I can't stop eating and I'm not even hungry.
My belly is full yet my emotions are starving.
A sort of addiction to excessive pleasure.
All I want to do is shovel something crunchy, sweet, salty, creamy into my mouth. I want to chew, grinding my teeth into something satisfying. Using my teeth to get out the frustration I feel. Chomping and biting to release my tension. The flavor doesn't matter. Standing or sitting- it doesn't matter. Oh, and the faster the better.
And how ironic that I'm hosting a mindfulness eating workshop this weekend.
It all came full circle at one of my catering jobs yesterday. A woman I work with was really getting on my nerves. It's not the first time either. So I try to have compassion for her, even though it's the hardest thing to feel, especially when I'm running on cortisol.
I see that she's unhappy. She doesn't smile much, I doubt she loves her job. I'm sure she'd like to look and feel healthier… She set me off when she impulsively barked at my coworkers and me to eat our staff meal quickly, while we had some downtime.
This set off my inner critic, who mentally challenged her:
"Why should I have to eat according to your rules, bitch? I see you eating your meal, without thought or feeling, and you still look unsatisfied after your plate is cleared. And I see you eyeing the desserts, I see you slathering butter on your gluten-y bread and devouring it without thinking. Who do you think you are? You are so greedy. Why do you need to be do demanding? Is it because your life is out of control and you think you can control this?"
And that's when I realized: She is me. Because she too, is an emotional eater. That is when my compassion swooped in.
When it hit me, holy shit, you are me. My shadow self, my shameful self.
And I'm trying to find peace with all parts of me.
To love every cell of my being.
Two days ago I was eating what I call "clean". I was savoring flavors in smaller portions. Avoiding sugar.
You know, to prepare for my workshop this weekend on mindful eating.
Yesterday, my cravings took over. In many moments of weakness, I gave them power.
I ate two chocolate covered strawberries, two chocolates, four pieces of cake, some chocolate covered almonds, and a home-made brownie (Birthdays at work+literal eye candy=deadly guilt duo). They were all supposed to taste delicious. And yet, I felt guilty about every. single. bite. I ate them anyway.
So I can't say I truly savored these decadent treats.
I abused the pleasure of food. I abused my mind. I abused my body.
Why did I do this?
Was it my lack of willpower?
Or my unwillingness to be present in the moment? To experience a fleeting moment of passion? To distract myself from the stress and emotion that keeps coming up? Do I do it because I want to disrespect my body? Do I get high off the guilt, succumbing to my shameful truth? No matter how long I meditate, or how positive I feel. I want to hide from it all. Because the truth is really fucking scary.
Dear food, I thank you for providing me with nourishment and pleasure.
But we gotta change this relationship. Right now I see you as good or bad with a side of guilt.
Is this healthy? No
Am I ok with it? Kind of…
Do I want to do something about it? Yes…but at this moment all I want to do is eat.
In the moments where my thoughts are useless
and my willpower doesn't stand a chance
and my stomach is my slave,
I expect food to satisfy my every need.
That isn't fair to you, food.
You're purpose is innately good.
But I've strangled you to the point of gluttony and greed.
At my fingertips. Always within reach. Whatever I desire.
But you know better.
You are wise, as nature intended.
You keep feeding me like I ask,
but I'm still starving.