Eating enables us to live.
We take in matter from the “outside world,” and our bodies break it down and reassemble it into our bone, tissue, brain cells. The neurons that are firing off in order for me to convey this meaning to you were created using food.
What has happened when this quintessential form of nourishment, when feeding, sustaining, re-creating the body becomes a source of life-altering conflict? When eating comes to be about something other than providing the body what it needs and stopping at that point?
No one wants to have issues with eating and body image. And yet we cannot escape the fact that we are the ones who do or do not put the food into our mouths. Again, what does it mean when one continues to make eating choices that are damaging to the body and/or psyche?
Every human being seeks happiness, and every action taken represents the best attempt at happiness for that moment, after ALL of a person’s beliefs are taken into account. A person may consciously believe that she deserves to be happy. However, she may also have a stronger, unconscious belief, the result of perhaps early and traumatic experiences, that she cannot tolerate too much pain. If this person eats three pieces of pizza when she is not hungry, it does not mean that she does not want to be happy. It means that there is an overriding belief that the best happiness possible in that moment is to be numbed out (by food), rather than tolerate whatever the moment is bringing.
What happens is that sooner or later, after habitually making the choice to numb out rather than tolerate potential discomfort, we are haunted by the sense that we are missing out on our lives in some way. And we are. The obsession and numbing that come along with eating issues DO take our attention away from the moment, and these moments are what make up our lives.
The taste of pizza is one kind of happiness, winning the lottery is another kind of happiness – but the happiness I believe all human beings seek is the deep kind. The kind that hums sweetly in the background, in one’s core, even when sadness, anger, boredom, or frustration is present. This kind of happiness is cultivated – mainly through being with yourself and others with compassion, instead of acting out or numbing out – regardless of what circumstances life serves up in the particular moment.
In this blog, I reflect on the journey towards a life with more compassionate presence and less suffering around eating and body image. I welcome you to join me in this process of acceptance – relishing and exploring the ability to stay present, and offering forgiveness and compassion for times of obsession and compulsion.
The blog is an extension of the core work that I do: guiding women in healing their relationships to food and body. I welcome you to contact me if you are interested in taking this path with me. I welcome you to simply read the blog, as well, and hope that you may find it useful.
Imagine all of the energy that women lose to suffering around food and body. What would we be capable of if we took it all back…?