My Relationship With Food: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do - But So Worth It
But it was time. And so, as I made progress in understanding my emotional
eating, I happily discovered I wasn't "bad." I was just me, a person
who had made certain choices for getting along in life that worked, yes, but at
a cost I no longer wanted, or had, to bear. I found I could make other choices
now that would work better.
And I did. Slowly, sometimes painfully, I became able to envision a happy,
satisfying life without my "love relationship" with food. A life
without my love! The idea of it scared me until I realized that by not letting
other people get close to me, I'd been living a kind of "life without
love" all along.
Oh how I wanted a real life once I opened my eyes to it! As my
wanting grew stronger, I began a gradual but lasting shift away from wanting
food to wanting closeness with others as well as love and respect for
But I needed to consider something else along the way: When I came to
realize how much my fat had meant to me over the years, I couldn't just turn
off my feelings about it. One evening I found myself actually talking to
my fat. I did something I've heard people sometimes do when a dying loved one
is holding on to life out of concern for the feelings of those who will be left
behind: I gave my fat permission to leave me. I thanked it for being
there when I didn't have other ways to take care of myself. I told it that
leaving me now was okay, I'd be all right. And I told my fat I loved it, as an
important part of myself, and would continue to love it and myself after it was
As time passed, I steadily lost weight. My formerly uncontrollable cravings
went away, and I experienced a sense of peace I hadn't known in all the years
of my life.
Just one little (ha!) food-related problem remained: I still needed to eat.
How was I going to keep a former love interest around without drifting back
into its dangerously passionate embrace?