A lot of my life I have had a love/hate relationship with food. I love that it tastes so good and hate that the things I like to eat have too many calories. I can also be compulsive about eating. If I bring snacks in the house and open them I can’t stop eating until it is gone. Having just one piece isn’t enough. Being at a buffet, like the one in the picture is the worse thing for me. I want to taste a little of everything, mindless eating sets in and when all is said and done I have eaten too much. On the other side of the coin when ever I have gone on a “diet” or tried to adopt an new eating plan I get compulsive about following it exactly and have a hard time stopping when I reach my weight loss goal because I am afraid I will gain it all back.
There is another thing that happens for a lot of women around weight that also happens with me. When I have been at my thinnest and looking my best, my personal space becomes smaller, especially with men. It’s as though men lose their boundaries with attractive women and they get right up next to them to talk. They are more forward and flirty. Not that is a bad thing but when every guy that comes near you does it, it feels intrusive. I don’t know about you but I don’t want every Tom, Dick and Harry flirting with me.
There is an unconscious knowing in women that this will happen, so we use our weight as a form of protection. If we are bigger and less attractive men won’t get up in our faces. In fact they will give us tons of space or not even notice us. Using weight as a form of protection is particularly true with women who have been abused, especially sexually. If a woman has low self esteem and hasn’t embrace her own beauty she will do everything to hide it. She feels unattractive anyway because of her past and the social programing around beauty doesn’t make her feel any better.
When I was young I was the only girl in a family with 3 brothers. They told me constantly that I was ” dumb, fat and ugly” and it was even scratch all over the wallpaper in the hallway that went to my bedroom. It was like a subliminal message to my mind every time I walked past it to get to my room. My parents just left it there so I thought they must believe it too. I wasn’t fat. I was probably 5 foot 2 inches at the time and weighed about 110 pounds, but I believed I was fat. I wasn’t dumb nor was I ugly but I believed that too. To this day I still have a skewed perspective on how I look.
When it comes to eating I still have some unconscious voices whispering in my ear. I am very aware of the old programing and how it impacts me but sometimes I slip into old habits.
The second week of my fitness program with Andrea she had me write down everything that I was eating everyday. Right away my inner conflict around food kicked in and those old voices, like “I better not eat this” “what will Andrea think about this if I eat it”, ” what is going to happen if I eat this”, “maybe I shouldn’t eat anything”. I eat a lot healthier than many American’s but I was still concerned it wouldn’t be okay.
When I met with Andrea she made some changes and made a suggestion for how I should eat. My compulsion was off to the races! I wouldn’t let myself deviate from the plan at all, even if I was still hungry. I am not a structured eater and usually eat when I get hungry so the structure was hard. I lost 5 pounds which was awesome but this wasn’t a way of eating that I wanted to stick to for the rest of my life. I am back to a more balanced way of eating that is a combination of both.
You have heard the saying ” you are what you eat”, haven’t you? I wonder how many people have thought ” If I eat this I will end up like a fat pig or a fat cow” after eating pork or beef? I think that is a stupid cliche in a way. It is time to say goodbye to old programming. It is time to give our bodies what they need to run efficiently and keep us strong and healthy. If we ran that program I bet we would be eating in a whole new way.
The point here is that we need to embrace and love all of us, the wonderful and the not so wonderful and tell ourselves we are beautiful just as we are right now. Thoughts become things. They can make us over eat, they can make us feel bad about ourselves and they can make us believe things that aren’t even true. We need to give our self new thoughts to think and drop the chatter that is negative and if we believe we are beautiful right now, because we are and our true beauty will emerge even more.