Today I ate a cheeseburger, and I can’t stop staring in the mirror. I know it’s not possible to physically see a weight gain right after eating something bad, but once I finish the meal, I start picking a part my body. My face is so full (fyi…it’s always been); my arms are too big; my hips are so wide. It’s like I’m going through a plastic surgery consultation in my head. The only thing I’m missing is a sharpie.
You wouldn’t think a cheeseburger could cause such havoc. After all, it’s just a cheeseburger. Yet it’s so much more than that. When I’m having a rough day, an intense anxiety surge, or going through a loss, I turn to food. Rather than staying in the moment and feeling those emotions, I eat.
There’s something about filling up my stomach that I associate with happiness and comfort. It just feels good. It’s eating something you know you shouldn’t; something bad for you; a small act of rebellion against your current emotions. Fuck you sadness; this makes me smile! I’m an adult and do what I want!
Fast forward to an hour later, and it’s a different story….
Why did I eat that?
I feel so bloated….UGH….
What was I thinking?!
Yet I do it….EVERY TIME. You would think I would know how this ends by now. Always with me in the mirror, feeling like there is something wrong with me. Food is my alcohol, my heroin, name an addicting drug…and that’s what food is to me. The cycle is absolutely maddening.
I really don’t know why I chose food as my comfort, where others choose alcohol, cigarettes, and shopping…just to name a few. I’m not really sure what it is. Perhaps because there’s so many different kinds. After all….after one kind of a tequila…is there really a difference to another? Does German tequila taste differently than Mexican tequila? Is there even a German tequila? Someone please let me know. I can tell you though that once I have German food; I know I’ll want to try Mexican. It’s all just so delicious and unique. Schnitzel for lunch….burrito for dinner please.
I come from a large and loud Italian household, and EVERYTHING is centered around food. Holidays, celebrations or routine family events, the most important aspect is the food.
[Quick note….Never show up to an Italian’s home full. The first thing anyone tries to do is feed you. I think there’s something in the DNA of Italian women that automatically makes us cook for 20 people even if we only have 6 people coming over. Then we complain that there is so much extra and require you to take left overs home.]
Every feel good moment of your child hood is centered around food. If you are sad, you’re blood sugar was low. I still don’t know how that one works…but in our house if you were sad, you had a butter cookie. If my grandfather saw me cry, I got a cookie. If I was angry…give the kid a cookie. Perhaps I never actually chose what my vice was but it was thrust upon me…like greatness.
I’m constantly working on trying to get over this drug of choice, and it’s not an easy process. There are times when I can’t think of healthy modes of comfort. Staying in the emotion and finding a way to push it aside is still far out of my grasp. I’m not always in an environment when I can find another way to cope with my emotions such as at work. I can’t just take time out of my day to try and meditate or color in my office. Part of me would love to see my partners’ faces if they come upon me in my office with a coloring book though so maybe I need to try that. It can’t be an adult coloring book, may be Lisa Frank or Barbie. I feel like that would be appropriate. Plus, then I could hang it on one of their walls, and who wouldn’t love that. Haha.
Do you have a healthy way of dealing with stress or negative emotions? How do you cope when they pop up in awkward locations? You eat a cheeseburger…preferably with bacon.