Up until a few days ago I thought I understood the connection between my body, food/fuel and energy/emotions. I’m a recovering bulimic so I’ve been delving into this foodie thing for a long time. I spent many years in my life using food as a way of comforting my soul/spirit or numbing myself so I didn’t feel or couldn’t feel pain, hurt, anger, disappointment and then eliminating the “evidence” out of my body.
Recently I had a trying couple of mornings with my son and getting him ready, fed and out the door to camp. FYI. I pride myself on being a good present and nurturing mother. Day one I was patient. YAY! I didn’t get sucked in to the performance. We had a wonderful conversation and it seemed he “got it” and was moving in a more positive direction. The next morning was a repeat performance as if our entire conversation had not occurred. UGH! And you may have already guessed it, I didn’t handle it too well. I was pissed. And yet, we worked it out again but this time it took much more out of my energy. When I arrived at my home office, I was out of focus and feeling hungry (already had my protein shake). Knowing I was out of sorts, I decided to meditate instead. After a 40 minute meditation, I was calmer but also smelling food and wanted to eat something. Why am I smelling bacon and pancakes with maple syrup? I don’t even eat bacon.
I was of enough clear mind (thank you meditation) to ask myself some questions. Am I really hungry or am I not wanting to feel these yucky feelings I was feeling? What was I feeling that I wanted to numb with comfort food? Answers: I was upset about the mornings events. Why? I believed after our conversation the day before, the issue was over and I expected it wouldn’t be repeated (hello, he is only six and none of us are perfect). I was so happy with Eli and myself for how we handled it day one…moving on, next! So when it happened again the next day, I definitely didn’t handle it with grace, I was sucked into the performance and I felt like I must’ve missed some thing (s) the day before resulting in chips in my motherhood armor ie…”beating myself up and thinking I’m screwing up as a mom. Yes, sometimes I am that hard on myself. Oy. Once I realized and delved into how I was really feeling and why I wanted to eat, I asked myself if I was really hungry. NOPE!
I was on a roll and kept going. If my body was another person, then I was beating it up verbally and wanting to abuse it physically…OUCH!! Not nice. From there I asked myself if I have ever been kind to my body verbally? And the answer was YES. I am kind to my body and grateful for my body except for my stomach. Epiphany…The ONLY time in my life I’ve been kind to my stomach is when I was pregnant. I lavished my belly with so much love then. Even when I was ribs sticking out bulimic I never loved on my belly. Hmmm… What did my tummy ever do to me?? It has helped me digest my food, it houses my belly button, it has helped me deal with emotions and it expanded graciously as I carried my son. And yet, here I was almost an hour before thinking of dumping a bunch of food inside it that my body didn’t need as fuel so I didn’t have to feel painful emotions. I would’ve been damaging my tummy, my body and my soul. Do you ever eat without thinking and the next thing you know, pow you’ve eaten a bag of chips, a bunch of cookies, something?
So I have all these insights, now what? How do I develop sincere love for my belly and body when I really want it to shrink? Gratitude, exercise and being present when I eat ANYTHING. I believe in thinking and feeling gratitude. It has and continues to change and shape my life. So I began talking to my tummy. No I wasn’t “feeling it” right away, but hearing myself speak in my own voice is powerful. Yes, I speak out loud to my body and belly and not just in my house or shower. Then to hold myself accountable I went public on Facebook. I plug my workouts offering gratitude for my body and sometimes my belly for the entire FB world to see and read. Now you know my secret. It is out. Is it working?
All I can tell you is I feel better. That day I felt amazing, almost high, for really digging in and uncovering this. I’m not perfect and my imperfections make me awesome. I feel even more acceptance and understanding of myself than ever before and yes, I do feel a bit lighter.
I love my body, my belly, my mind and my spirit and I’m grateful for all of them.
Love yourself, it does the body good!!