Friday, May 27, 2011

Be Free

Something I learned:

Food is never, never, never going to fix your problems! Food is not going to make you happy, is not going to take the loneliness away, is not going to give you courage to change things. Food is not going to fix the leaky sink, write your term paper, or fix a broken heart. It is not going to repair a relationship or wind back the hands of time. All overeating does is make you fat. NOT happy, not better, not loved and wanted. It is just food and it can only mask the problems by stealing your time and attention. It just helps you run away from the painful reality. Write it out. Say it out loud. "The painful reality is...." Finish the sentence. See what you have been running from all this time. Really. Finish that sentence from your heart, alone in your room, no one to hear it but you. Let the tears begin to flow. Stop running. turn and face it, head on... the feelings the issues, the emotions, the pain... all of it. Just turn and face it and plant your feet and scream and cry if you need to. Don't let it chase you anymore. Stand your ground and fight whatever you need to fight. Fight for your life, with dignity and honor. You don't need food for any of that. It is hard to battle or stand in a dignified manner with your mouth full of cookies.

It's time. Let it out, face it, feel it, mourn it. And then, just be. Be, without the numbing, escaping, drugging effects of food. Be, without running, without hiding. And truly be free.

32 comments:

Nancy vs Polly said...

So true! Amazing words here...something we can ALL relate to...thanks for posting!

screaming fatgirl said...

Actually, food does stimulate pleasure producing chemicals in the brain, especially for people prone to overeating. It doesn't "fix" anything, but it really does make you feel better.

It's okay to accept this truth (and it is absolutely a scientific fact). In fact, it is better to know it and realize that your comfort in food is real, but that doesn't make it any less destructive. It is, for some people, like a drug which replaces pain with pleasure.

Munchberry said...

One of the scarier things about eating differently and controlling yourself is that you know lurking in the dark corner of your mind is that - Oh I do not know the word I want... that certain thought or series of thoughts or worries or anxiety or anger that come into the light and demand to be heard and the only way you can keep them at bay is to numb yourself. But knowing that there is no more numbing agent - it really frightens me. Dealing with whatever it is that is lurking or popping up as I round the corner apple in hand - It is scary. I am saving your post. When I am strong and ready I will have to have it out with myself. Get real as they say. No jokes. I am so glad I came here tonight. I was searching for help and found it.

Heather said...

Wow...just wow. Thank you Lyn!

Floriana said...

I would have to partially disagree with this post. Not all food is destructive and not all food can be equated with overeating and misery. Food in general is not the enemy. Junk food, industrially processed food, etc. - yes, they are bad and won't help us improve our lives. Nourishing, whole foods can fix problems and improve health both physical and mental. Food can have a huge positive impact on many aspects of our lives and make us stronger and ultimately happier which in turn will help us improve our life in other ways.

Marilyn said...

I keep having to learn this very lesson over and over and over... it's a bit tricky since healthy food DOES improve life. But cookies? candy, etc.? Anything that packs-a-punch and that I cannot stop eating until it's GONE - that stuff is poison. All of your posts are helpful to me, Lyn - this one especially. Thank you!

Vickie said...

hugs

timothy said...

great post and i shall do it just not today! lolol mayhaps in the morn if i can actually get some sleep today! bright blessings my friend! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

LHA said...

I understand what you are saying and it is true! Instinctively eating obsessively when you feel that familiar fear/anxiety/sadness/hopelessness get its horrible grip on you is taking you nowhere. Nowhere, that is, except more misery and guilt. Most of us have been there over and over again. Facing your problems and finding other ways to deal with them is important to all of us on the road to better health and weight loss. This is an excellent post and so well written! I wish peace and happiness for you in your quest...and for all the rest of us who are struggling along with you.

-- Rob said...

Words, of wisdom.

Anonymous said...

So true. Unfortunately for many of us, people are accustomed to us stuffing down our feelings (with food, or just by not saying anything), so once we stop using food as a crutch in difficult situations, the true feelings come out.

I am not an emotional eater or food addict (my excess weight came on quickly as a result of an endocrine disorder), but growing up, I was chubby and I DID use food to help me feel better through a difficult, lonely, abusive childhood and adolescence. I also buried myself in the world of books and imagination. I guess I was never allowed to reveal my feelings or to confront others who were mistreating me.

Now, I tell people how I feel. It has cost me some family relationships, but frankly, I don't miss having those people in my life. At all. It feels so good not to have to stifle and hide my feelings around them. I have a cousin who is "supposed" to be like a sister to me, we were basically raised together. Over the years, she was not there for me when I needed her (for example, when my husband had cancer and I was caring for a one-year-old baby and also dealing with the diagnosis of my first brain tumor.) For years, I coped by not thinking about it... but finally, I said what I felt, and now, she no longer is speaking to me. Oh well. My husband had a recurrence of cancer, and I am supposed to have brain surgery soon... I did not need her in my life.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that when you stop using food and avoidance to not deal with problems or toxic people, people get used to you being a certain way. It's something that surprised me.

Maria

journeytobehealthy said...

Thanks so much - I really needed this today.

Lyn said...

Floriana~

the context of the post is the use/abuse of food in an unhealthy manner, the same way people use recreational drugs or alcohol to escape their pain. Of course we all need to eat food to live; I don't think sitting down to dinner with the family (or alone) with a resonable mindset fits the context of this post at all. Eating, itself, is not the issue; nor is the pleasure we get from it. This is about something much deeper.

Lyn said...

Anonymous (Maria)~

sending you many hugs, thoughts and prayers. You have faced a painful truth and I hope you are blessed with strength and good friends to support you now. I hope your surgery goes well, and your husband overcomes his cancer again. Take care and let us know how things are going.

Jen said...

Going through binge eating disorder treatment, I have been working on this. Food was my protector. It is hard to get over.

Joan said...

Thank you so much for this post. It really hit right where I am at this moment. It certainly got me to thinking about how I deal with stress and disappointments. Thanks again for the great post

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, this is your most powerful post over the years.

If someone has food issues and uses food as comfort or escape...the irony is that the obesity that can happen with using food this way becomes a prison. The food that has been used for comfort, for escape, for companionship creates a prison, a fat body that you keep at home and hidden from the world, from love, from family, from deep and meaningful purpose and relationships. This fat body is ashamed of itself. This fat body is physically in pain when you try to move it and go do something. This fat body craves love, craves attention, craves purpose but because of it's prison walls it can only get these things through food, the same food that is creating the reclusive life.

Its just not worth it. I hope and pray for all that this prison can be eliminated, buried and left behind for real relationships, real purpose and real life.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

Your words touched my heart. Thank You

~Deb~ said...

Wow!Very powerful words, and a very powerful tool. Thanks! I am a newbie on your blog but I am so happy I found it, I am a obese 50 year old gramma and I want to make a change. I have begun reading your blog from the beginning and it is giving me both motivation and courage to finally make the changes I need to make, and find the freedom to be me! You are a very courageous woman to put it all out here, yet are doing a great service to those of us who are still trapped in fat, thank you.

Beth said...

Thank you Lyn for this timely post. I've been sitting here trying to convince myself that it would be okay to have a piece of leftover birthday cake because I exercized today and "I deserve it". First problem, I know I would not stop after one piece. Second problem, I don't deserve it. I deserve nutricious and healthy foods that will keep me feeling good about myself and the progress I've made. I'm getting up to throw out that cake right now.

Beth

Deb Willbefree said...

Well. I wasn't going to comment on this post. Not that I didn't get it...not that I don't agree, but I'm going thru an exceedingly painful time right now that no amount of "facing it" will help. A couple times thru this post I thought, "I dunno. A little ice cream just MIGHT help, I could use some mind-numbing drug." Yeah. I know.

But then I read your response to Floriana's comment and I just have to say, "You go, girl! You are absolutely right. How could anyone not get what you meant?" Even if I do want some pain-numbing, escapist ice cream.

Hugs, Lyn.

Deb

Anonymous said...

I read here all the time, but don't always comment.

I'm running a 5K race tomorrow, after losing my first 30lbs. I've got another 50 to go. But tomorrow, Lyn, I will be remembering these words while my feet hit the pavement again and again. You've given me courage and strength. Thank you!

Sonya

Susan said...

I dig it.
thanks.

Lyn said...

Sonya~

Thank you for sharing that! You made my night. I hope you have a GREAT race! Congratulations on the weight loss :)

Dot Porter said...

I just found your blog. I've started Medifast after a year of healthy eating that didn't lead to weight loss. I finally decided that losing the weight was important, and that once I've lose it I can pick up with whole foods (and of course my Lean & Green meals are the lovely whole foods that I love!). I think the structure of Medifast (eating only limited amounts of food over the course of the day, having to make choices about how much to eat when) is really going to help my eating habits over the long run.

I'm about where you were when you started Medifast last year. Your blog is going to be a great resource for me, I can't wait to read it all. Thank you so much.

jules said...

but what if it does? what if food does solve your - or in that case my problems? i mean on the long run, i know i am fooling myself - eating is not going to solve any of my problems, but what if in this instance it is the only thing that keeps me from going insane? that calms me down, grounds me, makes me able to cope at all?
what if there is nothing else, that helps me from going nuts, fall to pieces, what if chocolate is my valium?
what if you feel like you;ve run out of other options?

Karen said...

Amen, Lyn. Thank you for blogging about this. No matter what problem I face, it's been easier to face, solve, apologize, move on, forgive than the long term feelings and side effets that overeating brings to me.

Those life problems will resolve, and thanks to MF and my new healthy habits, I'll have a healthier mind and body to face the next problem head on.

Lyn said...

jules~

take the word "alcohol" or perhaps "cocaine" and put it into your comment in place of food/eating. If a loved one said that to you, what would your answer be? Not a simple answer... but, when a person feels they *cannot cope* without a harmful behavior or substance, and that it is the only thing keeping them sane... well, there is our addiction. And staying in that addiction is not the answer.

Renée said...

Great post... It's just me in this post.
I'm printing it out and will put it in my wallet... So I can read everytime the "monster" rears it's ugly head...

Kath

bea said...

Have you read Women Food and God by Geneen Roth? This post, the ideas in it, reminds me of that book, which I loved. If you haven't read her, I bet you'd like her.

Debbie said...

Wise words, healing and freeing. Thanks for sharing such a invigorating post. "Be Free" is a great battle cry.

dougat200 said...

Wonderful post!