Sunday, July 11, 2010

Control

Before I forget.... Audrey, where are you? I hope you are on vacation because I haven't "seen" you in a while.

This has been a really hard week, both bad and good. Sorry this might become a long winded post. First off, I have to say, I love every single post this week. Did anyone else notice a common theme to these posts?! Each one talked about being in control. What a great concept we are all trying to learn. So inspiring and thanks for sharing your insights with all of us. I have loved this last weeks posts because it has finally made me figure out why my eating has been so out of control over the past many years.

I have been on an emotion roller coaster this week. I feel like I've hit rock bottom sadness, and then in the same moment, I feel like it's Christmas. When you are in the "diet" industry you always here that you need to figure out why you are eating the way you are or you will continue to yo yo. What are your emotional reasons? Lucky for us, we are not on a "diet" so to speak, but more of a healthy lifestyle change. But I feel like the same thing applies. We have to dig deep, into the emotions hidden in our mind, to figure out why we created this relationship with food. Otherwise, we go back to old eating habits. For many years, I have been trying to figure it out and this week, I got it. Reading your posts, and especially the comments to my last post, I finally got it. That's where the emotions of Christmas came into play. I was on a high. I was so excited that I figured it out, and now I can move forward and work on healing those emotions. I want to share it with you. Only because this blog has created a strong "sisterhood" between us. I love each and everyone of you. I feel like I know most of you on a deeper level, even though we have never meet.

When I was 13 my parents divorced. It was devastating. My dad was never around. We weren't close, but it's not because I didn't want to be. He had a lot of women in his life who had girls my age. He was best friends with these girls and became the dad figure in their life. But, for me, he wasn't ever there. My mom was my best friend. The solid rock in my life. I would give up hanging out with friends because I clung to her. I didn't want her to leave me too. As time wore on, my mom meet other men. All of them told her our relationship was wrong. That she should not be the friend in my life, but only a mother figure. My parents went through a custody battle. It was a mess. My relationship with food began at that moment. I would go for days starving myself only in hopes to gain my parents attention. Then I would be so hungry I would go on a binging rampage only to make myself throw it all up.

Then I meet my husband. I was 16 and he was getting ready to go on a mission. He filled that need of acceptance, and my eating habits slowed down. But, I wasn't LDS, so I knew our relationship would soon be coming to an end. I was young, he was leaving, and we had only dated for five months. What would be the chance that we would get married :)

He left on his mission, and I had a friend who started introducing me to the church. When I was finally baptized, it was one of the greatest moments of my life, but it was also one of the hardest. Most of my friends were not LDS, and I lost a lot of friends. A lot of people were really disappointed in me. While I knew I had made the right decision, and I was on a complete spiritual high, I began to dive into food, to ease the stress of the lose of many friendships.

My husband came home from his mission and we got married. My eating became in control once again. But, I feared the day when we had children. I always wanted to be a mother. From when I was a tiny girl, I knew that's what I wanted to do with my life. But, after my parents divorced, I was terrified. What if I messed things up just like they did? (Now realize, that my mom is still my best friend. As I became a mother, things finally came into perspective of why she made certain choices. We are closer now than we ever were before so this is not intended to make her look bad). When I had my daughter, I again began my emotional eating rampage. I put such high expectations on myself. I still do. When things didn't go the way I thought they should I ate. (as a mother, you come to realize that most days don't go the way they are planned) If I wasn't being the perfect mother for them, I ate. If I was frazzled and frustrated by the end of the day, I ate. If my daughter and I had a battle over how much TV she should watch and she runs into her room crying because her mom is the meanest mom ever, I ate. If I had to put my children in timeout and there screaming and yelling at me for how horrible I am, I ate. See the pattern? I was out of control.

Then Marci introduced me to this challenge. The postings and comments have inspired me. I finally felt like I could gain control. Then this past week, I had a few things happen with friendships, that put me right back on that emotional roller coaster. It wasn't until that moment, and the postings of this week, I realized what my emotional eating comes from. Since my parents divorced, I have always looked for acceptance. Beginning with my own father and still continuing to the relationship with my own children. Food was the only thing I had control over. I didn't want to feel the emotions of what I thought was rejection. Even though it is only a moment, that food makes me feel so much better. Food, never rejected me. It called to me, and soothed every emotion I had. I have trained myself to lean on it. It has taken the form of a person and become my best friend. It is the only thing that can't reject me. At least that is what I was lead to believe? Is there a pattern in this? I loved Cammy's comment on my last post about praying about it and here is why it is so powerful on a spiritual level. Satan finds those things that are most tempting and digs deep into our soul until we give in. He has made me think that food can be my best friend. He has made me feel like I am a failure in every aspect of my life, and binging on food is the only way to feel accepted. Powerful? It is to me. I now feel like I can take control, work through the emotions that started when I was 13, and break the relationship with food.

So, here's the bottom line, why am I sharing these very personal thoughts with you? Because I feel inspired, that's all. I think we all need to take a moment and really reflect on our relationship with food. Think about why we use food to comfort us. When you want to eat and eat and eat, what situation are you in to trigger that? I know some of us here have a deep relationship with food while others overeat because it's just plain yummy. Whatever the reason may be, we need to figure it out so we can kick it to the curb. I feel like I am on a Christmas high. I feel like I can finally get control, now that I know why I have this relationship with food. I can begin to recognize those trigger moments. I am excited to take this challenge head on.

11 comments:

  1. Wow. Just wow.

    Thank you for sharing something so personal, and deeply emotional. That's just so sad to have difficult relationships with one or both parents. It really messes with your head when you are growing up. It can take a lot of years to gain some perspective and start changing how we feel and how we want to deal with those relationships.

    It's wonderful to see you, and others, ...okay, all of us, start working through emotional issues. I think the more we clean house inside of ourselves, the more successful we can be in all aspects of our lives.

    It can take a lot of bravery to start those processes, to leave our comfort zones, even when those zones are making us unhappy.

    Thank you for such a beautiful post. Warm hugs to you.
    Love, Becky A.

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  2. Alicia,

    As one of the few non-LDS Christians here, I am sad to know that some friends turned away from you because of your faith. On the other hand, I am so glad that your faith is such a rock for you and that it inspires you to walk with Him as you do battle with your demons. Bookmark this lovely post and come back to it when you need inspiration again!

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  3. Wow, Alicia, I am sitting here at my computer weeping - both out of sorrow for your struggles, and out of joy for your new realizations. Food is a powerful thing. It does seem ironic that the very thing we need to fuel our God-given bodies can also become a crutch and a weakness in our hardest times.

    I know I speak for every single one of us when I say that you are absolutely accepted and adored by this group.

    That was very brave of you to share such deep personal thougths with us and I feel strengthened by your doing so.

    Thanks so much!

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  4. Alicia, you are amazing. I admire you so much, and I hope you know that I think the world of you. What a wonderful feeling it must be to finally figure out the driving force behind your relationship with food. I think Satan has a good strategy there, especially since food is something we can't live without. I think about how easy it is to live without drugs, or alcohol, but food? We can't run from food. I am so grateful we all have each other. This road of discovery has so many twists and turns, doesn't it? Good thing we have such good company along the way. Love you Alicia.

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  5. Thank you so much for this post!

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  6. I really understood what you were saying about food not rejecting you. Or food being your best friend. I feel similarly. My parents didn't divorce but my dad died when I was 6 and my step dad (who was the only dad I knew) died when I was 17. I felt lonely and abandoned even though I had dozens of friends and a very supportive siblings at the time.

    I just turned to food. Simple as that. Now that I'm beginning to be more aware I've found myself unveiling the lie that food is my only source of comfort and start to turn to more fulfilling solutions to my abandonment issues.

    To be honest, for me, it's been a spiritual path. Almost a maturing of my spirit. My good days always start with sincere prayer, meaningful scripture study, and at least a paragraph of meditative journal writing. With this as my foundation I really do recognize that food is not the solution when troubles arise. I'm able to keep perspective. When I neglect these things over time, I lose my balance and I try to escape via mindless eating.

    I know I'm writing a lot. I loved this post and I adore you! I've really learned a lot from your posts. You've really helped me in my progress. Thanks again for just being you!

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  8. Alicia, today I taught a lesson in RS on the Atonement and I just want to remind you that the Savior knows your sorrows and pain as he has taken them on himself, you are not alone and he will never reject you.

    I know it took a lot of courage to share these very personal thoughts, emotions and challenges with us. I'm humbled and honored by all that you've shared with us today.

    Everyone on this blog has a story and their stories and life experiences are ones of joy and ones of sorrow too. How wonderful that we can become friends, on this extraordinary blog that Audrey has created, and support and encourage each other. This blog is not just about eating healthy or losing weight but also about becoming mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy. Hey it's a lot cheaper than a therapist.

    Alicia I bet you are a wonderful, wonderful mother. You probably make some mistakes but all mothers do. My kids love to remind of my worst mothering moments like the time my oldest son had to lock himself in the bathroom as I was threatening to spank him with a hot wheels track. That was definitely not one of my finer mothering moments and it's painful to me when he jokingly brings it up. I adore and love my children/in-law children and I want more than anything for their lives to be wonderful and for all to be happy. Despite my best efforts I continue to still make mothering mistakes. I say the wrong thing, or do the wrong thing and hurt those I love most. I just hope that all my kiddos will overlook my faults and forgive me because I'm still a work in progress as are they.

    I think you are amazing Alicia and I look forward to the day that I get to meet you in person, how about July 29th in the evening somewhere in the greater SLC area?

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  9. Queen Vee, I would absolutely love to get together. There are a few of us in Salt Lake: Cammy, Jennifer, Jill. Let's arrange something so we can all meet.

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  10. Alicia,

    I love this post and I love you! I feel like I have grown so much spiritually and mentally over the past 6 weeks thanks to honest and open posts like this one. Thank you.

    Queen Vee, Thank you also for the wisdom and insight you bring to this group. Your comment makes me want to call my Mom or send her a card (perhaps I will).

    Oh, and I love the idea of getting together:-)

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