As long as I remember, I always had a complicated relationship with food. When I was a kid, I was very picky, and every meal was a battle. I had a small appetite and did not like many things. As I grew up, things got better, my plate gained more diversity, I loved my fruits and veggies. At the age of 19, I turned vegetarian, mostly vegan, and also became independent, leaving the family house. The good thing is that I could finally eat whatever I wanted, control what I was putting in my body (unprocessed organic food, delicious handmade dishes – most of the time).
However, if I could control the healthy food I was eating, I was also controlling all the garbage I was putting in my body if I wanted as well. My mom was not here anymore to check how many cookies I ate or to prevent me to sneak some chocolate.
At that time, I also started to nom my feelings with food, especially sweets.
Chocolate was my kryptonite.
Even if I never had cookies or chocolate at home, every time I was feeling sad, I was just going to the nearby supermarket to buy some food to soothe my feelings. And I was eating it, even if I was not hungry, even if at one point, I was feeling a bit sick of all this sugar, even if I knew it was “bad” and that it wouldn’t solve my problem. I was eating until I finished the whole box of cookies or the whole chocolate bar. I never purged after though.
And then, I was feeling even more shitty. I was feeling guilty about not being strong enough to resist these sugar cravings. I was feeling fat, and ugly and disgusting. I was telling myself words that I wouldn’t even say to my worst enemy. During these crises, my body image and self-confidence were way below zero.
Another trigger for me is boredom.
My sugar cravings tend to pop up at work, in the afternoon, because my job let me deeply bored and unfulfilled.
So the same scheme, I’ll go to the supermarket, buy some shit and eat it in front of my computer. After that, my blood sugar level goes skyrocket and one hour later, I could almost fall asleep at my desk.
If when I was a kid, I was not eating much, now, it’s quite the reverse and I eat like a horse! I will always remember that day in Mexico. I was with 3 male friends and we were at this pizza place. They all ordered the medium pizza, and I took the big one. Not only did I finished mine before them, but I also helped them finish theirs! Since then, I have a reputation to have a strong appetite among my friends. However, sometimes I feel kinda ashamed for what I eat, even if it’s said as a joke, I feel like what I eat is not normal and this feeling of guilt pops up again.
The common point of all these situations is the feelings involved. Sadness. Unfulfillment. Guilt.
Food is a way for me to nom my feelings, to soothe my emotions.
I am not happy, I don’t feel loved, worthy and supported, so I will search comfort and sweetness in my life with chocolate.
It is also a way for me to gain control over my life.
When I feel that I am losing control, I will eat to get that control back. Eating is controlling. When I feel empty inside, I will fill myself with food to escape this void.
I remember this time when the person I was deeply in love with told me we would probably never end up together. A few days later, we were supposed to leave to another town while traveling. It was not a long ride, 2-3 hours maximum, so I could survive without food and eat when we would arrive. But no, I am starving, I said, I NEED to find food. I was on a rush; we were supposed to leave soon. I left to search for food, in the meantime, our shuttle arrived, when I came back, everyone was waiting for me, but I didn’t care, I needed this food, I was so hungry. I go on my seat, take that food that I craved for 30 minutes and… I was not hungry anymore. I quickly realized that this food I was craving was just a band-aid on my broken heart.
Of course, I try to resist these cravings. I tried to drink water, eating something healthy, doing something else. Until now, none of them worked for me. When I want it, it stays in my mind, it’s an obsession. However, except this episode, during my seven-months trip, I never had this kind of craving. Why? Because I was not stressed. I had a goal every day. I was surrounded by kind and inspiring people. I was happy.
Now, I learn to forgive myself.
If those cravings pop up and that I can’t resist, that’s fine, I won’t feel guilty anymore. Also, I realize what is happening, it is not something automatic. I also try to find food that is healthier but still will satisfy my sweet tooth. Recently, grapes worked pretty well. I also try to eat more mindfully, so I am not hungry for hours after my meal. I try to bring more positivity to my life and do things that feed my soul instead of letting me depleted. I try to accept my body the way it is and practice self-love.
I also like challenging myself. This really helps me to integrate some good habits into my daily routine. I did that with tongue-scrapping, drinking warm water with lemon or apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning or yoga. So from today and during one month, my challenge will be to not eat my feelings.
As I recently joined The Healthstyle Emporium and Babes in Business, it seems it is the perfect time for me to get my shit together and heal my relationship with food. As I will start this business and follow the program, it will be a good opportunity for me to try it and I will tell you more about it in a future post! If you need more info, feel free to reach out in the comment section or through Instagram!
See you in a month to check that out!
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, whether it’s anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, binging, food emotionality or any food-related issue, know that you’re not alone. Also, it is very important to talk about it and get some help. Your body is your home, take care of it.