Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Food, glorious food

For the first time since The Peanut was born, I feel pretty good. Not that I was completely miserable, but I was depressed. Not getting enough sleep for an entire year really took a toll on my body, mind, and soul, and I suspect that my postpartum/breastfeeding hormonal cocktail was doing me no favors.

Never one to let well enough alone, I've decided to do some more work on my fucked-up relationship with food. When I've written before about my struggles with eating and body image, it's been in the past tense. And it's true that I've worked through the most severe of my symptoms: I no longer starve myself, throw up, or exercise excessively. I don't count calories. I haven't weighed myself in more than six years.

But I'm still not happy with the way I eat or even think about food. I'd like to be more present in my life, and eating/not eating is one of the ways I avoid the world. I use food to comfort myself—and sometimes punish myself. I seldom eat mindfully: I either snatch bites here and there, or I binge. I binge when I'm unhappy, lonely, or nervous—whenever I don't want to face an uncomfortable situation or feeling. I also binge when I haven't eaten enough throughout the day and am suddenly starving.

I know it's unrealistic to think that I'll ever be completely free of my food issues, but I'd like to feel more comfortable with food. And so I called R., my psychiatrist/therapist/fairy godmother, for a few tune-up sessions. As always, R. has been helping me navigate through the sticky territory of my psyche while also offering practical suggestions. And one of her suggestions was to write about all of this. Which, for some reason, I find enormously difficult and painful. Maybe it's because for me, food has its own language—a language that doesn't translate easily into English.

But maybe finding the right words is a step in the right direction. If I can explain my feelings about food, perhaps those feelings will no longer have so much power over me.

It's worth a try, right?


Green said...

Good for you for writing this - about halfway through I had the impression this post must be very hard for you.

I eat healthier when I plan out what I'll eat throughout the day, though it's more thinking about food than I'd prefer.

Mamikaze said...

Good for you.
Eating healthy is hard work. It is so much easier to scarf down a bag of Chili Cheese Fritos instead of making a pot of chili.
I'm proud of you for putting such deep emotions out in in open. ((hugs))

happypix said...

I'm right there with ya on this. Thanks for putting it so eloquently.