Before these last two weeks, I’ve always know that I was an emotional eater, starting with my parents separation. I ate my way through that, through their divorce and except for those times when I was probably anorexic (probably because I was never diagnosed) I’ve tended to be on the chubby side.
What I did not realise was just how much I’ve come to depend on food to soothe me when I’m stressed or depressed. I did not realise just how much it allowed me to cover up and cope with whatever feelings I was avoiding or trying to repress.
Not being able to lean on food to help me through difficult times (let’s face it, celery is not a comfort food) is forcing me to suffer through without that crutch. Everything seems to be hitting me full on these days and I have nowhere to hide. So I’m trying to cope without turning to food. I know logically this is good for me. Eating every time I have a negative feeling is a horrible way to relate to food. My head knows that but on the other hand when I’m sad or lonely or feeling like I can’t handle it, it feels like something is missing when I don’t sit down to a bowl of mac & cheese or a cupcake. Like an old friend has abandoned me.
I’ve pushed through these last two weeks trying desperately hard not to return to that crutch. There is nothing in my house to tempt me anymore so that isn’t the risk. And more than just trying not to eat emotionally I’ve been trying to find a different way to help myself cope. Last Saturday instead of walking out my door to any one of the numerous coffee shops or bakeries, I went for an hour-long walk.
Maybe to most people that’s not really a big thing but for me consciously making that choice, choosing to be healthy was a big step. Realizing that I could make that decision that I could choose and need to keep choosing to be healthy has been a struggle.
And while that walk didn’t fix what was bothering me I know that eating some calorie-laden treat wouldn’t have fixed the problem either. At least the walk let me burn some calories!
While I’m not completely free of this particular crutch, I’m working on it. I’m resisting it and maybe some day it will simply be a thing of my past.