Food is the most accessible commodity in our households. It is around us for special events like birthdays, baptisms, communions, graduations, ALWAYS. I think you get the picture.
It is easy to develop emotional attachments and feelings with certain foods. I will always think of pulling taffy on cold mornings with my Gammy. My mommom June used to fix frozen bags of bean soup for me when I went to college. Growing up my mom made the best homemade cinnamon toast. My fifth grade teacher would beg me to make my oatmeal cookies for her. These things will forever be embedded into my pschye.
It is fine to associate loving memories with food but, somewhere along the way I got something more into this relationship like self-worth. I think it happened for me in my early teens. I developed much quicker than others. I longed to stay thin and lean like the rest of the girls my age. Other things were rooted in these changes. I was extremely introverted and self-conscious. Food was a hobby that I could participate in at home by myself. Besides, those homemade fries were sooo delicious. I used food to self-medicate. I felt good while eating. I liked the texture of food in my mouth. I liked the physical process of preparing it, eating it, and enjoying the feeling of being full. Food was something that didn’t judge me, made me feel good, and was always there. I was in love with eating. Then came the after effects. The extra pounds during these formative years is not a great option for a teenager. I began to hate myself for eating certain foods. I started being restrictive with my diet. Binges are an inevitable result of being restrictive. After bingeing started then came the binge and purge cycle. Within a year and a half I had a full blown eating disorder. I did not stop. I started exercising compulsively too. High School track, weights in the morning, additional running in the afternoons soon became a part of my everyday routine. I started to get depressed after doing this for two years. When I was a senior in high school I did not want to get out of bed. I did not understand why I felt this way. I was tired and could not continue this cycle for much longer.
My parents got me the help I needed. I went to an inpatient treatment facility for thirty days followed by three years of therapy. The binge and purge cycle stopped. My love of food has never stopped. I am an extremely active person to this day. I love weight lifting as much as I do food. But, maintaining a healthy relationship with food will always be a part of my life.
I am determined to be a shining example of health and self-respect to my children. I will stop the emotional binding behaviors that have plagued generations of women in my family. I will treat food as an ally in my quest of health. Food will be an agent to live optimally not a crutch to fall back on when I am feeling low.
My goal is to help women not settle for being a middle-aged, average, mini-van driving, overlooked and underappreciated person that society portrays us as. I do not believe women should be the last person on our to do list. I believe that women, espcecially mothers can be glorious and sexy, and still have a family and career. I challenge all women to eat optimally, exercise generously, and live life according to their standards not the standards of the past.
I am woman hear me ROAR!
If this definition of emotional eating rings a bell for you please seek the help of someone you can trust or a professional. No one deserves to go through this alone.
Emotional eating: Emotional eating is the practice of consuming large quantities of food — usually “comfort” or junk foods — in response to feelings instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions.
Remember you are the change you seek. Everything you need to accomplish your goals are in YOU!
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