Tuesday, July 07, 2015

I love food.

There, I've said it.

Not that I really needed to make this admission. All you have to do is take one look at me (or at any other overweight individual) and you can see just how much I love to eat.

But appearances don't tell the whole story and what my swollen belly won't tell you is WHY.

WHY do I love the taste of crackers and cheese more than I love the idea of fitting into a bikini?

WHY does 5 minutes alone with a can of stacked Lays rate higher in my book than donning a size 6 pair of jeans?

I love the taste of certain foods, sure, but that isn't why I overeat.

What I love most about food is how it makes me FEEL. When my daughter's throwing a temper tantrum because I won't let her have chili for breakfast, a quick hit of pop chips and guacamole is sure to soothe my nerves. When I'm exhausted from watching over my sick child all night, and my mother-in-law inevitably offers to take over so that I can get a few minutes to myself, a cream filled donut and iced chai latte are what I use to commemorate the occasion. What I love about food is its ability to transform my feelings from chaos to calm, from calamity to serenity with one fell swoop of a fork.

But... I'm starting to believe that there may be a better way of soothing myself, of getting through both the hardships and minutiae of my life.

A way that doesn't include food.

After re-reading Women, Food and God for the umpteenth time, I'm learning to SIT with my feelings as opposed to trying to eat them into obliteration. I'm learning that being here, in this place, and living my life as a size 12, often bored out of my mind, stay-at-home mom is an okay place to be. Change is possible, yes, but as Geneen Roth teaches us, it starts with self-acceptance.

So there you have it. My name is Khadija and I'm a big time emotional overeater.

And that's okay.

For now.
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