No one ever teaches you how to overcome your stresses in life. Everyone has stress and everyone deals with it in different ways, mine has always been to eat my pain away. No matter what my pain was, work stress, relationship stress, kid stress; there was always a cookie or a cake (I’m a sweet tooth remember) that could temporarily take that pain away. But what happens when the pain is masked by more than one cookie? What if it hides behind a mask of several cookies or half a pint of ice cream or half a box of fibre cereal; not a good feeling afterward, let me tell you. What do you do then? The cycle of over eating, bingeing if you will; in any given setting, and then feeling guilty and self loathing about it, are the coping mechanisms of many women out there. Whether masked in cookie dough ice cream or 5 cups of almonds, a binge is a binge! The saddest part of all, is that whenever we do this we 1. Hurt no one but ourselves and 2. Think we are the ones dealing with life this way and feel alone and misunderstood.
If you think you are the only one, you and I are sadly mistaken because over the past several months, I have met and spoken to an abundance of fabulous women (successful family and career women) whom have coped with their feelings this exact way. The overstuffed feeling you get when you indulge in ten too many almonds; or the sweaty nightmares that haunt you after a night of two bowls of cereal with milk and then a full bag of pretzels, popcorn or whatever else it is your mind desires. The sneaky way your hand grips the fridge door ever so quietly not to wake the others from their slumber so that you can dive into the two or three tubs of yogurt. That crazy, horrible feeling of being lonely and all alone in your food coma and guilty, self mutilating thoughts.
Only you aren’t! There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of women and men just like you. Women who take to food instead of the bottle because it is a safer option, or is it? Is food not the modern-day drug of choice? Are the emotions that we attach to food not the reason there is such a huge obesity epidemic? We feel so ashamed about the binge, it has become somewhat of a taboo to even speak of it, but if more people speak, raise their voices, come together then maybe we can help one another instead of being ashamed. Or maybe facing our fears head on instead of numbing it with food, no matter how daunting that may sound, would help break us free of this food barrier we have created for ourselves.
Is there an exact science or ahha moment to the cyclical trauma we case upon ourselves? Nope! Not one that I know of anyway. There has to be a way however to break free of the food cuffs that we place upon ourselves every time we reach for that extra helping of whatever it is our brain craves but our tummy’s don’t. Stop being afraid and reach out! Reach out to me, reach out to each other but whatever you do, don’t feed your pain. I’m here, listening.
Live from the Inside out,