My relationship between weight & emotions — I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while, but haven’t taken the time (or been brave enough?) to put it on paper. Maybe I’ve just been reluctant to back myself into a corner, because putting it out there into words makes it more real and thus less able to be denied.
The pattern is clear, really:
May 03 – Bobby & I married. I was at my optimal weight.
Aug 04 – Mama was diagnosed with breast cancer. I began gaining what would become 25 lbs.
Oct 05 – The cancer scare was over, I settled into a stable job. Joined WeightWatchers & loved it.
Apr 06 – Hit goal weight.
Nov 06 – Mama was rediagnosed with breast cancer. Reenter weight gain.
It’s now been 2.5 yrs since the rediagnosis, and I’m no longer gaining weight; however, I’m now maintaining 40 lbs over my wedding weight.
I’ve rejoined WeightWatchers. Twice. I’ve quit WeightWatchers. Twice. I joined the local YMCA, and am quite impressed with the facility, yet I’ve only been three times. Three times in three months. I’ve caved in to infomercials, bought wellness books, and “committed” myself to fitness plans. Ha.
Until a week or so ago, I’ve berated myself constantly about my weight. Told myself that I was ugly, mocked myself in the mirror, called myself all sorts of ugly names for not getting this thing under control. The self-flagellation used to work… I used to actually respond to the self-goading and taunting. Now, not so much.
As a child, our family interaction always revolved around food. Visits with friends revolve around food. My mother thought that she had failed you and herself if you didn’t have seconds. We had a “Clean Plate Club” in our house, of which we would strive during each meal to become members. My grandmother is an unbelievable cook — think Cracker Barrel meets that tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant that your grandpa always went to — and she actually bases much of her self-worth on the praise that her cooking receives. In our family, the women cook well, they keep clean houses, and they have babies easily. My batting average isn’t so good at this point, but that’s a whole other story.
It’s all tied up together — the eating, the family, the emotions. Food comforts me, like really, actually provides solace. The methodology of food preparation, the taste, the smell, the associations that come with each bite…. it has nothing to do with hunger and everything to do with emotions.
I feel like I’m separated from my healthy self by a impenetrable wall of sadness, self-consciousness, depression, and futility. I came across this nifty little self-diagnosis tool while reading about the new (completely unattainable) fabulousness that is P90x:
Um, excuse me, I don’t see an “all of the above”? So yes, I, Sarah, am an emotional (over)eater. Ok. Now what do I do about it?