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When Food Is Love

Health Consciousness

I’ve been looking at my relationship with food in the last month. I am always health conscious when I eat, but I had come to see that my need to be so healthy was actually causing issues in my body. I have now cleared up the dermatitis on my face and scalp through working on my issues around my need to be so healthy. It was very much that I was coming from fear instead of love. Fear of contamination. Very subtle indeed.

This was exacerbated I think when I found out my friend was dying of pancreatic cancer at the start of the year, it set me into another tail spin on being healthy, in fact the day she died is the day I started a 5 day juice detox. Since that day I have put the weight back on that I lost, and then some.

I was exercising with a PT and had to stop, my adrenals were getting creamed, I just couldn’t lose the weight. I did more research and thought it had to do with my cortisol levels.

Then I started to get indigestion everyday. And felt bloated. I couldn’t work out why because I was eating so healthy.

Geneen Roth

I decided to start reading Geneen Roth’s books again, and bought Women Food and God, because it was the book I could get the fastest. I’ve read all Geneen’s books before, but this time I really got it.

I had never had a weight issue; I had prided myself on the fact I could eat what I wanted without putting on weight. But then I put on a lot of weight after I had an abortion. I thought it was hormonal; perimenopausal. I’ve looked at so many angles I just couldn’t find anything that shifted the issue.

Restrictors and Permitters russian grocery store

Geneen talks about how there are restrictors and permitters in eating. I’m a restrictor. I can restrict my intake of food and control it really well. I have iron will power. I can control cravings. I don’t mean anorexia, but more that I can stick to an eating plan. Restrictors believe that if they can control then they feel safe. My parents are restrictors and so is my first husband. Then my second husband came along and he is a Permitter. They are the ones who eat what they want when they want. They want to have a party with food. Eat everything they weren’t allowed to eat as a kid. They believe they can’t control so they might as well merge with the chaos.

So he hated my restrictions around food. He didn’t want to come home to eat a salad, he wanted a big hearty meaty meal. We always had to have lollies and chips and popcorn and coke. After my childhood and first husband it was as if someone was giving me total permission to have fun while eating, even if I felt guilty, it was easier to just buy the crap food and not get into a battle about how we should eat healthier. On some level my inner child was loving it because I got to eat all the foods I wasn’t allowed to eat on tap as a child.

Food as Love

Geneen has always talked about Food being Love. I never really fully understood this, I knew I was an emotional eater, to quell anxiety usually, but it wasn’t until I read these two lines in her book I really got it. –

“I am beginning to understand that the whole struggle with food is not about discipline, or self-control or bargaining with myself; its not even about food. It is a story – a powerful story- about loving and wanting and having.”

“When I told myself that this time I could eat what I wanted with no strings attached – I headed straight for the foods of my childhood I was never allowed to eat. It was as if in letting myself eat what I couldn’t eat as a kid, I thought I could get what I never got… I needed to prove to myself that what I wanted most was not forbidden, but what I didn’t understand what that I didn’t want the cookies; I wanted the way being allowed to have them made me feel; welcomed, deserving, adored.”

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