After reading my Cravings, Sweet Cravings entry this week, my mom e-mailed me with some thoughts she had that really hit home.
Sometimes I think it’s amazing how my family and friends can sometimes make me see things about myself that therapy didn’t unearth.
Anyway, she said thinks sometimes I am like a Depression Era survivor, like my grandmother (her mom, my dear Bubby!) who hoarded/stock-piled food, as if the stuff might never be there again. When she died they found more canned goods than most soup kitchens probably have access to — but they were all expired.
(I’ve always been a hoarder of food: particularly Easter candy and Halloween candy, as I noted a few months back; it’s definitely a part of me.)
Or she said sometimes she thinks I’m like the person who has been told “no” all of her life, and now that I have my own money and freedom, I “buy out of that power”…
But the irony is (and she and I both know this all too well) I was never really told “No” growing up or as an adult … Not to say I was/am spoiled, but I’ve usually found a way to turn even a bad situation into good.
The truth is, I’ve just always been my own harshest critic. And my struggle with my weight/disordered eating issues is just another manifestation of that perfectionism. In fact, used to punish myself when I was little if I didn’t get a good grade, or did something bad (at age 4, I literally sent myself to my room; my parents were shocked when I left the table and punished myself).
She went on to say, “But with you, it’s like YOU were the one who said “NO” to yourself when you began WW, but now you have the power to do what you want and won’t let yourself tell you “NO” anymore. So you still buy it (“I can buy it if I want, and I can’t tell me not to!) So there! And if I buy it, then I also have the power to throw it away.”
“I think that you are rebelling against yourself. Just like punishing yourself when you were a little girl. You don’t have to though, Lis. You’ve already proved that you have the kind of control necessary to lose and maintain the weight, within a few reasonable pounds, even with treats now and then. You need to learn to relax your thoughts … the obsession is still there to think too much about what you have learned to control already.”
I really love and appreciate what she said, and it made so much sense to me. I DO have the control necessary to do this; the control to beat this. And she’s also right that I definitely over-think so many things … and sometimes it’s best to let things happen organically.
The funniest part? Geneen Roth talks about many of these same exact things in the book I’m reading, Breaking Free from Emotional Eating. I’m loving it, and will probably have finished it before the weekend’s end.
So anyway, thank you, Mom. I really appreciated your words, more than you know. I needed to hear this.
How about you? Who are your biggest influences? If you’ve struggled with an ED or DE issues, who do you confide in, or have you gone it alone?