eating your feelings

Food will be the death of me. I’m sure it will raise my cholesterol to the point I have a heart attack from clogged arteries and veins unable to restrict themselves anymore. Food has been my emotional crutch since I was a child. It’s been a complicated relationship that came from always being hungry. Knowing that the only time I was safe was when my father was home and we had big meals, where I gorged myself. Food meant love and comfort.

Knowing where my food issues come from and understanding the reason I turn to food for comfort, does not make it any easier to stop eating. It’s not like drugs or alcohol, where I could simply avoid them. I have to eat to live. And even when you make good choices, there is always the issue of quantity. My adult brain doesn’t understand the concept of ‘enough’ as it was taught at a very young age that you could die from neglect. You ate to live in the future, once everything fell apart.

I am normally a very clean eater. I have chosen healthy food choices once I left home at 17. It’s a lifestyle for me not a fad.  As I learned more, I did better. We eat a heavily plant based diet most of the time and I make mostly from scratch. We have as few processed things as possible in the house; things like condiments or canned tuna and canned beans as a convenience. It was initially a continuation from making my own baby food and the result of a child with a life threatening allergy. Then it became an absolute preference for the taste. My kids don’t like taste of store bought things, finding them too salty, too sugary, too fatty tasting.

What this means, is I we rarely have bad foods in the house and so on the occasion when I am searching for the emotional food fix I have to go out and get it and then prepare it. And when your body is not used to this processed, high calorie, highly refined garbage, the inevitable result is severe and almost immediate gastric distress resulting in hours of pain, nausea, sweating and cramping. You’d think that alone would be enough to enforce the face that you can’t use food as an emotional tool. But I never remember when in the moment of panic and am looking for the comfort food.

Last night, as I folded the 3rd slice of thin crust together; with the ham, bacon and onion snuggled together in a flavor festival of oregano and tomato sauce, with grease dripping from the melted gooey cheese, rolling my eyes back in my head as my mouth salivated, my life became perfect. The world was right again and nothing could be as bad as it was before this moment.  But I forgot what it was that I was really eating. It was not a slice of heaven that many people simply call ‘pizza’, touched by the divine hands of angels at all. Last night for dinner, I ate regret.

Today my internal organs have atrophied and begun the process of shutting down. It’s either that or an alien has impregnated me as I slept and I’ll give birth to a full term baby anytime now. Having taken a statistics course in University 20 years ago, I am making an educated assumption that the first choice is more probable. Marginally.

Yes, I was a bad girl. No, I shouldn’t have eaten that. Yes, I understand food is not comfort. No, it didn’t help. Yes, I’ll do it again. No, it won’t be tomorrow, maybe not even next week or next month. It probably won’t be anytime soon. I’ll be back on track again after I finish my fried chicken and biscuits I made for breakfast. And take  the cheesecake sitting on the counter down to the Seniors center. Once the banana bread comes out of the oven and cools off enough to butter, I’ll slice it up and take it to the road crew that have been working on a culvert the last few days just down from my house.

They’ll love me of course. Probably even think I am some perfect example of how a woman should perform her man care duties. I’ll be a legend at the Ministry of Transportation, known as that “Banana bread making woman with the big boobs wearing a tiny sundress, down by the lake.” My guess is I’ll never have to worry about road maintenance ever again after today. I’ll do it right after I deliver the alien baby.

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8 Responses to eating your feelings

  1. acquiescent72 says:

    Interesting read for sure. I’ve always been the kind of uninformed person that felt that eating disorders were “always in the head”, and not to take away from that, but it is oversimplified for sure. And then I encountered my own: I’m a smart ass, and my words fly like no one’s business, so I noticed that I don’t talk when I eat…
    …and based on the scale this morning, it’s been a LONG effing time since I last spoke! 😉

    • rougedmount says:

      eating and emotions can become intertwined…it’s not like a broken bone which has an obvious break date and a heal date or like skin which has been stitched together. I think many times issues are like mental bruises that others can;t see.

  2. kdaddy23 says:

    Even I do this at times but never to excess because even as much as I love food, there’s only so much room in my stomach. I don’t get all into that “healthy eating” thing and there are some things I just won’t eat because they’re seriously not healthy for me even though I’m taking medication that keeps my cholesterol at a healthy level. I eat like food will be declared illegal any moment now and more so when I feel down in the dumps which, to me, is way better than using alcohol or drugs when I’m feeling like that; my favorite “mood food” is New England clam chowder, not just because it tastes good but it makes me feel good.

    I figured that if food is going to be the death of me, I can think of worst ways to go out… and a huge sushi platter or two would make me damned happy…

  3. Marty says:

    There is something so intensely internally satisfying doing what you know is inherently bad for you, and that you will pay for it. Enjoy the moment. See you down by the lake.

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