Saturday, June 27, 2009
What are you hungry for?
I'm watching a late-night episode of Oprah, a show I almost never watch; but it's late, and I'm still up.
Tonight's episode is about overweight teens. The question was asked, "What are you hungry for?"
I think it is the one common denominator which connects all of us who have struggled with our weight. Maybe we're hungry for love; for attention; for acceptance. Maybe we're struggling with past issues and the only way we've learned how to deal is to self-medicate with food. Maybe for some it just became habitual. For others, it's something we do at night in the dark, away from the judgmental stares of others.
For some, maybe we feel invisible, but I can say from experience now that there is nothing more glaring which, at the same time, makes us more invisible than to be fat. I worked with a cutie pie who is just as adorable as she can be, inside and out. Whenever we would go out, people who knew both of us (men or women) would address her and almost stare right through me as if I wasn't there. I often teased her that to go out with her was to be invisible. Though I wasn't really teasing. After a while it just downright hurt.
However, there is nothing more obvious than the very obese. It's amazing how one can be so obvious and so invisible at the same time. I never thought it could be done until I had experienced it myself.
We are all hungry for different things, for different reasons, and it has nothing to do with food. The trick is finding out what that thing is and feeding it something new, whether it be self-assurance, love, attention, acceptance -- whatever it may be. And replacing those bad habits with new ones. When we feel stress, don't grab for the junk food -- go for a walk, read a book, dance, sing, work on a craft, something that feeds your SOUL instead of your belly. Because it's our soul that is really suffering here, not our belly. It's our psyche that needs transformation as much as our bodies, but our bodies can only truly transform after we get our minds straight. Even though the band can help force this transformation, we still have to tackle the impulses which made us reach for food to the point of harming ourselves rather than taking care of our health.
If somebody did to our kids what we do to ourselves, we'd want to kill 'em. If they talked to them the way we often self-speak, we'd let 'em have it -- yet we think noting of doing it to ourselves. WHY? Do we even know? Have we even tried to find out?
The band does not help us unlearn the habit of reaching for food in times of stress, sadness, anger, loneliness, angst, or boredom. It only limits how much of most things we can take in. I still find myself from time to time in this struggle, and I get angry with myself for this. However, I have to realize that the band did not change my habits, it can only change the amount of my food intake. Period.
I've often found myself struggling at the 6-month mark, and this time seems no different. Even though it's NOT A DIET, I think we all go into the journey with rose-colored glasses and a renewed sense of hope that this time it is different. And it IS... yet it isn't. It's certainly no magic bullet. It doesn't make you make good choices. It doesn't make you walk, jog, dance, or get off the couch. It can only do its part with your help, and you have to remember that it relies on you.
I know this time it's different, but at the same time I don't know it. I still have the diet mentality, the thing inside me that is all or nothing -- I'm either doing it all right or I'm doing it all wrong, even though it's a fatalistic way to look at things. I have promised myself I will read Jillian's words of wisdom that I posted yesterday -- that today is a new day and not to beat myself up over a bad meal choice or the fact that I didn't walk the dogs like I promised myself that I would. But at the same time, I have to be sure not to let one bad day turn into two, then three, then a week, then two weeks, then a month. That IS old behavior, and I will do all I can to get myself out of that rut. Because this time it's different. Right?
Posted by Beth at 1:38 AM