You know when you’re homeward bound after a trip, and all of a sudden it hits you that you have a whole life and commitments that you’ve ignored for a stretch, and your mind starts racing, and the to-do list piles up and you feel that inner “gotta get shit done’’ activate?
Well imagine having that moment, and then being stuck in a car full of family members, luggage and no cell service, for 10 hrs. And then imagine watching your dad barely driving the speed limit on an empty freeway.
I thought I was going to spontaneously combust.
I wanted to do something. To tell my dad to step on it! To move things along so I could do what I needed to do.
But I knew it was rude to be a back seat driver. So instead, I just sat there – body tense, stomach in knots and irritated beyond belief.
So what does this have to do with food?
Because this is the stuff I used to eat over.
The tension. The frustration. The aggravation. It would build up and become too much.
And then I would either explode into some sharp-tongued, preachy outburst, or I’d bottle it up and implode with irritation and anxiety.
Either way, it would take me to the food.
All that emotion. All that judgment about the way I was handling it. All that guilt about my actions. All that fear of disappointing others…
I didn’t know how else to cope.
Food was my respite to a world of overwhelming emotions.
Food eased the pressure, anxiety, stress and demands.
Food was my treat for putting up with so much. For giving all of me to others. For feeling exhausted all the time.
Food was my comfort. Food was my nurturance. Food was love.
I never knew any other way of being. And I didn’t know it was possible to be any other way.
And yet today, I experience food and feelings in a vastly different way.
When feelings come up, I embrace them. All of them. Even the feelings that are judging the other feelings. Even the feelings that feel awkward for feeling – or stupid or vulnerable…I embrace all of them too.
And I invite more space in. And more grace in. And more tolerance in. And then I embrace all of that too.
And I keep expanding and including and embracing, and before long, I feel so full of feelings and grace and space that something shifts in my heart and transforms me. And the original emotion that threw me transforms too. And food doesn’t even come into the frame.
And that’s what happened in the car with my dad today. I accessed such a deep level of space and grace and embrace that the irritation vanished and I was left with the purest feeling of patience and peace.
And even though nothing changed in our situation, my entire reality changed.
Appreciation, trust and the knowing that I was being provided for flooded me. My “gotta get shit done” attitude went away and I was able to be present with my parents for the remaining hours of our family reunion.
And that kind of turnaround is an experience that I want every woman who struggles with food addiction to have.
Because life happens and stuff will trigger us. But it doesn’t mean that we must stay victims to our emotions and eat over them.
We have spent way too long stuffing, stifling and making ourselves wrong for our feelings. We think we’re having too much of them or not enough or that they’re not the right kind.
It’s time we stop living in the compartments of an addicted mind – where we’re good or bad; right or wrong. It’s time that we include, embrace and expand — so that we can make space for a new freedom and a new happiness to fill us from the inside out.
Because life is waiting for you – the life that you know you’re missing out on when you’re stuck in the food. The life that exists beyond your last panic attack or binge or bout of loneliness.
And I want to help you access it. Because it’s real. And it’s possible. And it’s time.
In dedication of all things raw, real and recovered,
p.s. If you want to know more about how I went from being tethered to my emotions to getting free and how you can too, reply to this email or send me a personal message at [email protected]. I’d love to share what’s worked for me and what I’ve seen work for so many other women too. xoD