How many months, years, or decades have you experienced this complicated relationship with food? How long has it been so extreme with dieting, bingeing, overexercising?? Not only is this tough on your body physically yet it is getting in the way with living YOUR life. Pull up a chair and let’s chat over this week’s letter along side guest expert Chris Sandel from the Real Health Radio podcast.
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This episode’s Dear Food letter:
I binged on you last night. I abused you. I attended a family gathering during the day and wasn’t able to control you, and felt like I “blew it”, and that was just the beginning. I lost complete control and spent the night making trips to the kitchen. The leftovers from the party didn’t stand a chance.
Food, I’m stuck in a cycle between restricting you, bingeing on you, and then compensating by intense exercise, and of course, more restriction. And I know, I know…. I know that the restriction is the culprit here. If I wasn’t restricting, then I wouldn’t be bingeing, right? And the exercise that feels like my penance is totally an addiction now : I push myself to walk about X miles a day, and on top of that, I do high-resistance, high-intensity exercise every day. Sometime I cancel plans and miss out on life just so I can exercise. It’s become completely abusive. I’m driving my body into the ground. I haven’t had my period in a year and my body is screaming for relief.
Food, I spent the first twenty years of my life free from these worries. I didn’t have control, body, or exercise “issues” when I was a teenager. It wasn’t until I experienced the loss of a parent when I turned twenty that I began to control you as a way of dealing with emotions. I spent most of my twenties entangled in a toxic relationship with you, Food. I loved you and feared you at the same time. And Exercise, you were both my savior and a sadistic overseer.
When I turned 28 I began a relationship with the man who is still currently my partner and this all changed. The relationship became my new focal point, for better or worse. Food, I completely stopped thinking about you. I ate intuitively, didn’t obsess over you, and didn’t find the need to over-exercise. It was wonderful. My body’s weight self-regulated and I thought I was free! I enjoyed this freedom for four care-free years. But then Food, we had a baby. The stress of parenting became overwhelming and I found absolute comfort in controlling you, in measuring you and calculating you. That was far “easier” than the stress of parenting and you became a distraction. You distracted me from dealing with my emotions.
Food, I have a beautiful two year old daughter and I don’t want her to absorb these problems. I want her to be free, to feel beautiful in her body, and to trust herself. I worry that she will see me abusing my body with exercise and bingeing and restriction.
I want the cycle to end. But here’s the thing, Food. The cycle has become a big, tangled ball of yarn and I can’t work my way out of the mess. But, I know I have to make a cut somewhere, just so the whole thing can finally unravel. And so here’s my question : Where do I make the incision? Do I start to cut out the exercise that I know is making me so hungry, or do I cut my losses and stop controlling my food intake?
And that’s the other problem, Food. My intake. I don’t even know what to eat or how to eat anymore. All I know is total control or total abandon.
Please Food, tell me how to stop obsessing over you and tell me how to learn to let go.
- Julie Dillon RD blog
- Link to subscribe to the Love Food’s Food Peace Syllabus.
- Chris Sandel website
- Real Health Radio Podcast
- Find an Eating Disorder Dietitians near you.
Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com.