Weighty Matters

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Judging My Food

One feeling I cannot seem to shake is that when I’m around other people, they constantly look at what I’m eating and judge.  Maybe they’re assessing how much, or how little, I’m eating.  Perhaps they’re looking to see what actual food choices I’ve made.  I imagine them frowning inside if I eat a cookie, or if my plate has too many carbs.  Oh no, she’s eating something fried, I picture them thinking in their heads.

Let me state unequivocally that I have no evidence that anyone actually does any of the judging that I imagine.  They probably aren’t, or maybe some are and some aren’t.  I don’t know because if they are, they aren’t expressing their judgments to me.  Nobody says, “Wow, are you supposed to be eating that?” or “I can’t believe you’re eating that.”

However, the feelings that they are remain real to me and create a self-induced stress on me all of the time when I eat with friends or family.  This state makes me want to launch right back into sneak eating.  Sneak eating is a behavior that creates a whole messy pile of other negative emotions and unhealthy eating habits.  When I sneak eat from stress I tend to eat more in quantity – even if I spread it out over sneak sessions – and usually choose foods that would be okay as a single tasty treat but become unhealthy choices when consumed in that quantity.  That’s not self-judging.  It’s fact.  It’s okay for me to have a single cookie as a treat.  It isn’t good for me to eat half a dozen.

The whole “being judged” thing comes up for me a lot right now because I’m on my annual holiday trip and constantly spending time with different groups of friends and family.  I’m fighting the urge to obtain a secret stash of food so that I can sneak eat it.  That’s part of the insidiousness of this aspect of my eating disorder.  I stress over being judged to the point where I have to prepare my stress release eating of junk.  Totally doesn’t make sense.  It is also much more problematic because in escaping the behavior that stresses me out, I do something that makes me feel really bad emotionally and, ultimately, physically.

I seek a healthier alternative and am working to reshape the situation with more positive behavior.  I remind myself that what I eat, what I put on my plate, etc., is my business and nobody else’s.  If someone is going to judge my choices that’s on them.  I do not need to feel bad about my choices, nor should I project that they are viewing me with negative eyes and thoughts.

Above all, sneak eating is not a positive stress release.  I have other things I can do instead.  I could do a few moves of Tai Chi, meditate instead of eating, pick up a book instead of another food item.  Banish the negative thoughts.  Take a walk.  In short, there are numerous other options.

Writing about it in this post has relieved some of the stress.  It’s like adjusting a valve and letting some built up steam and pressure escape.  I don’t have to give in to old patterns.  I can, and need, to deal with it in healthier ways.