Friday, September 07, 2012
In reflecting today about life struggles, it occurred to me how often we delude ourselves into thinking that things are not as they appear, even when they truly are. Often we mask our internal conflicts, keeping them hidden not only from others, but from ourselves as well. This defense mechanism can be beneficial at times, though over time it can also be quite destructive. This has been the case with my food addiction over the years. I dare say, millions of people around the world can relate to this exact situation - if they can open themselves up to the risk of being completely transparent, if not with others, at least with themselves for starters.
Earlier today I was contemplating the "mask" when chatting with my oldest son. I admitted to him how common occurrence it has been for me to stop at Krispy Kreme or Dunkin' Donuts when out by myself. My deception served multiple purposes:
1. I spent less money because I didn't have to buy for the whole family.
2. I didn't have to feel self-conscious about eating junk food in front of my husband and risk him thinking (though he would never say it) that I was sabotaging my weight.
3. I didn't have to feel guilty about setting a bad example for my family, enabling unhealthy eating habits.
4. I didn't have to deal with the conflict of giving to my family to make me feel better about eating it myself.
I told my son about my struggle and how often I've sneaked food when no one was looking. Then I asked him if he had ever done the same, to which he responded affirmatively. Of course, I knew the answer to that question. I've seen the candy wrappers in his desk drawer, among other places. Imagine my relief when he was honest with me. What should it indicate to me that I have deceived around food, and that my son has too? It is an indicator that neither of us has had a healthy relationship with food.
Going back to the mask. . . for me to call it like I see it, particularly in regards to self, I have to be honest about HOW I see myself. It not only breeds self-respect, but fosters respect from others. Once we unmask our deceptions, it breaks the strangle-hold that leading our double life with food holds over us.
From now on, whether it's embarrassing or difficult to admit, I will call it like I see it within myself. Perhaps I'll just think of it as the "Taming of the Beast".