Over the years I have come to understand, witness and know many silent addictions, for me an addiction is anything that you do over and over again that causes you negative consequences.
My first addiction came at the tender age of around 8 and it was to sugar, even at that age I stole to feed it. This was in the day where people would leave out money for the milkman at the top of the milk bottle, I have always been an early bird so it wasn’t rare to find me out playing (thieving) before anyone was awake. That rush I felt knowing that I had gotten away with it was euphoric, id wait in anticipation for the newspaper shop to open, exchanging my stolen pennies for an array of sweeties. Most of the time I wouldn’t even get outside before I had shoved them all into my gob, that feeling I got as each one lit up my brain like a Christmas tree, that was until they were gone then all that was left was an feeling empty and lots of guilt.
My life carried on like this, using food to stuff down feelings, purging and gorging as I tried every diet then when it failed I would feel so low that I would make myself feel better by over eating. I couldn’t understand why I when I did find the will power to diet and loose weight I would always put the weight back on plus a bit more. I would obsess over what to eat, how much to eat, how many calories, how much exercise I would need to do to burn it off, food had been an all consuming obsession of self. To say I was ashamed of my body and my eating habits was an understatement.
The funny thing is it took me a while after finally quitting alcohol that I made the connection between using food as a source of comfort, pleasure and self destruction. If I felt lonely I would comfort eat, I if felt powerful and in control I would starve myself and workout for 3 hours, if I felt ashamed or guilty I would normally binge on sugary snacks, what I started to see was that my eating habits had nothing to do with self will (willpower) but everything to do with self love and I had none.
So if our issues around food are to do with a lack of self love and self care then where do we start?
To start with you have to accept that you have a problem with how you use food to self medicate and destruct we cannot solve a problem until there is acknowledgment that the problem exists. My sole purpose for all my blogs is the hope that through my writing someone else will see their own painful patterns. We live in a world today where no one cares to admit their flaws and we are so busy using filters to make our lives look shiny and perfect, but who are we really kidding? I remember reading a quote a few years back and it said what you eat in private you wear in public. That quote made me freeze, it was like someone had exploded a truth bomb all over me, in public I would look like I had my shit together eating some healthy/diet low fat snack but as my body showed behind closed doors it was a different story.
What I came to realise is that through binging and starving myself I was causing my spirt to disconnect and today my number one goal in life is to remain connected to the world of spirit and my number one spiritual practice is trying to live in the moment, to savour my pleasures and look for joy in all circumstances. When I am feeling good it normally co insides with the fact that my connection with my higher self feels alive, I am connected in prayer and feel peace in meditation. When I create these feelings of joy and abundance the last thing I was to do is self destruct as I experience feelings of contentment and peace so normally I find myself naturally making healthy food choices that nourish my spirit rather than deplete it. I find that I with meditation I can acknowledge feelings of discomfort and sit with them rather than wanting to eat them away.
Don’t get me wrong this way of living has been something I have done for almost 5 years and the progress has been slow as I am a work in progress, some days are much easier than others and on the tough days where I struggle with food it is normally a sign for me to look a little deeper into what has been going on in my life and that something isn’t sitting right. This way of living is much nicer than living life on automatic pilot stuffing myself silly, afraid to feel painful emotions. I no longer need use my weight as a way to keep me separate from the rest of the world, I work hard to connect daily and to let people in, to let them see the real me and by doing this I begin to dilute the shame I stop striving for perfection and accept my human-ness 🙂
My morning routine is made up of prayer, meditation and daily mirror work using affirmations such as: I am good enough just as I am and I put good into my body so I can give good out, the universe is my playground let me let go of who I think I am meant to be so that I can love and serve the world.
I end my day with a gratitude journal and I look for five things that happened that day for me to be thankful for. I also ask myself this:
“Were my choices today comforting and nourishing to my spirt or were they temporary reprieves from vulnerability and difficult emotions that ultimately led me to feeling not very good about myself?”
In the early days I also said something like this:
“Higher power/universe or higher self, show me that if it is your will for me to be overweight then help me accept that this is who I am and to love and accept myself unconditionally. If it is your will for me to be lighter in body and spirit then help me with this too, either way guide me so that all of my choices come from love and not fear, please help me to know that I am good enough just as I am”
I hope that this has been helpful to anyone struggling and here are a few more resources to help you on your way:
Overeaters anonymous: www.oagb.org.uk
A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever, Marianne Williamson
Thrive 8 week experience, an incredible nutritional product that helped to fill all my nutritional gaps and control sweet cravings, www.wellnessmovemnt.le-vel.com