Friday, September 17, 2010

So. . . . . . . . . . . . .

I’ve been reading the newest book by Geneen Roth, Women, Food and God. I’ve been a fan of Roth’s books for a while now. She basically takes an approach to weight loss that is focused at the emotions and feelings that contribute to overeating rather than trying to control food itself. I like her approach because I recognize in myself that there are psychological/emotional issues that are at the heart of my eating problems. Eating for me has nothing to do with physical hunger or staying alive. Eating for me is comfort, a friend, a way to soothe the boredom, a way of asserting my independence, a way to try to quiet the demons inside me. In other words, I have an addiction and my drug of choice is food.

Anyway, her newest book deals a lot with the spiritual side of us and also with what she calls The Voice. The Voice is that internal dialogue people keep up inside themselves. The Voice generally is like a tape playing over and over lessons learned from childhood, perhaps from parents, perhaps teachers, perhaps peers, anyone that ever may have criticized you or set you straight on a particular matter. My Voice is particularly cruel, though I don’t believe any crueler than many others’ Voices. The Voice reminds me over and over that I will never be good enough no matter how hard I try. The Voice demands that I acknowledge that I am a failure at all that I do. The Voice reminds me of all the ways in which I am less than, flawed, not up to par.

Roth’s book speaks to the ways in which one can silence The Voice. One of these ways is when a feeling arises to take that feeling and inquire with oneself about the feeling. Rather than stuffing it, ignoring it, eating it away, take it out and look at it, observe it, see how it feels. I have been trying the last few days to do this thing, and it is hard. It is so very hard sometimes, and yet when I am successful at doing it I find it to be a very freeing experience. By taking the judgment out and letting it be whatever it is, the feeling loses its power. I become the powerful one, the one in charge.

I have learned through the years that I cannot be trusted to make my own choices when it comes to food. I am now trying to unlearn this. I am now trying to listen to and give credence to my body. For years I have seen my body as my enemy. I have fought the good fight, clamping down with iron will against eating the things my body says that it wants. Then finally (and this always happens sometime, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but always sometime) I get tired and pissed off and at that point I go in with a “Screw you!” attitude, and I eat. I eat and I eat and I eat. I eat beyond the point of fullness. I eat without pleasure. I barely taste what I’m eating. But I eat. Screw you world who doesn’t want me to eat. Screw you! Take that. And then comes the misery, the stomach ache, the heartburn, the added poundage on an already overweight body. The food, the eating, it is all just a symptom of a much deeper more profound problem. Without addressing that deeper problem there is no diet, no nutritional program, no exercise program, no surgery, no pill that is ever going to help me lose weight.

And yes, I know this is all territory I have covered before. I’m just still trying to get it transferred from head knowledge to heart knowledge, ya’ know?

1 comment:

Val said...

Amen, sistah.
I've loved Roth's books since Day 1 (Feeding the Hungry Heart)
A good excuse to go to B & N & get her latest!