Now that we're a week into this whole series, let's talk about my biggest issue with weight gain. I don't think I've ever shared my real struggle with food here. This series has opened my eyes to the how's and why's of what I'm doing in my life. I really don't mind sharing my struggles here, but admitting that I have an issue with food is difficult for me still. I've always had this problem and it's never going to disappear. I just manage it better now.
My dad jokes with me from time to time about my emotional outlook on life. That's actually putting it pretty nicely. He pretty much tells me when I need to suck it up and get over it....
I'm an emotional girl. I cry....I laugh like crazy....I get crabby.....I can experience a wide range of moods and emotions. I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I try my best to control it. I'm high maintenance and not always easy to put up with.
For a while, I wasn't controlling the emotions in a healthy way. I'm notorious for drowning my sorrows with food. You can pretty much pin the specific points in my life when my life has been an emotional roller coaster: they're the times when I put on the most weight.
In the past, when I have gone through times of stress or depression I would simply stop caring about what I was eating. If it was good and made me feel better temporarily, I ate it. That is a dangerous cycle to get in. I think unhealthy foods are highly addictive to emotional eaters and once you start, it's so very hard to stop.
When I decided it was time for me to be healthier, I had to make a decision to manage my emotions better. I don't try to ignore them or deny that they exist. I find other outlets to deal with them now. I try to communicate more with my husband. I surround myself with good friends that I can admit when I'm struggling and they support me through it. I no longer let myself hide the feelings behind closed doors until I have no will power to resist dealing with them in an unhealthy way.
There are plenty of days that I still struggle. I don't always eat well, but I am so very careful to not fall back into the unhealthy patterns with food. I have also found that some foods are just triggers for me. I cannot open a box of White Cheddar Cheez-Its. I cannot buy chocolate Moose Tracks ice cream. I don't bring Oreos into the house. I've noticed those foods can set off an entire binge cycle for me. I just don't buy them. There are some times I will buy the little tiny bags of Cheez-Its or the six pack of Oreos. I can even eat Moose Tracks every once in a while. I just don't buy larger packages of any of it. If it's there, I will binge on it. And then I'll feel bad about it and then eat some more until it's all gone.
I know I have an unhealthy relationship with junk food and I work hard every day to make better choices. So, there you go....that's my honest, real struggle with food and how ugly it can get. I know so many of you reading this have that exact problem. If you happen to be an emotional eater too, the biggest step is talking to someone supportive about it. Once you can admit there's a problem with it and stop hiding behind the scenes binge eating on junk, you can make progress to break the cycle. You may think you can hide all those late night cookies/chips/candy that you binge on when you think you're all alone, but your body is telling on you. I never thought of it that way when I was right in the middle of stuffing my face in the privacy of my own home. Who was I kidding? All of those Cheez-Its, Oreos, Mocha Frappes, french fries, and everything else were on display for all the world to see.....My body showed every single bit.