A couple of days ago, Patrick from New Stasis commented on one of my earlier posts regarding food abuse and emotional eating, titled Is Food Going to Solve It?. I was responding to his comment and while I was writing, I saw the comment window shrinking with the addition of my text. I realized that I needed to stop and put those thoughts into a post, rather than a page long comment. 🙂
In my post, Is Food Going to Solve It?, I wrote about food in a logical manner, pointing out the fact that it is an inanimate object that cannot help us with our problems. Those that abuse food often turn to it when they have a problem that they do not know how to solve, they don’t want to solve, makes them anxious, or they want to procrastinate on altogether. This is an abuse of food, because we are not eating to fuel our body and stave off hunger, but rather to attempt to get relief from pressing issues in our lives.
If we feel badly about not taking care of our issues, tasks, anything that we want to avoid, then this would also be emotional eating, since we are attempting to make ourselves feel better with food. In either circumstance, we are asking food to do something that it cannot possibly deliver: to solve our problems, make them go away, or change our feelings.
Below is Patrick’s comment on my post: (you can view the original here)
Thought provoking post JoLynn.
I used to find that I had an overwhelming drive to consume food, one that seemed to displace all other thoughts. I consider this escapist eating because I have learned to associate eating with NOT thinking about things that are bothering me.
It seems so simple but before I had the realization that you are posting about, I ate because I thought the drive was an indication of hunger and not because there was something pressing on my mind.
I bet that there are others that can relate to what Patrick wrote. Not only did he think he was eating because of physical hunger, but he also did not realize that what he was doing was abusing food. He was eating when he wanted to avoid thinking about pressing issues in his life. Even though he was not aware of it at the time, he is now conscious that he was abusing food.
Is it a “bad” thing to realize this about yourself? Absolutely not, in fact, quite the opposite is true. If you are not even aware of what you are attempting to achieve with your habit of overeating, food abuse, emotional eating and/or binging, then how can you change it? If you don’t know what the problem is, how can you find the proper remedy? Becoming conscious of our actions and the underlying reasons for them is the first step in healing unhealthy behavior.
These insights often are simple, however we don’t always see them right away. It could be that you aren’t ready, or that you are turned in another direction. I had an “Aha!” moment myself while beginning a separate, upcoming post today, (which I thought was pretty neat). The bottom line is, that until we are conscious of whatever issue or problem it is that we may have, I don’t think it is possible to change it.
Perhaps you are still searching for answers on what is driving you to overeat, or to reach for food to feel better. I recommend that you continue your research and discovery. If you persist, you will end up discovering what makes you tick, and you may even happen upon the information by chance. My wish for you is that you may have your own realization soon, so that you may find the proper solution to the problem that you wish to solve.
…So, can you see why I couldn’t write all of this in a comment? 🙂 (thanks to Patrick for the inspiration!) Why not head on over to his site and check out his post on resistance training? Patrick tells you about his experience with this type of exercise, which is actually what I have been using to tone up since 2004 (more on that in future posts…). Enjoy!