Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 55- Food is the consoltation prize

From 100 Days of Weight Loss by Linda Spangle-

The more I read this book the more I think how people who are struggling with their weight need to read this section about emotional eating for themselves.  It gets down to the root of the problem.  There is a link between food and your emotions. 

For me it started with my family life growing up in a big Filipino family where food is an important part of my culture and heritage.  Food is a way for my mom and dad to express their love to me and my siblings. They would make for us our favorite dishes- Adobo, puncit, lumpia, fried garlic rice, pinkabet, lechon and babingka.  Encouraged us to try everything and to clean our plates because in the Philippines when my parents lived there food was scarce.  And when I was not feeling well no matter if it was a real sickness or not mom was always there with food.  There was always the greeting when you came home- "What you want to eat?; Did you get enough?, Eat, eat, eat now!" So I ate and ate all the time whether I was hungry or not. Just to please my parents and my grandmother. I associated food with comfort, praise and belonging. 

So when I went away to college and chose a place that was 7-8 hour drive. Food became my comfort away from home since I was very close to my family and my boyfriend.  I was homesick. As Spangle states in her book, "Food becomes the consolation prize. It is better than nothing, but not even close to what you really wanted- to be loved, appreciated or comforted." College was stressful at times so food became a way that I dealt with stress. I remember one time going to Moonstone beach with the Pepperwood gals (Yup, Mo was there! We were roommates and since we were both education majors we were joined at the hip that first semester.) and eating my pint of Ben and Jerry ice cream on a big boulder overlooking the ocean. I was trying to drown my stress with food instead of dealing with it some other way.

I ate to get comfort and I ate to relieve stress.  It got worse when I left for the working world of teaching.  My first 3 years teaching in the classroom were the hardest 3 years of my life! I ballooned up to 190 pounds!
I could go on and on with this, but now my view on food has changed. Food doesn't meet my needs. It had become the way I deal with stress and it had become a bad habit to want to get comfort from the emotional hardship. 

I don't want the consolation prize!
I want the real prize!
I want to win!
In order to win I must-
Address my needs in some other way
and don't let food take care of it.



Mer and Mo said...

I know what you mean - comfort in the food. I am paying attention more to my body and finding that I can find other things beside food to help with my stress and give me comfort, too. Food was my friend during much of my married life(especially the divorce) - oh, the stories I could tell. And hey - that college thing, don't they say there is almost always the Freshman "15" (LOL)

We are doing it now, finding other prizes - to be the winner in this new journey - we will both hit that finish line!!!


Mer and Mo said...

Mo- We hope that you do tell those stories about food. It would help me and others know that we are no different. That we all have our journey and our own experiences that makes us who we are. This journey is about acknowledging the struggles that we have been through, the breakthoughs, and us blossoming together as stronger people. So share away, my friend.