Monday, May 12, 2008

Eating and Health

Not everyone has emotional feelings about eating and food, but alot of people do, I think more than not! One of the reasons I started Food and Thought was to write about my emotions that relate to eating and food, away from many readers of Rediscovering Strength that don't understand. But I feel as if most everyone has "something" that is driven emotionally, for instance, just replace 'binge eating' with some other behavior. Fawn and I had a conversation about 'fatal flaws'......everyone seems to have one (at least one, lol!) that drives a person to do things they think they don't want to do, or feel as if they have no control over.

Well, eating is my "thing". Not food. Food is not the problem. Food is the innocent victim of my eating habits! That's why I refuse to blame it. That's why I refuse to deny myself of all of it's life giving, joy giving, goodness. When I realized, just recently, the difference between "eating" and "food", a light bulb went off in my head. That makes perfect sense because I'm not hungry for food when I start to overeat. I like to eat. The physical act of doesn't matter most of the time what I'm eating, I've certainly overate things I look back on and think, "Why did I 'waste' all of those calories on that?" Food is not the enemy, how much food I eat, and how I eat it (complusively), does not reflect good health.

I currently weigh about 5-10lbs more than I say I want to weigh. Why am I not satisfied with where I am right now, at 135-138lbs, when I'm still way ahead of where I started? Why can't I just settle for where I am right now? I'm still very fit, more so than most women my age or even younger. I can move with freedom at this weight. I'm still nowhere near "fat". For the most part I love the way my body looks, and I can wear the clothes I want to wear. So why should I want to change anything?

Because I know that my current bodyweight is a reflection of too much unhealthy eating. I know I'm eating too much because I have been gaining bodyweight, not maintaining. My bodyweight is moving in an unhealthy direction, as a result of unhealthy eating. Binge eating. Too much food, and too many calories my body doesn't need.

What I want in my life is to be healthy, because I know what that feels like, and it's awesome! Why I had to move away from it, I don't know, and I don't care. For whatever the reason, ( I have a few ideas, lol), it's fine, I am where I am, and I always have choice. The choice to move toward health or away from it. The type of foods we eat help determine the health of our physical bodies, and the way we eat foods determine the health of our minds. I feel that both define health. And I will not settle for less.


Tori said...

I can totally relate! I too am carrying around an extra 5-10 lbs from unhealthy eating. I have known what to do about it for months now, but I have chosen not to do anything about it. Well, today is a new day and I have decided to do something about it! I am taking control back. I am going to experiment with the Warrior Diet. I read about it on your husband's blog and bought the book. I have the highest confidence in you that you will get to where you want to be. You are a very determined woman! Here's to weighing less next month!

Amy said...

It seems that the 5-10 lbs. symbolize your progress in getting your eating in check. If the weight is off, it signals a victory. If the weight is on, it signals something is still not clicking. That makes sense to me.

Your idea of food vs. eating has given me something to ponder. I've had a weekend away from food because of illness. Now I can look at eating with a fresh perspective. I have only been eating what I need to survive, so to speak for the last three days. What have I been missing? What did I replace eating with to feel good? Why do I eat to calm myself? Why do I even buy foods that aren't healthy?

Lots of questions going through my mind right now. Thank you for another opportunity to reflect, Tracy!

Anonymous said...

This post is great "food" for thought Tracy. As always of course. I like the way you separate food from eating here and make a distinction. That is a fresh perspective for me and I like fresh perspectives.

Anonymous said...

As a former extreme anorexic/bulimic, obsessive compulsive all-nothing, perfectionist and goal-directed person, I have some things to say about the saddened reader and what she calls "struggle", and also about the wonderful mirror and model you are, whatever your choices and experiences share with us through your blog.

The first one: it takes a big deal of courage, honesty and commitment to open your daily life and difficult experiences to others. It's a gift and so I take it. Respectfully. Kindly. Empathetically. Willing to be a student.

The second one: goal oriented people need goals. You've reached very high places and maybe this plateau is just the well earned rest after Everest and before K2.

The third:
No one can be expected to be perfect, flawless, the best, the skinniest, the unbeatable Olympic athlete all the time. I totally agree with you: everyone is giving their best.
Loving kindness, compassion, trust, integrity are traits you show, much more important than your body weight or fat percentage.

The fourth: difficult is never bad. A mistake may turn into epiphany. Pain is nothing to escape or hide from. All our inner parts (the compulsive eater in a particular, wonderful way) are always on our side. I use to ask mine "How are you trying to help?". Most of the times she says: Stop pushing yourself so hard, stop trying to be more and enjoy the moment. Please, REST, for heaven's sake.

The fifth: we are here to ride the waves of impermanence. Nothing is meant to stay. Everything is already broken. Body knows best. How do we know we need to be (x) pounds? We weigh (x) pounds until we don't and weigh even more or ten pounds less.

And last but not least, we only have to deal with right now, one thing at a time, one meal at a time, one pound at a time, one snatch or swing at a time, one challenge or lesson at a time.
We would enjoy endlessly just by trusting the unfolding.
Body is a field of discovery, body is our ongoing piece of art. Body is a journey. Body is a spiritual path. Body is such a resilient, forgiving and kind companion. So strong, so enduring.

Every time I eat I pray Thich Nhat Hanh's "In this food I see the whole universe supporting my existence". Am I receiving it with love?

You are enough. You are doing far better than great, Tracy and you don't owe anybody an explanation.

With much love and gratitude, from Spain

Tracy said...


I fall back on the WD many times, but I haven't been successful in converting to it....maybe I should read the book!

I know it works for Mark. Mark has never had to watch his weight, that wasn't the point for him. For him it was about not feeling like he had to eat all the time to keep his energy up, and it allows him to train in the afternoon on an empty stomach, so he's not digesting food all day long.

Oh, and I will weigh less next month!

Tracy said...


Why can't my "emotional" stuff make me want to clean my house, or something else productive, lol?

Maybe I'll try that! If I feel hungry, emotionally, I'll just start cleaning something! I'll let you know how it goes!

Tracy said...


I wish I could take credit for that discovery...I'll write more detail about that soon, because it really changed my own perspective about food.

But quickly....I first read about the differences in an Overeaters Anonymous book.

Tracy said...


I couldn't said it any better myself!

It's about a journey, and you've mapped out a wonderful sequence of things to think about as we travel down the roads of thought on our journeys.

In fact, I'm sure you won't mind, but I'll have to use some of your thoughts as springboards...thank you for that. I especially like what you said about 'difficult never being bad', because I completely agree!

Again, thank you for taking so much time to share the wisdom of your own experience with me. I think that's the point...your experience and mine, and others, doesn't have to be the same in the exact details to take away bits and pieces applicable to our own lives and move forward to more awareness.

Anonymous said...

I think we are all part of one mind. I would never consider (my) thinking an intellectual property. As a bottom line: everything is creative commons if for good deed, growth or loving purpose!

We are teachers and students,sages and beginners at the same time, all the time.

With much sweetness and appreciation,


fawn said...

Great message Tracy! I remember out "Fatal Flaw" conversation... good times! LOL! I miss you!