On December 30, 2011, I posted about finally understanding why I overeat (see: Day 364 -- Reflecting), and I set out in 2012 to work through some issues. It was a journey. A bumpy, knock-me-to-my-knees, journey. Halfway through the year, I was directed to write about my life (see: "Give me this mountain!"), starting with my earliest memory and working my way forward. (I'm almost done with the Third Grade now...that's right...I'm crawling through the process.)
Along with writing my memoirs, I was prompted to seek counseling to help me through the issues. I chose a therapist who was also a performer, hoping she could understand not only my struggles with emotional eating, but also the creative blocks. On the creative side she was somewhat helpful, but on the eating side she could not relate. At all.
I switched therapists, and that was an excellent decision. My new therapist immediately had me listen to a CD series by Geneen Roth, When Food is Food & Love is Love. For anyone struggling with emotional eating, I highly recommend listening to those.
At the end of 2011, I had lost weight in spite of my frequent problems with emotional eating, but that's just it...I still had my problems of emotional eating even while eating healthy! On Geneen's CD, she said:
"When you lose weight [through dieting], you don't lose the reasons you turned to food to begin with. You don't lose the reasons you ate. You don't lose your sadness, you don't lose your sorrow, you don't lose your suffering, you don't lose your loneliness. When you lose weight [counting calories, points, carbs, fat grams...] you are still the same person looking out at the world through eyes that don't like yourself, through disappointed eyes, through suffering eyes, through eyes that believe you're flawed in some way."
What does she recommend, if not dieting? She has some guided meditations to help deal with issues about food and love, and she recommends the following guidelines:
- Eat when you are hungry. (Truly hungry, body hungry, not head or heart hungry.)
- Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.
- Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspaper, books, intense or anxiety producing conversation and music.
- Eat only what your body wants. (Not what your eyes want or your mind thinks it should have.)
- Eat until you are satisfied. (Not stuffed, not completely full.)
- Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others. (Not sneaking.)
- Eat with enjoyment, gusto, and pleasure.
Does any of that ring a bell? I was on the right track in 2011 when I challenged myself to eat when physically hungry and stop when full.
In 2011, while faithfully keeping this blog, I lost 30 pounds. In 2012, I spiraled out of control while facing my demons with emotional eating, and gained 15. It's miraculous that I only gained that amount. When I used to eat sweets, I would easily gain everything back and then some. So I will take the 15 pound weight gain rather than 40.
Now it's a quarter into 2013, and I although I am still struggling, I am ever hopeful. I only fail if I quit trying. I will continue to heal.
And I'm ever hopeful I can be more diligent in blogging about my journey.