At lunch the other day, I was telling a friend about how helpful it was to move from the regular counseling group in the Program to the intensive group. She asked what the intensive group was and I said it was mainly for emotional eaters. Now, I don’t think there’s anything weird about that, but her concern for me was evident in her face. She said she hadn’t known I was an emotional eater. I said, “Meh, who isn’t?” and her reply shocked me a little.
“I’m not,” she said.
I’m pretty sure I said something eloquent like, “Wha-huh?” Then I asked if she eats when she’s bored…and she doesn’t. My mind was blown.
I’ve been yo-yoing in the 180s for two months now. Life is stressing me out and I’ve responded by eating it. I ran a 10k last week and I’m barely even proud of myself because I’m so ashamed of what a slacker I’ve become with eating and exercise in general. How twisted is that? But, that 10k? It was one of only two workouts I did last week. I’m supposed to get in five. And during the race? I ran the whole way, but what I was concerned about was how slow I was, that it felt like everyone was passing me by.
I had pizza for lunch one day and then told my trainer about it. He tried to tell me the whole thing about the momentary comfort not being worth it and I stopped him short. Because the thing is, when you spend your morning dealing with 30-odd pounds of screaming toddler who refuses to talk or acknowledge when you speak to him while dragging a preschooler around to therapy appointments he doesn’t want to attend, the momentary comfort a pizza provides is totally worth it. Even if you feel sick to your stomach afterward, that’s better than you felt before. At least there’s a physical reason for the nausea. As I’ve said on this blog before, if food as comfort didn’t work, there would be no problem with emotional eating.
I want to take a moment to remind you that this is a raw emotion I’m expressing here. My new way of dealing with it is to write it down and put it up here. I don’t feel like this all the time. I’m lucky in so many ways and I genuinely love my life. I don’t need any of you to do anything other than be the friends you already are to me. I do totally appreciate your concern, though.
Having one kid with special needs was a challenge. Having two is proving…difficult. I think. I don’t really know because I have nothing to compare it to. This is my entire experience with parenting. For all BamBam’s fits, though, it fills me with joy to watch when he laughs. He laughs with his whole body. For all BeBop’s tantrums over transitions, he’s the friendliest little guy you’d ever want to meet. I love that he has a big smile for everyone who comes his way. They’re fabulous kids.
On Monday, I let BamBam have a fit – complete with rolling on the ground kicking and screaming – on the sidewalk for a full five minutes while I just stood there feeling completely helpless. Or exasperated, they kind of feel the same these days. A mom with her three year old in tow passed by and said to me, “Hang in there, Mom.” I’m working on it.
So I asked my thin friend who doesn’t eat emotionally what she does for comfort. She stays in motion. And that’s a big part of my problem. When things get bad, I want to curl up into an inert little ball and then I want to feed the ball. I do feel better when I organize and get things done, but my tendency is to rest instead and an object at rest stays at rest without a force acting upon it. I need a force. I tend to get pretty testy when other people try to push me into action, so that force will have to come from within. I haven’t the faintest clue how that will happen, but, for now, that’s tomorrow’s problem. Where the hell is Obi-Wan when you need him?