My Intention is to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Eating My Emotions

I’ve had a renewed interest in The Biggest Loser lately. Last night while watching the show, Rudy’s words really hit home: My sister's battle with cancer started my battle with weight... food isn't going to solve my problems, it's not the answer to my emotions. This really hit like a ton of bricks. The force was so great that I didn’t sleep well last night. When I woke up this morning, I felt like crying.

I know my mother’s battle with cancer and transition has a lot to do with my health spiraling out of control.

It rears its ugly little head – the hidden curriculum -- I learned to understand it so well during seminary-- the lesson behind the lesson. I need to admit that I am an emotional eater. For whatever reason, I do not want to admit this. To admit this means I have to deal with certain aspects of my life that I choose to ignore. If I want to be healthy, let me rephrase this, in order to be truly healthy and whole, I must stop being in denial about my emotional self. I need to practice what I preach! So, here goes:

I can almost pinpoint the time I began stuffing my emotions. Until age 12 I was a normal weight. Then, things began to change. Adolescence was very rough for me. It was rough for a number of reasons:

Reason Number 1 - I was the oldest. I resented being the oldest when I was a child. I hated the pressure. My parents drilled it into my head that I was the oldest and had to set an example for my brothers and sister. I had to be responsible, do well in school, and be the obedient kid because I was the oldest. If my brothers did something wrong, I was also in trouble. Why? Because I was the oldest and should have been watching them. I hated being a second mother and wife!

My mother went back to school when I was 13. Guess what? I was responsible for making dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For the most part, I loved it. This is where I developed my love for cooking. Then, I started resenting it because it was expected. Sometimes I wanted to come home from school and be a teenager. Then, my Dad decides he wants to study for his GED. Here I am 13 years old helping my Dad with his homework!

I will give my parents some credit. I was allowed to express my displeasure. I was allowed to say I didn’t think it was fair. It really didn’t change much. I would get the ‘you’re the oldest,’ ‘you need to help your family,’ or ‘your mother is depending on you,’ speech from my Dad.

So what did I do? I cooked and I ate. I couldn’t stay after school with my friends because I had to go home and make dinner. As long as I had to cook dinner, I might as well bake a cake for dessert. If I had to watch my brothers and make sure they did their homework, I might as well bake some cookies for a snack. After I wash the dishes, I can reward myself with a treat. I’ll just grab a handful of cookies to eat while I fold these clothes.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll have to deal with number two at a later date.

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