One of the many things I love about this blogging community is that what I read really makes me think. And ask questions. There have been many posts lately and many comments that have really gotten me wondering about something and I ‘d like to throw it out here and get your input. This inquiring mind really wants to know!
There is no succinct way to ask this, so please bear with me as I work my way around what I am thinking. I’ll start with this comment that I wrote on Peaceful Bird’s blog recently.
The old saying goes… it’s not what you are eating, it’s what’s eating YOU. Sometimes there is truth to that. Sometimes not. Sometimes for me it is just about food and habit and boredom.
I have been wondering for some time now, if there is a reason why I overeat. Now, and in all the yo-yo years past. And I wonder if it matters. I don’t mean a little emotional eating now and again or bad habits developed over time, I mean… a big haunting meaningful reason. I have seen countless bloggers describe the foundation of their food issues, many stemming from childhood. And, of course there is Oprah, who for years has been explaining that she finally realized her eating was not about eating at all. She and many of you out there would surely tell me that there must be some reason behind my eating that comes from something other than habit and boredom. And that until I figure that out and address it I will never really conquer this thing.
But I just don’t know if that makes sense for me. I have asked myself, now and in the past, what might might be missing from my life that leads me to fill myself with food instead. Or what I am afraid of that keeps me from staying thin. Or if I don’t think I am worthy of something. Or what other emotional or psychological issue might be behind it all. And I never come up with anything that seems like it could provide my ah-ha moment. So I have to wonder if there just isn’t any thing significant that really drives my relationship with eating.
If someone were to ask me why I have food issues or weight issues, I would say that I simply never developed healthy eating habits and that I fall, again and again, into my old habits. And I would say that I eat out of boredom. When I reflect back on my childhood, I was basically happy. And thin. And my parents were thin. And my mom served healthy food. Sure there was ice cream and snack cakes. Sure I preferred their taste to veggies. I could eat all the junk I wanted back then and not gain weight but I don’t remember eating all that much of it. Then my metabolism changed. And the yo-yo years began. And I just like pizza and cookies better than veggies and lean protein. Bad food choices became the norm. Sigh. I think my overeating got worse over the years as I dieted and reacted to being deprived.
But through it all, it seems to be about eating. The taste sensation or texture that I want in my mouth. The physical act of chewing. Is there something hidden behind it all that makes me feel that desire, that craving, that need to eat? I honestly don’t know.
Once I thought it did not matter. That I could conquer my eating issues with good habits. As recently as last month I thought I had figured it out, the whole lifestyle-not-a-diet-that-ends thing, the new good habits. But with my recent bouts of overeating and all that I have read from others, I really do wonder.
So I ask you, wise readers, for your thoughts on this. Does there have to be a big cosmic reason why someone has years of food issues? Or can it really be simpler and more obvious – habits, boredom, taste buds that have been trained to love sugar, the occasional stresses of life that leads one to the food. Can it be just about self control and willpower, or the lack thereof, and certain trigger foods? I expect they’ll be some very different opinions here. And I suspect that the answer may be different for each of us, that for some there is a big reason behind the eating, or lots of small reasons, but for others it is not about that at all. And I know you really can’t give me the answer I am looking for – the answer as it applies to me. But I would welcome your input as I think this through.