Weighty Matters

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Not Using Food

on March 17, 2012

Food was never only about meeting nutritional needs to me.   I used it as a crutch, a drug, and in my worst times, as a club with which to beat myself.   Eating huge amounts of food has comforted me and made me feel horrible.  Whenever I was scared, lonely, sad, overwhelmed, tired or happy, I ran to food.  When I wasn’t any of those things, I’d still use food because it was a compulsive habit.

Not using food in any of these ways any more is by turns miraculous, amazing, and somewhat frightening.   Right now, I still think about food a great deal of the time, but the intent is different.  I need to think about food and when to eat so that I meet my nutritional needs at the the right time.  I pre-plan, pack and take what I need, and, as the earlier post said, practice better time management.  When I say that the intent is different, I mean that I’m managing food with logic and reason instead of being relentlessly driven by compulsion and emotions.  That’s the miraculous and amazing part.

The fear comes from the “What if” and “What do I do instead”? questions that sometimes run in my head.  I’m not so naive to believe that life will be forever free of conflicts, upsets, pain, anxiety, or turmoil.  That’s life.  Shit happens.  But now I don’t have my old way to help me deal.   Since the day I decided to have weight loss surgery, I wondered and worried about giving up my crutch/drug.  Would I be able to do this successfully or would I somehow fall back down into the old way?

Granted, I am miles beyond my worst times of binge eating without control.   Over many years, I’ve recovered a lot and overall do a better job of taking care of myself and handling things.   However, while I might not have gorged myself on massive quantities of food when something upset me or I got sad about something, I still ate in unhealthy ways.  If I hadn’t, I would have lost weight naturally.

So the fear lingered.

A few days ago, something happened that caused me some definite upset and anxiety.   It made my stomach roil.  I couldn’t get it off of my mind.  It not only disturbed my sleep, but when I woke up the next morning, it was the first thing on my mind.   Not comfortable.

But I didn’t eat over it.

I didn’t run out and get a pint of ice cream or a giant chocolate bar.  I didn’t ransack my refrigerator and attempt to pile food into my stomach.  As uncomfortable as the feelings and emotions made me, I didn’t try to anesthetize myself with food.

I didn’t use food in any way other than nutritional necessity.  That, my friends, is a major victory and a sign of true progress and emotional healing.  I can build on that success and keep going with greater confidence and it feels great.

Just to bring the story around full circle, the next day at work I was able to take steps to address the situation that created the upset and resolve it in a way that relieved the remaining anxiety.  Another bonus!

5 responses to “Not Using Food

  1. kipper43 says:

    Reblogged this on Kipper43's Blog and commented:
    Mary i am so happy for you. Boy do i struggle with these same things. I have this bad emotional crutch of eating alot of the wrong things when a certain person a family member makes me upset. My twisted thinking is that eating is the only tning that person cant control in my life, like i do it in spite, and wont lose the weight because i control it. Twisted wrong thinking i am trying to face and deal with. Not easy.
    great to hear that you handle it head on and resolved the situation. Inspiring, and i promise myself that when this occurs again, i will take a moment to think about you getting through it with flying colors! Susan lindley

  2. You are approaching this in such a calm and emotionally mature way. I think that is a huge stride.

  3. londonmabel says:

    I’m happy for you–on both counts!

  4. lunarmom says:

    Wow. Now that’s healthy!

  5. Heartfelt congratulations! That is wonderful, fabulous, amazing news. Go you!!!

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