Start a Love Affair With Food
Yes - you read it correctly. I remember one time we were having a celebration of some kind in class and a naturally thin student was aggravated that she could not eat any of it because she was not hungry. She said it made her mad. I do not understand that. AT ALL.
Anyway - about the love affair with food. It's time for us to start a real love affair with food. How many times have I wanted something to eat and just grabbed whatever was there - eat peanut butter out of the jar, eat cold leftovers, or grabbed some cookies or chips. I used to be so hungry when I got home from school that I would be eating something before I had taken my coat off. I was almost frantic to eat something. We need to change our routine when we get home if that is a problem. Sit down and go through the mail. Have a diet coke and relax. It really does help if you change the routine when you get home. When we are getting home we changing from one routine to another - change up that transition time and it really does help. Our secretary at school said she would lie on the floor in her bedroom with her lower legs on the bed and just relax for a while. She said it was like taking a nap. I guess it got some blood and oxygen to her brain.
What we've had up to now is an obsessive relationship with food, and an obsessive relationship is not love. Pain and compulsion and self-hate are not love. The true lover of food is able to take time with it. That person can savor food, and non-neurotically delight in it. He/She can chew it thoroughly and actually taste it - can eat without guilt and stop eating without too great an effort. He/She can celebrate how food is contributing to health. This person can take one bite of something delicious, ecstatically breathe in the taste, and enjoy waiting before taking another bite. For this person, the spaces in between each bite are part of the joy of her experience.
No - the compulsive eater is no lover of food. The eating patterns of an over-eater are chaotic, fearful, furtive, and out of control. These are symptoms of a deeper problem. The deeper problem is the hysteria in our guts--the silent, traumatized shriek of "I'm empty! Fill me! I'm empty, Fill me!"--the irrational and irresistible energy that has wormed its way into the brain, stationed itself in our nervous systems, and won't let go until we've eaten the whole thing. Let's dissolve this hysteria and fill the emptiness with love.
We often have an "all or nothing" mentality - if we are not totally 100% successful we view it as failure. We can't win that way. Have you made improvement? Really think about that - have you experienced a growling stomach more than you used to? Are you eating more slowly? Drinking more water? If I asked you to write down 10 strengths and 10 weaknesses, which would be the easier list?