Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

Every once in awhile, my friends and I discuss the need to remove the attachment we have to food.í Some people just donít get it. Some have no idea what weíre talking about, and others think that itís like a light switch that a person can turn on and off.

For some of us, food is the one constant in our lives. Itís always there, and itís reliable. Doesnít argue, doesnít talk back. And we can zone out while weíre together. If you donít believe me, watch people eat popcorn! Talk about unconscious eating!

But along with the effort to feel what weíre feeling, acknowledging the good, the bad, and the ugly, comes the discomfort. And where have we always gone for comfort? Food. Itís not a choice for me these days. To be honest, however, that last sentence should read Ďfood should not be a choice for me.í

Itís hard to sit in the moment, to feel the pain and discomfort, and resist food for comfort. Iíve discovered over the past few days the reason for this discomfort. Itís invariably the fact that Iím choking back, or even swallowing, the words I want to say. Itís generally a situation in which there will be an argument, or serious discussion, and I donít usually feel safe enough to speak my mind.

So, Iíve been trying to change the way I look at these situations, and trust me, itís been hard. This swallowing of words and reaction has been going on for more than 45 years. Itís ingrained. Iíve taken a step back and ask if Iím exaggerating the danger. And I usually am. And when I speak my mind, that food urge disappears. Thank goodness.

Itís a baby step here, but an important one. Itís about learning a whole new way to look at the world, to analyze it, and to react to it. Detach from food? yeah. Big time. But for me, itís more like getting rid of a wheelchair and cast, and learning how to walk again.

10 thoughts on “Detachment

  1. Greta says:

    That is so wonderful that you are actually able to get in touch with an emotional situation that can be resolved causing the munchies to go away. Absolutely outstanding. I have had very little luck in making these types of connections. The one thing I HAVE figured out is that I overeat when I am tired and particularly when I am exhausted. A day following a very short night of sleep can result in eating problems. Even worse would be the end of any day when I am starting to get sleepy. Food seems to give my body a rush so I have come to unconsciously look to food as a pick-me-up and amazingly it actually works to give me a burst of energy. However, what I really need is to go to bed! I am writing this at nearly 11pm, totally exhausted so off to bed!

  2. jane says:

    oh greta. this is just one of many steps! in fact, i also eat when i’m tired instead of going to bed, hoping that food will perk me up. but, unlike you, it never does.

    hope you had a good night’s sleep…

  3. sharon says:

    Tired is my biggest trigger. The second biggest is being overwhelmed by emotional situations. Sweet, cold, and smooth is the perfect fix for whatever ails me. Problem is it only delays the solution and adds other problems to be solved.

  4. Judy says:

    I saw your note just in the nick of time. I was just sitting here journaling about how out of sorts I am–kind of irritated, not sure what to do next but pretty sure I’m wasting a beautiful day, not enjoying the things I usually enjoy like my yoga video tape–in fact getting irritated at it and stopping it early. And winding myself up with desires for food. My last line was “I’m sick of this diet and I want some REAL food.” But you’re right. That’s not really what I want at all. There are things I want to say. Things that aren’t easy to say, or probably hear either. With a couple of different people and situations. Just to bring those feelings and thoughts to consciousness is such a relief (it may not be possible for me to say what I want to say to these people for various reasons). Maybe now I can move ahead with my day and do something good for me, for my home, for my life. Feeling very thankful for you all.

  5. Carol says:

    Jane, this is a terrific essay. I too am finding that easing emotional pressure can nip binge thoughts in the bud.

    Keep up the great work!

  6. Debbie says:

    I also sometimes want to eat when I’m tired, and it doesn’t really give me a boost, so I work to keep from eating too much when I’m exhausted. (I do drink waay too much coffee, though.)

    I sometimes use the acronym HALT to analyze how I’m feeling when I feel like I want to eat something: am I really hungry, or am I angry, lonely or tired? With me, it’s rarely the ‘lonely’ part (and I wish there was a B in there, for boredom) but anger can sometimes make me want to eat. And for sure, being tired.

  7. Jenny says:

    Jane – super post!

    It’s bizarre how I went through this exact thing over the weekend. I’m gradually learning not to stuff down the emotions with food and I find myself unsure of how to deal with the emotions. I’m realizing what it’s truly like to feel sad and angry and ecstatic and it’s kind of freaking me out – but in a good way. The weekend was a whopper of an emotional rollercoaster but I got through it without reaching for food (yeah!) and I also mustered the courage to speak my mind. It’s such liberation!

    I’m an OA girl and have been reading through the AA Big Book and your closing line was actually something very similar to what I read this last week – people who are in 12-step programs often learn how to “pick up their bed and walk again.” Learning to not reach for food, to experience the wide range of emotions that can hit me in a single day, it’s allowing me to pick up my bed and walk again. I have a renewed vigor for life and I have hope in my future.

    It’s fantastic!

  8. Kim says:

    Thanks for adding me to the list! I need to shed 150#.

  9. alicia says:

    i have the exact same trigger: feeling powerless. when i look back at my life, the only thing i regret is not being truer to myself.

    good luck in learning to speak your mind without fear!

  10. Ellen says:

    The “tired” I can sure relate too. I went to online school to complete a degree and worked full time. In 2 1/2 years it took to graduate I gained 20 lbs! Eating was one comforting thing that seemed to give me an energy burst helping me complete an assignment by 2 am. I am no longer sleep deprived.Now when I feel too tired to work-out I do a little self talk and convince myself i will feel better and less tired afterwards. It works every time.

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