I posted this on a bulletin board I belong to:
"It's so easy to understand my desire to eat when I'm anxious, upset, bored, etc. The other day I was feeling a lot of anxiety over something-or-other and I thought to myself, "I wish I could just binge instead of feeling all of this!" It's much less difficult to not eat in a situation when I realize why I want to. It's more difficult when there doesn't seem to be any reason beyond greed for me wanting food! "
One of the posters wrote:
"Susan when you describe your "greed" ~ always wanting the biggest piece of cake, etc. It doesn't sound like greed to me .... it sounds like little Susan wants to make positive that she gets her fair share. It sounds like there have been times in life where you didn't get what you needed and that large piece of cake is a form of taking care of yourself"
Another wrote that there will always be more cake and I need to remind myself of this when I want to eat more even though I'm not hungry or when I want dessert even though I'm full after dinner.
I think the "little Susan" theory is a good one. Growing up, we weren't short on food but with six kids we often didn't get "seconds" unless we ate our "firsts" really fast. We weren't allowed to eat between meals, and rarely ate out or had "good" food like pizza, french fries, ice cream, or chocolate. In addition, I used food to soothe my feelings, epecially as I got older.
I indulge (or used to indulge) in other behaviors (besides overeating) that agree with the fear of deprivation theory. My coworker brings in (giant) bagels every Saturday and I don't eat them anymore. When I did, however, I always made sure to rush over to the bag and pick out the one I wanted right away & squirrel it in my locker if I didn't immediately eat it. I used to be the first one in line at every potluck or buffet, and the first to cut into any treat brought by a coworker.
These days I often skip the treat and wait until last to get in line at a potluck. BUT I do still sometimes squirrel away treats, as though I won't be able to get any later. Silly because I could buy or make anything (I'm a good cook, after all), but I still sometimes find myself doing it. If I could figure out how to get past the feelings of deprivation...
I suppose I just need to put up with them. But then again, there's that fear that they will always be there and never go away. The fear that I will feel and feel and feel deprived and a bowl of ice cream will never just be a bowl of ice cream to take or leave. I've tried and tried to tell myself that there will always be more cake. Sometimes it works (especially with cake that isn't homemade). Sometimes though I think that my inner little girl says, "Oh yeah? Well when? You aren't having it now, you didn't have it last week -- exactly WHEN will there be more cake?!?"
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