I used to think that was my problem…I could eat for any emotional occasion. I remember being angry and eating, I remember being so upset after my grandmother’s funeral and eating (crying so hard, I almost choked myself), I remember joyous occasions and eating, I can’t remember any emotional part of my life, and not having food there to take the edge off.
After years of trying to understand what was going on, and why I couldn’t control myself, I have come to this conclusion.
It’s not the food, it’s the way it made me feel. I was a child of divorce..I used food to comfort me when each of my parents would attack the other. Food always loved me…something I doubted from my parents, sometimes daily. The physical fights frightened me and I think, were the beginnings of my wall. I used to try to stay up all night, at least while I was awake, I knew I was alive. One in particular, my dad punched my mom in the mouth and knocked her front teeth out, and since she was ironing, she stuck the iron on my dad’s arm and burnt him.
I always felt like a pawn in my parents family dynamic. My dad was trying to pull me out of my mom’s arms once, when his hand slipped and he punched me in the forehead. I hate being in the middle.
But food was always there…when I felt lonely, abandoned, the third wheel or just someone’s burden. Food was something I got picked on for. My mother would chastise me for always eating, and I would ignore her. My father would just give me whatever I wanted, so that I would be “happy” when I was with him.
It took me a long time to learn that it was the underlying emotion that I needed to deal with, piling food on top of it is just complicating the matter.
Every person I’ve ever met has a coping mechanism, be it alcohol, drugs, food or anything else. Some people just transition from one to the other, from food to exercise…but until the work is done, there is really no escape.
We are taught by our parents how to cope with issues, but if they really don’t know how to do it properly, they are just propagating the problem. Think about it! What are you teaching your kids, that you will then criticize about them in the future?
Criticizing is a form of child abuse. Parents usually criticize kids for the things that they don’t like about themselves, and it makes the kid feel less of a person. When I was being criticised about something, I did it more.
The other thing that used to crush me, was when one parent would tell me how stupid, or how useless the other parent was. That made me feel less important because I was part of “them”. I was always aware of my parents shortcomings, and I must admit I still try to do things to make them happy, and I’m usually disappointed.
I know they love me. Not the way I want to be loved, but the way each of them is capable of loving me. I just have to let go of my expectations of them ever being what I want as parents. They do the best they can, and I have to accept that.
Kids mimic their parents. Do you want them to mimic your bad traits, or your good ones?
For a long time, I was not in control of my life, I was just along for the ride. I partied so much because I was lost. I used to think, “This is all there is?”. Now I think totally differently. I do still have occasions where I fall off track. I am more aware of the “why” than I used to be.
Something that helped me greatly, is to look at everything and put it under one of two headings: Things I can’t control, and things I can. Why sweat the stuff you can’t control?
THAT IS CRAZY!!
One thing I strive for….and I think I am accomplishing it more often. Moving from the “live to eat” to the “eat to live” mindset.
Care to join me?
The emotional work is hard, so expect to cry a lot…but the benefit is a more balanced outlook when it comes to “addictions”….and the things you will discover about yourself will change EVERYTHING!!
So answer these questions…
What is stopping you from reaching your goal?
What is your roadblock?
Why do you not think you are important enough?