Unravelling Four Decades of Emotional Eating
My story is universal and individual all at once. I eat too much and move too little, that’s what I have in common with millions of people who struggle with obesity. Why I do this is a combination of my own personal demons, cultural pressures, lifestyle choices and infrastructure/environmental challenges.
My dieting journey began in 1977 when I was 14 years old and embarked on my first calorie restricted program. I was not overweight but at 5’8” I was heavier than my shorter petite friends and I wanted to weigh as little as they did. Cultural influences and unfounded body image issues were definitely at play here but it wasn't just that. I've also always been a comfort eater who uses food to soothe the anxieties that have been my companions for most of my life, food simply makes me feel safe and calms me down.
Despite the ensuing diet/binge cycles I didn't gain any significant weight until my early 40s when I moved to America and my lifestyle became increasingly sedentary and my food portions a lot bigger. I had some success with a combination of calorie counting and Intuitive Eating in 2015 but then my mom passed away unexpectedly and the grief slowly returned me to my old numbing habits of comfort eating and inertia. Now in my 50s I’m officially overweight by about 100 lbs and it’s greatly impacting the quality of my life.
It’s not healthy, it’s not comfortable and it’s not about diet culture or fat phobia. It’s about healing emotional eating and my body.
A Fresh Approach
Four decades of emotional eating have left me around 100 lbs overweight and feeling more than a little defeated. I have to lose a significant amount of weight to qualify for a much needed ankle replacement surgery and to improve other weight-related health issues. I have tried many things and the only approach that’s ever worked for me is Intuitive Dieting which is a combination of calorie counting for portion control and Intuitive Eating for reconnecting with my body’s own wisdom. It may sound like an oxymoron but it works!
The Reluctant Cook
I'm not a bad cook actually but often times I just don't feel like dealing with the peripherals, such as shopping, food prep, meal planning, or cleaning the kitchen. My resistance to cooking is rooted in my overall resistance to being more present in my life, tuning out is my default response to my anxieties. I come from a family of great cooks and every now and then I catch a glimpse of their enthusiasm and creativity in my own kitchen and my goal is simple: I want to fall in love with cooking and create healthy nourishing meals.