Women, Food and God

Hi Everyone,

I’m not one to judge who can or can’t multitask – but when it comes to me, I can tell you straight that I’m not brilliant at it. Far from it. I am a bit of an amateur juggler, when one thing is going well in my life, the others seem to suffer. So the Alpha phase at the gym, with Zumba dance and Aqua has worked out well for me in week one, but my eating has been a bit hit and miss, to say the least.

I may have not made it clear before, but if you didn’t know, I’m a weight watcher follower. I don’t like to make a big deal of it, and actually not many people really know about it – if people ask I just tend to say “I’m watching my weight” (not really lying, is it?). Each to their own, but for me it provides a base of control for me – something to keep in on the thin and narrow. It is basically a calorie-control diet, there are no restrictions other then the number of “points” allowed each day/week – which equates (insert clever equation here) to calories per day – and this daily allowance will differ depending on your weight/height and how much you desire to lose. Anyways, I find it helpful because it is not food restrictive (no ban on carbs/ etc) but gives food a “budget” – so for example, you could have a galaxy chocolate bar for 8points, or a grilled chicken breast, salad, and a bread roll with butter for exactly the same value – you just have to choice which you want. It has been a valuable tool to re-educate me about healthy eating.

ok this blog isn’t about WW! the reason why I mentioned it is that I haven’t been tracking (keeping count of my daily points) this week – just due to being really busy and distracted having fun with life and feeling very much in holiday mode. i think I have, on the whole, made healthy-ish choices, but I haven’t been to the gym in 5 days so really have no idea what I will weigh in on Wednesday. When I don’t track – I just don’t feel very disciplined in my eating and that is usually a reflection of my life at the time as well not being in control.

I was really struggling for a while with not feeling in control, and now that my exams are (for now) over – I decided to use the long weekend to finally finish reading the book “Women Food and God” by Geneen Roth. Don’t let the title put you off – it is a fantastic informative book about the struggle many have with their relationship with food – mostly in the form of emotional over-eating.

She goes deep into talking about the cognitive, or thought based dilemmas, subconsciously  filtering through our mind when we eat and when we don’t eat – patterns of behaviour so engrained in us since childhood that it becomes an obsessive compulsive ritual that so many get caught up in – and even the “something to do in dieting” giving us our life purpose – that you are never “complete” until you have lost that 20 lbs, which you gain and lose for back and forth up and down over and over again for years on end.

Her book is divided into 3 parts, The Principles, The Practices, and The Eating. I personally found the first part an easier read, and feel I need to “re-read” parts 2 and 3 to grasp the core of it.

In essence, the message is simple “eat what your body wants until you are satisfied. then stop.”

Simple, right? wrong – if only it was that easy.

Our eating is so enmeshed in our emotions, our daily battles weave in and out of consciousness affecting what we choose to put into our bodies, and whether we decide to head to the gym or stay hidden under the covers. Roth gives some practical suggestions in “the guidelines” of how to make ourselves AWARE of this intrinsic pattern. They are so simple – almost too simple – but I’m willing to give it a try. She suggests that we treat eating as a spiritual act in itself, as almost a meditation. It ties in with my own christian/ spiritual beliefs that “the body is a temple” so for me even more poignant to strive to achieve this discipline in my life.

I learnt that I am, and have been, an emotional over-eater. There is no running away from it, although I would love to do just that. I have used food to “numb” the pain I thought I could not (or should not) deal with, and it has been my “block” – my wall up to the world since I was 7 years old. I know my issues with food will not resolve overnight – but they are a hell of a lot better then they were 2 stone ago. I sometimes slip into my old habits (like I have this weekend) but I know what I need to do to get back on track, and I will draw the line and start over

 

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line drawn!

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