I used to wage war against my plate at every meal. It would sit there in front of me, I would stare…It would stare back. The war in my head would begin. If I eat you, will you make me fat? If I don’t eat you, will that make me proud? The war in my stomach would reflect my feelings of nausea and nervousness. The battle went on and on and by the time I left the table, I was exhausted from the fight.
I was caught in an emotional eating cycle of destruction. Temptation, Defeat, Denial and Guilt: over and over again. This is a dangerous cycle to ride. Temptation of all those mouthwatering treats on the table, trying so hard not to eat them, but unable to resist them (Defeat), but then Denial that another one won’t matter and finally Guilt that you ate so much and now you have to try to work it off.
Throughout the years to follow, I built up my artillery of weapons to help keep me thin or give me an excuse to eat or not to eat. I went to the gym every day for 2 hours, or ran outside until I couldn’t take another step. I rationalized with myself that it’s ok to eat today because I exercised this morning. I kept things no fat, low carb, no or low anything. And I read labels like an addict. And sadly at one point, I took pills to speed up my metabolism and drank green tea like a crazy woman because I read it prevented weight gain. If I ate too much I threw up after to “erase” my actions.
I was an emotional eating disorder wreck. But it wasn’t about the food, was it? Cause it rarely ever is. I failed to recognize how my emotions played a role in all this. I denied the main issues and made food my scapegoat, but also my release from reality.
Being healthy is not just about good eating. It’s also about accepting who you are, difficult emotions included, and finding healthy ways of comforting yourself when you are challenged. Emotions play a HUGE role in how we view life, including our eating habits.
I did not escape this behavior of mine without consequences. My health suffered. I lost part of my hearing and was left with malnutrition, stomach issues, and tinnitus as well.
My poor health prompted me to study nutrition, food, how food heals, how food harms. I’ve seen beauty through food in a way I never thought was possible. I’ve been in awe of food and God for creating it. Fifteen years ago if you were to tell me that I would be here today telling you I am honestly and truly in love with food – I would have laughed in your face. Because food was my enemy, not my friend.
I said before, it is rarely about the food. If you have ever struggled with emotional eating, you know what I mean. What’s on our plate is not always what makes us fat. Sure, there are really fattening, unhealthy foods out there, and the average American consumes these on a regular basis, but more often than not it goes deeper than the food. Sure we can balance our plates with vegetables, grains, proteins and greens, but this doesn’t always lead to satisfaction, right? Because something else is missing from our plates! And until we find what that is, we will continue to eat crap and treat ourselves no better.
So what is missing from your plate?
*Positivity (Your thoughts create your reality, so think positive thoughts, catch the negative ones – say OUT! – Reframe.)
*Love (loving yourself and others)
*Acceptance (Accept who you are in this moment)
*Time (take time to truthfully and thankfully do things, take the time to plan)
*Encouragement (encourage yourself to fulfill your potential and follow your dreams)
These are the foods of self-love. When I was waging war against my food, I had a plate full of guilt, anger, insecurity and negativity, and I no longer had a healthy appetite for life.
Where in your life are you carrying around a plate full of guilt, anger, insecurity or negativity? These emotions can cause you to GAIN weight and hold on to it. They can cause you to eat your problems away, or make bad decisions.
I want each of you to know right now, you are WORTH it and you DESERVE to be healthy.