Today was my third day eating in a carefree manner, and I am so confused! As someone who sneaks and eats and indulges in private, it's difficult to give up the safety of my privacy. But that is a sign that I have shame about eating that way, that I have given certain foods an emotional charge by labeling them as "good" or "evil". Because, let's face it, if it's not kale, it's bad. At least that's the hot trend for what is hip and healthy right now.
I had the day off today for my son's spring concert, so the morning was mine. As soon as I got the kids on the bus, I went out and got some donuts, chips, and salted Carmel chocolates. One of the guidelines is to not watch TV or read or distract yourself in any other way while eating, I haven't made any effort to obey this rule yet. In fact, I am not behaving very good because I'm suck between some strong habits and beliefs, and, at least for now, confirming what the author says is a popular myth/reaction, that if I am given the freedom to eat whatever I want, I may never stop eating ever.
I can see how the eating distracted can lead to senseless eating. One of my guilty pleasures is American Idol. Why is it uncool to like AI these days? I get it, they are young pups, but so are most of the folks on the radio and I like that stuff too. But I digress. I never get to watch Idol live, it is far too noisy with my kids running around and the battle for the one TV that has cable And the X-box is never won by me. So on my glorious, and all-too-rare day off, I finally got to watch the finale. I ate when I wasn't hungry. It heightened the experience; the show was better because I was eating, and the just so-so food seemed better because I was eating watching one of my favorite shows on my peaceful day off. I didn't need that food, and it didn't feel good crowding my stomach, but I ate anyway. I think so many times I get caught up in trying to make something feel special before it's too late, and food does that for me. And now I am thinking I try to make things feel special in my life, because I never felt special (or, in some cases, I didn't even feel noticed) to my parents. And I think I misinterpreted my mother's creativity ( born out of financial necessity) in mixing miscellaneous ingredients together to make something edible. One dish that was my favorite was when she would cook burgers and add beans and taco seasoning, and crumble up corn chips on top. To me that made the burgers special, but to her, she was trying to make them more filling so everyone needed less. There is something to that whole thing of "not enough". One day when I was doing homework for college, my husband was watching some kind of documentary without me, and I walked into the room and just caught someone saying that in almost all cases of obesity, the idea that there is "not enough" is the one that traps us in patterns we find impossible to move past.
And I think there is some validity to that for me. I remember when I was 8, I took a paperclip and jabbed it into the wooden window trim in our bathroom. I loved how it felt, the small, shiny clip sinking into the wood with ease. I don't know what came over me, and part of me doesn't remember even doing it, but I carved the words "we need money" into the wood. I remember seeing it and trying to rub it off but it was in there good and deep. I got the leather belt for that stunt, and immense amounts of shame, internally, but also from my mother, who had guilt trips elevated to an art form. I have issues with money, it really controls my happiness/depression. And now, just today when I was thinking through this "not enough" theory, a little light came on; maybe my "not enough" food issues are really part of my "not enough" money issues. When I have a good amount of money, I waste a ton of it on food. When I don't have very much, the frugal and responsible part of me kicks in, I can stick to a diet really easy because I know I don't have the resources to not eat what I brought for lunch, or to stop by the grocery store before work for $30 worth of "treats" for the day.
So there is more work to do on the not enough theory, at least as it applies to my life. There are a lot of things I felt there was not enough of growing up, and I'm trying to fill those gaps with food. And sometimes I am uncomfortably full and I still keep trying to fill.
I'm glad I am taking time to make these connections. Eating this way makes me feel heavy physically, but getting into some of the deep stuff of my past is helping to lighten me up emotionally. It is a beginning, and I am looking forward to a fresh start.