I was in a job that I categorically hated. I had a boss that wrote the book on nanomanagement. I had to report to her multiple times a day to let her know when I left my desk for a nature break or lunch (these are basic human functions, by the way). This person had an uncanny way of making me feel like I was worth about as much as a chewed-up piece of gum that some underpaid & generally disgruntled city worker has to scrape off the street with nothing but a rusty old putty knife.
One day, while I was en route to work, I began brainstorming an elaborate plan to break my dominant arm just so I couldn't go to work. Could I stand the pain? How would I replace my income? I did have a decent short-term disability plan.
After a hellish morning, I decided to grab some lunch. Thank the stars it was a nice day out; the sunshine felt like a warm & reassuring hug from the Universe to let me know it's all OK. There's something about sunshine and a blue sky that makes everything all better. I came across a food truck with an enticing offer - a decent amount of food for about $7 plus a drink. Sweet candy! I love food trucks - those people can cook like nobody's business.
That food was so incredibly comforting. It filled me up (quite literally - I didn't eat anything for the rest of the day) but I also felt safe; like my full belly was some kind of Star Trek-type shield from the unpleasantries of the day. That was just the beginning. Anytime I had a bad day at work, I ate. I started to amend my grocery budget so I could eat out more often. I went on a culinary joyride around the world - Chinese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese... on particularly crummy days I'd go for a bucket of fried chicken - no sides, just chicken. I adore chocolate cake so after downing my latest binge I'd finish it off with chocolate fudge cake.
I tried working out. I'd do this dancefit class on Wednesday nights only because it was my way of making my Electric Circus dream come true. After I worked out, I'd eat. Eating was my drug of choice. I became obsessed with food. On Saturday mornings, I'd watch cooking shows for hours on end. Anytime something went wrong in my life, I'd eat to compress that icky feeling.
Ever so slowly, I started to gain weight. I'd notice it but I'd dismiss it - after all, being curvy is the way to be! I wasn't in the headspace to notice what I was doing to myself, so I just kept eating. I gained over 100 pounds eating this way. I hated myself. I couldn't look at my own reflection; I started retreating from everyone and everything. Even after I left that horrible job, it didn't stop there. I had a ton of food sensitivities. My skin looked like a deluxe game-day pizza pie. I was at my lowest and didn't care enough about myself to make better choices for myself. I struggled with my weight for almost a decade.
Now that I've had a child, it took being rushed to the hospital with an inflamed pancreas for me to wake up. I looked around me and saw a crumbling life - it was in ruins all around me. I let food blind me to my actions - even going so far as to marrying the wrong person. I can honestly say my son was the one who helped me make better choices for myself. I started exercising again - walking, specifically. Walking was the one thing that helped me lose all that weight, which, interestingly enough, was all emotional weight. For me, blue skies & sunshine were my healing tools.
I had to learn how to love myself. It's not a one and done thing - it's an ongoing process. There's no measure to how much I love my son. Loving myself is the same thing. As I began to even just like myself, my health became a top priority. So I broke up with food. I said goodbye to the mindless binges. Over time, my food sensitivities disappeared. I lost all that weight and more than anything else, I just enjoy food. I don't associate guilt or fear with food anymore. I just eat because I love the taste. If I am feeling fear, I get still or use EFT (aka tapping) to go into the feeling. I learned not to immediately get rid of fear; instead I go into the feeling and find the lesson in it.
Sure, I enjoy a massive burger with the works from time to time. Yet it's the relationship that I have with myself that is the most important. Love yourself first