Friday, January 20, 2006

Eating in the Light of the Moon

Someone on a bb I read posted this from the book Eating in the Light of the Moon and it really resonated with me:

Addiction keeps us from being fully present in the moment with ourselves, our feelings, our friends, our lovers, or with whomever or whatever might have captured our attention. Instead, we find ourselves agonizing over how many calories we ate earlier in the day. Rather than being in contact with life, we withdraw from it, into our obsessive thoughts about binging and dieting. By putting our energies into planning that next binge or preparing for the next diet, we remove ourselves from the present

So true -- so many times I eat to put off doing something or remove myself from a stressful situation. On Wednesday night I was so stressed out about T being at basketball. I had to take the girls to Pizza Hut and grocery shop with them by myself. C wouldn't eat, I had an entire medium sized pizza looking at me, and when we got home the girls needed baths. I so wanted to EAT! At PH I ate only one piece of pizza, though I picked a bit at the girls' personal pan pizzas. I was satisfied after my salad and one piece of pizza, but resisting eating more was difficult. I didn't want dinner to end because it would mean going to the grocery store. Ugh. Then when we got home the girls went upstairs to bathe and I stayed downstairs. I really wanted to just sit and relax but knew I should be upstairs washing hair and keeping an eye on the kids. I wanted to eat everything in the cupboard. I opened the door about 5 times, and ate two potato chips. Then I told myself that if I binged, I wouldn't enjoy the food, I'd still have to go upstairs, and I'd be upset and feeling horrid. I calmly sat with one Twinkie and a cup of hot chocolate and slowly ate and read the paper. Then I went upstairs and bathed the girls and put them to bed. I felt so good about not giving in to my urge to stuff myself.

More from the book:

To recover from disordered eating, we must be willing to go beyond food itself to discover the presence of the real hunger that underlies the urge to eat compulsively. With disordered eating behaviour, our true needs and innermost desires are hidden behind urges that only symbolize those real needs and desires. When we are engaged in addictive eating, that is the time to look for what the real hunger is because that is the moment in which it gets presented to us in its symbolic form. By simply eliminating certain foods or striving to restrict our behavior, we deprive ourselves of opportunities to learn of the true meanings behind those symbols. Someone who is addicted to eating is actually starving on an emotional and spiritual level. Her longing for food is a longing for emotional and spiritual nourishment. It is often a longing for the ideal mother, the archetypal Good Mother who nourishes us, soothes us, and loves and accepts us just the way we are. Frequently, this is the "something" she searches for as she stands in front of the fridge. This is what she is really in pursuit of when she sets out for the grocery store. No matter how much ice-cream she eats, how many cookies she consumes or muffins she devours, she cannot fulfill this longing because she is filling her stomach, not her heart, not her spirit. For a woman to recover from disordered eating, she must recognize that she is starving. She needs to understand that the food she requires is not material food. She must be able to name her hunger and recognize its symbolic nature in order to nourish herself.

I think the thing is that I can recognize that I feel anxious, but I don't know how to get behind (beneath?) the anxiety and find out what is causing it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the entry - I started reading the book yesterday and put it down immediately. I see myself in the book and it's very difficult to see. I will try again today. I feel I am about to start a journey with this book because so much of what I read resonates SO deeply.