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Food or Emotions

Food or Emotions

Does food control you?

 

Image from solvingnutrition.com

Image from solvingnutrition.com

Many people look at food as more then a source of nourishment. By most, it’s looked at as a means to bring people together, to cope with circumstances, to fill gaps, to celebrate, as well as many other emotional connections, all unrelated to physical need. Most of the time, in the end, it ends up being more of an emotional connection, rather then a physical demand. Do we eat what we need to or what we want to? Can it be both? I think that it can be both but, in most circumstances it ends up being an emotional trigger rather then a physical necessity.

Food can do so many things for people. It can actually dictate how a person can or will feel. It tends to feed a need in people other then physical nourishment. I haven’t done the research as to all of the physiological ramifications that food does to one, so all I can tell you is what I have gathered throughout my years on this earth. I have been witnessed to and have administered a great amount of love with food. Am I sending the wrong message? Food equaling love. Perhaps, but that is what I know. That is a way that I can show love, hope and help to another, by a means that I have.

I do find it interesting how people use food as an excuse, as a means of justifying their actions due to their circumstances.  Food or Emotions?  It would be easy for me to tell them to just use self control, but I know better then that, and I know it’s not that easy. Conquering all the fruits of the spirit never is that easy for anyone. Everyone is made up differently and everyone has different triggers and demons they are fighting through. What now? Fight the good fight! Try to hold strong to what your goals are and if you fall off the wagon, when your ready, get back on. No ridicule here. Life is hard enough without other people ripping you down and remember God is good.

My family, when I was growing up, was no different then a lot of families. We had many food centered family get togethers. Some of my greatest childhood memories have to do with food and people. To this day I can’t for the life of me figure out the importance of having to eat while fellowshipping together. Yes, I also understand that Jesus did that with his disciples in the last supper meal and God has called us to do this as well for the passover celebration and many others, but I still do not know how food brings people together. I do know that there has to be a connection. For this purpose, food must trigger security, love and peace among many other emotions connecting you to Christ and to a warm memory. Not very scientific, but I’m not a scientist. As I have gotten older though, it seems to have become “the thing to do together”. For me that gets difficult because of my food phobia, otherwise known as my eating disorders I have suffered with for most of my life.  Food or Emotion?  Food used to be my emotional connection for everything. My most reliant friend. Not today though. I would venture to say that today, food is my most despised enemy.

I however, do not look at food the way most others do personally. I have battled with food all of my life, but when I was in tenth grade it began to get worse. Much, much worse. It become and still is a force of anxiety for me. A sort of nemesis. I can honestly say, I hate food. If I had the choice to eat, yes I know I have the choice to not eat, starve, and die, but I’m talking about a choice to not eat and still survive, still thrive. I would choose not to eat. The back story… it had to come from somewhere. Yes, I would say that I was a fat kid. Ok, over weight when I was young. Like a lot of kid’s back then, I did not care about my weight and what I looked like. I just wanted to run around and play outside with my friends. As time went on and I was in junior high, my mom started offering me incentives to lose weight. No I wasn’t that over weight, but I was not the picture of awesomeness either. In addition to my mom offering me incentives, I started high school which meant going into tenth grade. Yay! Not really. I fell into the very wrong crowd, and that’s where it all really clicked. Negatively! Somewhere in this process I correlated weight with worth. Big Mistake! Running the gambit of anorexia, to bulimia, to eating all fat free foods, to popping pills (relax, it was diet pills, not heavy drugs), to going on stupid fad diets, and then back to eating everything in sight that I wanted. My friends weren’t that much different then me and some even worse. Eating was not the focus on most days, drinking was. We got most of our caloric intake from the alcoholic beverages that we sucked down. Those drink’s were very high on the calorie scale. What a perpetual cycle of destruction. Yes, there were times when the scale reached a number that could have equaled trouble for me, but somehow I made it through. I wish I could say today that I have mastered healthy eating, or that I am able to eat normally, having a healthy body image, but I haven’t and I don’t. That source of anxiety is still very strong today. I understand that it’s all metal and I also understand that I could mind over matter it, but I have not mastered that yet. I hate going out to eat because there are to many variables, too many choices, and those choices the vast majority of time, are crap. I fight it day in and day out making myself eat what I know I need to in order to be healthy for myself, but most of all for breastfeeding. I’m not someone who doesn’t eat or throws up her food anymore, that was well over a decade ago. I eat! I’m just saying I struggle with finding the right balance. Let’s just say that my body image is not my best side. I’m trying to change that, though. Time, maybe in time.

Mandy

One Comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I have worked with eating disorders for the last 4 years. In the clinic I was in we had 600 therapists all working full time with eating disorders. People don’t have to throw up, or not eat to have an eating disorder. An eating disorder is a disease, a way of thinking about your body and food. Some people purge calories by exercise and then we praise them for their health and thinness yet they are slowly dying inside. An alcoholic can be dry for many years and still have an alcoholics thinking. Same is true for eating disorders, people can have disordered thoughts about food. It’s an addiction, one of which I am specialized in, and just like any addiction it takes time , support and people who understand them to overcome and be victorious over them.

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