Addicted to Food?

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?


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?


6 responses to “Addicted to Food?

  1. Jenn what a moving post. We all have our demons don’t we? And you’re right, piling food on top will not fix anything, if anything it just makes it worse! I’m slowly trying to change my shift to “eat to live”, it’s a work in progress!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. You are one AMAZING woman. I look forward to the day when I can meet you. You have given me much to think about. Your last question is so poignant.

  3. Wow Jenn! For what you have been through it is amazing that you have risen above and become the beautiful woman that you are.
    There are 2 types of people who deal with horrible circumstance…
    1. The ones who us it as a crutch and continue the patterns (I have zero tollerance for these types)
    2. The ones who break the pattern say F-it and realize that their circumstance does not define who they are and who they can become.
    You know which one you are! You are proof that you create your life and your destiny. No one else no matter what!
    I will join you in your eat to live mindset. It is something that I am working on anyway and we can support each other in it 🙂
    You rock!!

  4. Wow. @FabFattieShan sent me here from Twitter, and BOY, did I need to read this today. I struggle with emotional eating as well, and your childhood sounds pretty similar to mine. My folks had enough trouble without a needy kid like me around, and the fridge never turned me away.

    I keep trying to control my eating, but old habits die HARD. Usually when I stress eat, it’s just a big emotional blur, and I don’t usually see the damage until it’s done. Today, though, I caught myself doing it. Didn’t (couldn’t?) stop it, but watched myself make lousy food choices motivated by how I was feeling at the time.

    It’s been a long time since I ate as poorly as I did today. Regret.

    I pray that the Lord brings me the strength to gain control of my eating habits…

  5. WOW!!!! J, You Are SUCH A STRONG WOMAN!!! Just when I think I know you….You show me more!!! In your writings…I feel as though I’m there! This is scary (the fights) Yet amazing (such a God-given gift to allow us to SEE what you FEEL OR FELT) YOU HAVE SUCH A BRIGHT LIGHT JENN!!! I have truly been Blessed to have you in my life!!! Please continue to share via Blogging!!! Your Life lessons are helping others!!!! I’m so proud of you!!! {{{Hugs}}}
    Love ya Lots
    Dr. Mo

  6. Wow, wow, wow. You are an amazing person!

    by the way, all my answers to your 3 questions were ME. it’s giving me A LOT to think about.

    Thank you for posting such a throught provoking post. 🙂

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