Many of my clients are highly successful professionally.
They earn awards, promotions and coveted projects.
They tell me that all they can think about as they receive their recognition
is how fat they are.
They also tell me that they think
that everyone else is thinking about how fat they are.
I know what they’re talking about.
I have a bunch of university degrees.
In almost every one, I was top of the class.
Tons of award ceremonies and graduations.
Every time, all I could think about on the way up to the stage
was how fat I looked.
Studying was easy for me.
Dieting was hard.
Staying thin after my diet was even harder.
I never connected my underlying sense of aloneness
(although outwardly I seemed so self-sufficient)
of feeling slightly different
(although outwardly I fit in so well),
of feeling disconnected
(although outwardly I seemed so in touch with myself,
of feeling deeply lonely
(although outwardly I had tons of friends).
The women in my family struggled with the same problem
so they couldn’t help me
or even articulate the struggle.
We just talked about it as our eternal struggle to get and stay thin.
My friends were all thin
and I could never understand how this could be
as we all ate about the same when we were together.
Now I understand.
They had other ways to ease their pain.
My secret and shameful solitary eating was mine.
Even as a teen,
reaching for food to numb this unnamed sense of aloneness
(which could never be named as long as I was using food to numb it)
had become so habitual that I never connected the two.
Food had become my medicator
for all painful emotions.
In adulthood, I also became addicted to personal growth.
I took every course, read every book,
and became more and more insightful and knowledgable about the connection between my mind, my soul and my body.
continued secret and shameful eating.
Often straight after a particularly enlightening lecture or blissful yoga class.
I was mystified about this.
Why, when I was feeling so connected, did I still medicate with food?
Now I understand why.
My addiction to the act of eating to avoid feeling terrible
had prevented me from the experience of feeling wonderful.
If you think of your emotions as a continuum, from most positive to most negative, it’s easy to understand why –
As far along the negative side I cut off
That’s how far I was unable to feel on the positive side.
So when I approached a really positive emotion
it was scary for me
so I turned to my addictive behaviour: solo bingeing.
While I was engaging in this agonizing dance with myself
the answers continued to elude me
despite all my efforts to heal myself.
It was only when I finally, recently, recognized that my emotional eating was an addiction that I could see my story with some clarity.
So that, dear readers, is the first step to recovery from addiction.
When I first introduced this idea of emotional eating as it’s own addiction, I told you that the first step is to stop.
My husband correctly reminded me that that’s only possible after you recognize that you are an addict.
Then you stop.
Only when you stop, do you get access to the ‘why’.
Why can’t I stop eating?
Why did I gain all my weight back?
Why did I eat that when I didn’t even enjoy it?
Why can’t I just eat one slice?
Why can’t I stop thinking about my weight, what I just ate, what I’m going to eat?
Why can’t I just enjoy that ice cream cone?
If you are ready to do this
you should really join me and my fellow addicts
as we cleanse and discover together.
This may apply to you even if you’re thin.
I have clients who are and have always been thin.
Yet they have the same struggles with their thinking about food as I do.
I’m especially excited because this cleanse class will be taught on the phone and in our private online forum.
When we’re starting to explore this scary side of our weight problems,
It’s so much easier to talk freely when no one can see you
and your fellow journeyers are halfway around the world.
So join me on Sunday April 28th to hear more about the fun we’re going to have by emailing me and putting YES! in the subject line (even if you can’t come, I’ll send you a recording).
Or just be brave and sign up here