|How often do we hit our head against the wall or closed door? (Photo by LivligaHome)|
Our relationship to food is so complicated. Part of our over eating is simply years of bad habits that are hard to break. We can also use it for solace as our comfort and numbing drug to the challenges in our life. The hardest part is recognizing that food can be a symptom of other more serious personal problems in our lives.
For years I literally swallowed my inner hurt with every bite of food. I couldn't voice it, so I swallowed it. The problem was the hurt would be dampened for a few hours, even a day, but it would always come back. Not dealing with my inner pain ended up causing me more pain. I got to the point where I just couldn't do it any more. How often do we hit our head against the wall (or closed door) repeating the same action to no positive effect, over and over again, until we realize nothing will change until we face our troubles and the need to shift to a new way of being?
We all know it is not easy facing our demons but I can now tell you it is worth it. My relationship with food has changed tremendously. I have lost 50 pounds and kept it off for nearly four years. It is very, very rare for me to ever stuff my face to fill a void. Even that continues to evolve and diminish. Now I love being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. The memory of the bad things that happened to me are there and I have learned how to deal with them instead of hiding behind food and pounds.
I share this with you because I truly believe we can change our relationship with food. It does require our willingness to dig deep and walk through the doorway to a better way of doing things.
This post from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating I think says it well:
Food is a Doorway - Our challenges with food, body, health, and weight, are essentially a doorway. They position us in knocking-distance of the door. It’s easy to stay on the doorstep and do all kinds of dieting, exercise, or strategies that ultimately don’t work. It’s easy to sit at the doorstep and wonder why we can’t find an opening. Knock on the door. It opens up right away… And quite suddenly, you’ll begin to find yourself in a new place with new possibilities. Of course, entering any new place or space can be uncomfortable. The truth is, none of us know where the door leads to until we knock and open. The doorway to our food challenges might lead us to where the real action is – unhappiness in a relationship, loneliness, past hurts, past abuses, unfulfilled desires, a lack of connection, a deep desire for people who understand us, a longing for authentic communication, the need for greater purpose in life, and so much more. Food is simply this symbolic place where we often enact these greater life challenges when we are unable to confront them head-on. In truth, the door is always open to you. Are you ready to walk through?