A close friend of mine has a child with an eating disorder. A really, really severe case. The child is now hospitalized for malnutrition, depression and anxiety. The situation is indescribably awful... and all I can do is hold her hand, give her a shoulder to cry on and someone to cry with.
This has got me thinking deep thoughts on our relationships to food. A major part of my "recovery" has been trying to tease out what this means to me. I discover new things every day. Food nourishes our bodies, but it can also be a way to nourish our soul - it can comfort us, and maybe even reasure us that we are loved and cared for. In a certain sense, denying us of food is denying us of love.
So what is the difference between the obese patient and the anorexic? I was trying to give myself love through food, and he is trying to deny himself love through food. Neither approached works. Food may be symbolic of love, but it isn't the real thing.
So, for those of you who (like me) are feeling more than a little blue today - don't forget to do something nice for yourself, even if you don't feel like you deserve it. You do.
Go for a walk, write 10 nice things about yourself in your journal, buy a new outfit (even from the thrift store), pay yourself a compliment, call a friend, read an inspirational book, etc. Do anything to pull yourself out of the blues. Today is still new and you can turn it around. God bless you! Hugs! Try to stop giving yourself love through food!
“Let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are. To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken, out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect, is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room.”― Marc Hack
I've been wrestling with a lot of the same thoughts lately. I've come to realize just how much I counted on food in the past for emotional support. A few strokes of the scalpel have removed all the comfort and pleasure I used to get from eating. I think you're dead on when you talk about eating being a way to attempt to show self-love. The problem is, it's a horrible way to do that. So now many of us post-ops have to find new ways to demonstrate that we love and value ourselves, and that can be hard to do. Habits have been entrenched over lifetimes, habits including how we think about ourselves and our lives. Our own disordered eating patterns are no longer acceptable, so what do we put in place of stuffing ourselves?
It's something to be thought about and acted upon, definitely.
Pathchic, I hope you follow your own advice and do something nice for yourself too!
Surgery: RNY on 12/18/2013 with Jay M. Snow, MD "Don't mistake my kindness for weakness." - Robert Herjavec, quoting Al Capone