This journey has largely been psychological for me. While some have food issues, motivation issues, or physical fitness issues; my biggest thing has been trying to get out of my own way. 36 years of regret, indecision, laziness, and self-loathing created a lot of barriers I once thought insurmountable. The trick is a lot of that baggage was disguised as other things and it was only when the willingness to peak under the hood finally came around that the real answers started coming to the surface.
Like when I used to use food as a mask for the anger I felt. Instead of striking back at someone I was angry with, or better yet actually talking to them about it, I used to pile through a bag of chips or a chocolate bar. How much sense does it make to harm myself twice because I was angry at someone once? The anger itself is self-injurious but then piling on junk food as some misplaced way of striking back at someone? Wow, it’s little wonder I had food issues.
Food is also about comfort for me. I’m sure it has been for you as well. I mean, it must be pretty widespread for us to refer to a whole cultural segment of eating as Comfort Food. Food was love for me growing up, food was caring. This is a bit more of a natural leap because we see the care our parents and loved ones put into the food we ate growing up. The association is natural. As an adult though, I’ve had to realize it wasn’t the food that was love, it was the person making the food that was expressing it. It wasn’t the lasagna my mother made that loved me, it was my mother who’s act of love was making the lasagna. It’s such a positive connection that it’s hard to divorce those two things in my mind but it’s another thing I’ve had to do. There’s just as much love in a healthy, homemade meal then there is in a pan of chocolate chip cookies as long as you invest just as much in either.
So what am I trying to get at here? Only that at some point you’ll need to look inside your head too. Food is such an intricate and integral part of Western Civilization that you can’t avoid it. Dealing with those psychological issues went a long way in helping me deal with my eating habits. And I realize now that most of the bad eating habits I still struggle with aren’t necessarily about the food itself but the ideas, emotions, and thoughts I tie up with the food. If you experience a profound sense of well being or relief when you tear into a bag of cheesies then you know exactly what I mean. It may not be pretty inside my head, or your’s, but it’s an interior journey we all have to make whether we like it or not.