For so long I have used food to numb my emotions. My entire life. I feel an emotion and the next thing I know it’s no longer there. And the house is empty of chocolate, chips, cakes, biscuits and everything else within reach. It became a pattern very early on and has carried me through into adulthood.
Less than a week after beginning a food coaching program my head is a mess and my emotions are chaotic.
I came to the realisation recently that it was time to really delve into the relationship I had with food and to figure out how to change the associations I have with it. Food has always equaled comfort and stress reduction. Feel sad, eat. Feel depressed, eat. Feel anxious, eat. Feel happy, eat. Feel anything, eat. It never worked for me to have emotions. I remember the first time I fully acknowledged that I even felt guilt and anger. I honestly didn’t even know they were there! Guilt and anger were emotions experienced by other people. I had no need for them. There was nothing in my life that would ever trigger them. Not my brother using me as a punching bag, not people walking all over me, not being taken advantage of, and certainly not ever making a mistake. Not really sure why I was surprised when they surfaced!
The need to change my relationship with food has been around for a while. Several years in fact. In that time I’ve been able to prove to myself that I am capable and strong and resilient and loveable and worthy and desirable (this one’s still a little shaky. Ok, a lot shaky if these tears are anything to go by). I have talent and intelligence and heart and caring and beauty (also shaky) and brains.
I’ve trained my body and my mind. I’ve begun the process of reconnecting them with my spirit.
And it’s this process that has brought me to the place of changing my relationship with food. The concept that food is simply fuel for my body is completely foreign. It’s always been connected to emotions and hiding and escaping and avoiding and …. And and and. Everything other than fuel. Everything other than nourishment and self respect and self love.
Up until now whenever I have attempted to connect wholesome, healthy, nutritious foods with self love and self respect it hasn’t received anything more than surface air time. I’ve come to realise that the connection exists intellectually but it hasn’t filtered below the surface to really penetrate those concrete bubbles surrounding my emotions.
Inside those bubbles is the association that unhealthy, fatty, oily, sugary foods equals comfort and love. And every time I needed those two things I have reached for something to meet that need.
I can’t do that any more. I don’t want to do that any more. I’m sitting here as I type with an ugly cry in progress, knowing that I need and deserve so much more than that. My spirit tells me I deserve more. She tells me I deserve to experience what it is truly like to love and be loved. And I can’t do that with things as they are. I can’t live my destiny with the associations I currently have in my brain. I need to break them wide open and create new ones that support me moving into the life I am destined for.
So I guess this post is the first of many that will allow me to let go of the safety net and swing freely from the trapeze, knowing I am truly where my spirit knows I am meant to be.
Remind me to buy some shares in Kleenex!