I've been abroad in Italy and France the past 10 days!
My husband won a trip for two to Rome, and since one of my besties lives in Southern France, we took the opportunity to go meet her babies. She's had TWO since the last time I saw her!
And I just wanted to share with you some musings I had while on this trip.
I remember a trip I took in college. I was traveling by myself, with some vague idea that of course I'd meet some kind of dream man on the trip. It was Maui, after all, seemed romantic, full of travelers. And some guy I knew had moved there.
Okay, so that part is kind of embarassing. I was totally silly.
But then comes the even worse part. I ate an entire pineapple and an entire bag of prunes. One might argue that these are healthy, but my consumption of them was NOT. And I felt SICK from it. Not only that, but I beat myself up.
Know how I know? I wrote it all down in my journal. All about how SICK I felt, how disgusting it was to eat that much of those foods, how my stomach hurt, how I chastised myself for having done it, how I couldn't STOP myself while I was doing it...
That is a binge if I ever had one. I was not just eating the pineapple and enjoying it, I was compulsively eating it and feeling sick while I did. As I wrote in detail in my journal about how I just kept eating it, even though I was already too full.
Looking back at that now, I actually am not embarassed by it. I feel a lot of compassion for that younger self. I didn't know WHY I kept eating that food, and I didn't know HOW to stop.
I was doing it even as I wished I was not.
And yet now, with all my experience about it, I can tell you a few things.
First, that silly (and, yes, that part is embarrassing) hunt for true love was part of it. I had such an EXTERNAL focus on what would make me happy that I was not focusing on ME nor focusing on that Moment! Ask my college friends... I was ALWAYS looking for some idea of a boyfriend that I now realize did not exist!
I don't think it was the "love" search per se... but it was the external focus on a future point in time bringing me some level of happiness.
Second, overeating was trigger for me. It still is, but I recognize now. When I get TOO FULL I want to DO SOMETHING...and my brain actually just thinks "DO SOMETHING!" and my body responds by doing what it's already doing - eating! I still feel that impulse, but I'm trained to recognize it now, and find another "something" to do.
Finally, I've stopped obsessing over whether I am or am not eating sugar. Sure, I eat it. And when I eat too much, I correct my course. But I don't beat myself up or make promises to "quit" or eliminate it. My relationship with sugar is normal. It's not full of drama and broken promises. It's just not a big deal anymore.
And THAT is golden.
With a relationship like that I can eat gelato every day on vacation and it doesn't matter. I'm not even worried about it. I know I'll go back to normal when I get home. I can just relax, have fun, go a little crazy, and call it a vacation. No promises, no need to "make up for it" when I get home. Just enjoy it. And be normal again when I get back.
Which I'm also looking forward to. Because my normal makes me feel great, too.
Do you want to have this kind of relationship with sugar (or soda or junk food or ____)? Discover my 5 secrets to end emotional eating by clicking here.