Food Cravings: Taking Back the Power
I stopped hating the "void," then. I realized that it was part of
me, so hating it meant hating myself. That was something I was no longer
willing to do. Also, the "void" was part of my protective shield of
overeating and being fat that had helped me to keep my life going for so long.
I learned to love and respect the courageous woman I was during all the years
when I needed to overeat and be fat. And I found I could love this part of
myself, too -- and begin to let it go.
And that's what happened. Over time, the therapy I received helped me gain
confidence in my natural self and my abilities, so my self-esteem improved. I
began to feel more comfortable with other people, and I found I was spending
less time craving -- and eating -- food I didn't need.
"Feeling more comfortable with other people." I can say that here a
lot more easily than I could do it, at least at first. I took my first step
toward becoming more comfortable with myself in relationships with others by
joining a group of other women who were seeking to understand and change their
emotional eating. They were wonderful! I also began accepting party invitations
and actually going to the parties, instead of excusing myself at the last
minute as I'd usually done. Simple steps, yes -- but big ones for me.
That was a couple of years ago. As I continued to work on replacing the
false comfort of my emotional eating with the joy of making friends and
pursuing new interests, my food cravings and the "void" came less and
Most important, I was no longer at their mercy. When a craving loomed, I
could see it as a signal to think rather than a command to eat.
It was a signal that the newly empowered person I'd become could still feel
vulnerable and unsure of herself at times. When that happened, my cravings and
"void" came racing to the rescue, as they had done so many, many times
Only now I no longer needed them. I could choose to think instead of
eat when a craving came along. I learned to say to myself then,
"What part of the Whole Me, the part that still is scared sometimes but
that I've been able to bring out into the open, can I visit now, and comfort,
and reassure?" These days, just stopping to think like this is usually
enough to help me see that I really can handle whatever situation I'm in. And
it reminds me that emotional eating doesn't handle anything.
I like the thought that every time I do this -- for I still have occasional
thoughts about overeating, and probably always will -- I'm saying goodbye
again, with love and thanks, to my emotional eating.
It was there when I needed it. But now I'm here, all of me.
And that's enough.