Digging The Fork Deeper: Taking A Closer Look
The last couple of weeks, we have been discussing food and the importance of eating on a plan that is not only healthy eating, but is worth reaping the positive benefits of this long term lifestyle. We discussed the importance of not dieting, but rather making small term changes that will have lifelong benefits.
This week we are going to discuss temptation with cravings and how these side effects have revealed new revelation and manifestation.
I have now been back on a plan called Trim Healthy Mama for over a month, not quite a month and a half. I have lost now a total of 12 lbs. The weight loss is slow, but the energy and benefits of it as I have explained before are completely worth it.
I am writing this post to you this week because I feel the need to be transparent with you. I am transparent with you for two reasons; one, I hope to encourage and inspire you to take the initiative to make changes or to do as you will with the information, secondly, my transparency I know is a tremendous part of my personal healing process and journey.
One area I have recently really been struggling with is wanting to eat past 8 pm at night. Every day and night I do extremely well until 1030 at night, that’s when the chatter begins and I fight the temptation and cravings to eat. Some of you might just tell me to go find a light snack and eat it! Though in theory this would be an acceptable response, I wanted to address this with a different approach. I am someone that likes getting to the root of the issue of why. For myself and my family, our faith is very important to us.
As I began to pray about the situation, I realized I wasn’t actually hungry because my body was wanting nourishment. I didn’t even want the food because it tasted good. The nights I crave food, I have noticed a pattern of stress or some form of emotional response. The emotional response or stress pattern elicits the response that I am hungry even though I am not. After searching my heart and further discussion with an incredibly dear friend of mine, I actually caught myself recently stating that I ate food to numb my feelings, to stuff them down and for no other reason than that.
There is nothing more that I want than to be set free from this bondage that plagues my life on a weekly basis. I am believing God as a matter of fact for deliverance in this area, full restoration, and complete healing. I may not overcome the temptation and cravings nightly, but I am learning to give myself grace and to self-love rather than self-condemn. Self-condemnation is a liar, it points a finger of guilt, deception, and entices more eating and further bondage; its a vicious cycle. Self-love seeks forgiveness of self, it says that the past does not equate to my future and where I am going in my healing process. I choose for this reason to love myself despite what happened in my past. I am in a state of deep cleansing and healing. For so long, I did not allow myself to feel. I deprived myself of my own feelings. Feelings were not okay for me to show or express and when I tried, they were often ignored. The thing is food and exercise in my past were an addiction; that’s the truth. The food and exercise equipment did not talk back to me, but they did give me instant gratification of numbing the feelings of pain and allowed me to burn off the rest through exercise. There is nothing wrong with enjoying food or working out, but when you emotionally eat and you excessively exercise to beat your next record on the equipment, it’s not a healthy pattern. The two feed off of one another in a very negative way; calories are overly consumed, guilt sets in, purging occurs through obsessive workouts, and cycle begins again.
You see, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I realized I had been bulimic for as long as I can remember; I would estimate the time frame to have begun in my early teens. My parents divorced, remarried, and a member of my immediate family was not very kind to me. I was the scapegoat, I was often compared to others, I was criticized, condoned, degraded, and talked down to on almost a daily basis. The emotional, mental, and spiritual abuse that I went through was so strong, I forgot for awhile who I really was. I forgot what real love felt like. I couldn’t receive compliments any longer. My self-esteem was non-existent, but you would never know by the smile I carried on my face daily. Perfection meant one step closer to approval, approval meant acceptance, and acceptance meant love; I have finally come to realize this was also a deeply rooted lie. Activities became an escape for me not to be in the home. I became the classic example of what it meant to over-achieve and become good at everything I was doing. I was sharp-dressed, had nice things, knew alot people, but completely lonely and terrified in the inside.
I often asked myself would anyone ever want me or love me? My perception of who I was had no worth. I felt nothing I ever did would ever be good enough for anyone. Yet, if I kept striving, maybe I could barely gain that acceptance I needed. I even projected this and prejudged others as judging me in this same fashion. Many years later, this is another misconception and deeply rooted lie. Many nights I laid in bed crying my eyes out, feeling vulnerable, exposed, unloved, not accepted, and always walking on eggshells trying to please others and be who they told me that I needed to be; this included relationships, school, appearance, etc. An argument over something small became a big ordeal. I was not encouraged or motivated properly, so food and exercise became my addictions of choice. All of this coupled by the anxiety and depression of performance only amplified the bulimia.
Through my teen years I did seek counseling for my situation, but the food and exercise was something I was in denial of. I had battled with weight issues my entire life. The people I felt I needed encouragement from, was severely lacking. I felt incredibly alone much of the time. Would my situation ever improve, was this something I would overcome? At the time I didn’t feel it, I will tell you that. Food never talked back, it was easier to eat the five sandwiches, gallon of ice cream, and everything in the pantry. Afterwards, the dishes would be cleaned and put away as if nothing happened. Though the food was missing and family noticed, they could never pin point my behavior. The elephant was in the room, but there was no confrontation to handle the situation. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago, I started to learn healthy coping mechanisms that would teach me how to appropriately fuel my body with food and how to exercise properly, two things that were never taught to me.
Recently, digging deeper though, I discovered there was more, stay tuned for next post to find out. See you next time.