AT THE AGE OF 23 I WAS MISERABLE
and determined that I was finally done and ready to get off the emotional eating and dieting rollercoaster. However, I didn’t realize this at the time, but I was avoiding my secret thoughts and most importantly my secret feelings. Heaven forbid I showed my true emotions, used my voice to verbalize what I thought and how I felt! You see, suppressed trauma causes guilt, shame, embarrassment, and unfortunately self-harm. Emotional eating is a form of self-harm. While at the time it feels very comforting and soothing, but at the core, it is an attempt to stuff your emotions to temporarily erase the thoughts bombarding your mind; and this is where the cycle begins. Oh the times I’ve sat on the couch crying over a traumatic event that I had no control over, crying while eating an entire bag of family size Doritos, is unimaginable!
I even coined Friday nights as my Blockbuster Nights, but that was just a cover-up to emotionally eat the stress from the week! I even had friends joining me! They would purchase microwaveable popcorn for me to enjoy, and some would even purchase gift cards to Pizza Hut! Woooohoooo! I hit the jackpot, no one knows about this little secret AND they’re active participants! SCORE!
MY JOURNEY AS AN EMOTIONAL EATER STARTED SO SUBTLY
As a child I watched my mother care for several older adults who suffered from various illnesses such as diabetes, and kidney and liver disease. I was determined not to have the unfortunate fate of these older adults, so at 10 years old I asked my mom to purchase a few workout VHS tapes for me. I would work out twice a day, doing Tammy Lee Webb’s Buns of Steel and Abs of Steel videos. I was determined not to be overweight and unhealthy, it worked! So I thought! Then, a traumatic childhood experience sent me on a rollercoaster of not eating to completely over-eating throughout the day and always asking “What’s for dinner!” even during the wee hours of the morning! This pattern would continue throughout early adulthood.