 3 months ago.... I was running on 8 cylinders toward...destruction.
I was not sleeping well, waking up early to go into work, having the stress of intense sales goals ( and lord knows I met my sales goals. I was a travel agent in case you were wondering), stuck in traffic on the infamous 405 here in Los Angeles for an hour each way each day, coming home to chores and dogs and a husband who needed attention. I worked overtime and 6 days a week. When I wasn't working, I was on my computer at home researching destinations and looking up our online competitors just as my clients were so that I could be competitive enough to meet my goals. I was constantly on conference calls with other agents and management to see where the trends were and how to drive business. When I wasn't on a conference call, I was on the phone with travel vendors and clients.
My time was never my own. It belonged to work, my husband, and my dogs. AND... I resented them for it.
Most of you are probably reading this going, " BIG DEAL! Everyone works a lot and dogs demanding attention aren't kids demanding attention, sweetie." But on top of that and striving for perfection I was dealing with an anxiety disorder and an eating disorder. So while keeping it all together, I was trying to keep myself together and these things under wraps.
These days I'm still on STEP ONE- Honesty with yourself, nurturing yourself and self love, and fixing what's really wrong ( because it's not that I'm overweight).
So I encourage all of you to really take a look at this first step with me and make sure that losing weight isn't ultimately in your own mind what is going to solve all your problems and bring you a smile to your face.
Remember you're not unhappy because you are fat, you're fat because you are unhappy.