This might be the saddest, reflective, post about being an emotional overeater that I’ve ever written.
This was a typical day, all too often, some ten years ago and for about 35 years before that. There will always be down days. We’re human after all.
But what happens for the emotional overeater on these rare occasions can bring despair, misery, and feelings of failure?
Those feelings are all too familiar. It’s a cycle of hope and faith, then in the blink of an eye, it can turn to indulgence and despair. It’s the worst kind of self-loathing imaginable.
All those expectations. This diet will be different. I’m feeling positive and have renewed strength. Now is my time. My time to finally be the size I’m meant to be. To be able to enjoy any food. To succeed.
I’m going to the gym. I’m shopping for salad. I’ve having a skinny latte. Life is a breeze. And I’m losing weight. It’s working.
What happens on down days?
The days when seemingly out of nowhere, I’m tired, irritable, idle perhaps, feel apathy, confusion, questioning my life and all its facets. Am I fulfilled at work, in love, with my friends, as I play?
Is THIS it? Is this ALL there is? It’s so hard!
Or there’s a trigger. An unexpected bill arrives when I’ve planned to save. The car breaks down on the way to an important meeting. I try on a gorgeous-looking dress for a party, only to find I look like a sack of potatoes. I don’t get the job I’ve interviewed for. I have an annoying cough that’s kept me awake most of the night.
It feels like the magic carpet has been pulled out from under my feet. Suddenly, the gym is the last place I want to be. I resign myself to whatever I must do to get through this challenge. But there’s something I can do for a while that will soothe the pain.
I am unlikely to be able to avoid most of the things that are detrimental to my health, especially at this moment. It might be alcohol, sugar in its many forms, white bread, or cheese. But it depends on what’s around.
I’ll find something. Lots of it. And it’s usually not something I know to be good for me. I may even make a significant effort to get something in particular. I could go out in the rain, in the car, or in the middle of the night. I have to have it, you see. There’s no other option.
More often than not, I’ll convince myself that this something is okay. Maybe I’ll call it a treat, a rare occasion, a ‘need.’ But one thing is for sure, in the heat of the moment, it won’t be mindful or intuitive eating.
I may even eat it before I actually taste it.
Which will mean I want more, and then a bit more until it’s all gone. Including the extra I planned to keep for the weekend. There is a buzz, a rebellion in there most times.
Maybe I’ll sleep better for it, this soothing of my ‘moment.’ But at some point, I’ll start to feel some guilt, shame, failing. I’ll question my worth, my ability, and my purpose. Sometimes I can quickly draw a line under the ‘episode’ by promising another abstaining fast, diet or extreme exercise regime to make-up for the binge.
It’s how I get through. I’m so desperate. My poor body. It doesn’t deserve this. But I feel trapped. Stuck in the cycle. And it sucks. I hate this. I want so much to change.
Why can’t I just STOP?
Oh well, tomorrow is another day. I’ll rein it in, eat fruit all day, just drink water, and get to the gym.
The turning point was recognising that I had an eating disorder. Then I was able to move forward and start to heal, from the inside. That is why I wrote this post. So that maybe you can recognise these helpless patterns in yourself.
It took another decade to be free of this turmoil entirely. When I had, I wrote a book titled, BodyMAGIC! – A Blissful End to Emotional Eating.
You will be encouraged to look at WHY you overeat. And in doing so, you will change everything about the life you DON’T like. You will fall in love with yourself, every aspect, and the real YOU, a beautiful, tender soul with so much potential for health, healing, and happiness.
You can get started today by learning BodyMAGIC! Secrets, a short video series explaining the facts and offering you a real hope and joy towards your own BodyMAGIC!