I wanted to repost this again as I am getting ready to launch a new section for my Queen Size Mommy posts – which will center on my food addiction, struggles with eating and weight – and striving for GOOD HEALTH.
One of my favorite summer treats really is ice cream. I’m a “texture” eater and I love the disparity between the cold ice cream on those hot days that weigh me down with heat and humidity.
When our local “dairy queen” opens up in early spring, it’s a big deal and we all look forward to it. They serve great coney dogs, blue raspberry slushes and the best Turtle Pecan Sundae ever!
The soft serve vanilla ice cream is layered between swirls of hot fudge and caramel sauce, and interspersed throughout all of it are these bits of toasted, salty pecans. Topped with big mounds of fluffy whipped cream and sprinkled with more nuts, it’s a mix of taste and texture that is PURE pleasure to my senses…
The other day, as Roy and the girls were waking up from afternoon naps, we were all kinda hanging out and I had my head on Roy’s shoulder. Somebody said something about being hungry and I said I thought ice cream sounded good. We kinda just kept chatting in between everybody trying to wake up and watching TV.
I was laying there thinking – as I often do – and Roy asked me what I was thinking about. I had about 4 different tracks going at the same time (I’m a woman, you know!) and was surprised to hear,
“A Pecan Turtle Sundae”
come out of my mouth! He said to me, “It can’t be all about eating!” And I laid there thinking – why did I just say that? It was only 1 of several things I was thinking about, but I’ll admit, it was the MOST pleasant thing I was thinking about.
I’d been mulling some recent events in my life, thinking about some things that troubled me and was feeling uncomfortable and starting to even feel a bit anxious. I don’t know if I had tensed up, if my breathing had changed or what prompted Roy to ask me the question, but I was surprised when those words came out of my mouth.
As I’ve started delving more seriously into my love affair with food, this conversation came to my mind. I had not done anything wrong. It is not even wrong to want a treat now and then.
The problem was this: I had been feeling some things that are most often considered “negative” like anxiety, worry, regret – and my immediate response to those feelings was FOOD!
Therein lies the problem with any addiction.
Instead of addressing the things I was feeling – whether or not I wanted to talk about them – I deflected them with something more pleasant. I didn’t have to tell Roy any deep, dark secrets, and if I’d said that I was just working through some things and didn’t want to talk right now, he would have respected that.
Instead, I suggested food…
Addiction is essentially the pursuit of something – other than God – to fill a void or ease a pain in my life.
Food is not the problem.
Feelings aren’t the problem.
It’s my denial of those feelings. Or rejection of those feelings. Or avoidance of those feelings that is at the heart of the issue.
The Turtle Pecan Sundae is NOT evil in and of itself. Although it is loaded with sugar, fat, protein, carbohydrates (and so on) it is literally a (somewhat deformed) source of energy or fuel for the body. It is not evil.
My desire to seek fulfillment in and of it self is NOT evil. My body requires fuel to function properly. It requires food to produce energy to continue the operation of sustaining life, and of the activities I like to participate in. Eating a Turtle Pecan Sundae is not a sin.
What happened here, though, was that the truth was being distorted. I judged my feelings as “bad” and didn’t want to process them. I looked for an illusion of satisfaction in the form of a sundae. An illusion -that for me – grows and is entertained in my mind as a “solution” to feeling the way I do. My emotional response is to consume the delectable, mouthwatering combination of flavors and textures to soothe my senses, which in turns eases anxiety and stress.
Therein lies the “evil.”
My hunger for food is NOT ALWAYS based on a physiological need. It often stems from an emotional hunger, and the illusion of satisfaction that food brings has become an oasis for my heart.
FOOD IS NOT EVIL.
DESIRE IS NOT EVIL.
So what is the big deal? Come back tomorrow and we’ll talk about the places where evil lies lurking, just under a fluffy mound of whipped cream and hot fudge…
If you or someone you know struggles with food addiction, you might want to pick up a copy of my friend, Diane’s book called “Diary of a Glutton” where she chronicles her own journey through food addiction. Diane is one of the funniest ladies I have ever met in my life and has a big twinkle of mischief in her eyes. She is honest and encouraging. I am no way affiliated with her – except for friendship and spiritual sisterhood – so if you purchase her book, I do not profit… =)
Do you or does someone you know struggle with addiction? I am still learning as I journey on, and part of my healing is going to come in the midst of complete and utter openness about my struggle. Inspired by Plus Size Gal, Heather, and the Plus Size Bloggers, I decided to share my own struggles here. Thank you for joining me. Your questions and comments are always welcome!