For my whole life, I have always referred to myself as someone who doesn't show emotions. I even make the occasionally heartless joke to try and weed out my insecurity about it. But, towards the end of this year, I had an epiphany about myself and my emotions. I do show emotions, I show them through eating.
I'm not saying I am someone who binge eats and does so because they are bored it's nothing like that. Whenever I am having a moment or a period of time where my emotions are running high, instead of communicating them I eat. For anyone who has a hard time showing emotions or is like me and does not completely, then you know how uncomfortable you become when you start to feel heavy emotions. I literally start to cringe at the thought of someone seeing me show emotions, or me having to feel them in front of someone.
I started to notice the more I thought about it that I was really only eating at certain points in the day. And by eating I mean shoving my face full of unhealthy foods. I was never eating meals at the time of a normal person, instead, I was eating when it related to how I was feeling. And each time this happened I wasn't reaching for a juicy apple or lush green salad, I was ordering Taco Bell or a Pizza.
Half of the time I wasn't even hungry. Usually, I will feel just out of sorts and food is the first thing to come to my mind. And in that moment it does make me feel better even if it's only for a short time span. So that's probably why I keep going back to it. For that short release of happiness through comforting food.
The first time I noticed this was late at night after a terrible day. Instead of just going to bed, binge watching a show or anything else, I went down to the kitchen and made food. If I was feeling really low I may have even left the house to go pick something up. Another time I noticed this was early in the morning. When I was on my way to work, class or whatever else and I was started to get very anxious about the day ahead of me. So this always leads me to a drive through grabbing a quick and extremely unhealthy breakfast.
Coming to this realization lead to many days of self-reflection. Was this something that was okay to do? Could I do it in a healthier way? What was wrong with me?
But when I finally got everything out of my head and came to terms with my flaw I realized it would be okay. I just had to deal with my emotions better. Which I know, is easier said than done. But seeing what I was doing at least showed me I need to find another outlet because eating to make me feel better wasn't the answer.
With the new year ringing in I know the cliche thing is the whole 'new year new me' thing. This is not what that is. I did not come to terms with this because I want to lose weight or change everything about me, but because I want to live a more fulfilling life. I no longer want to find comfort in a fast food bag I want to deal with it and move on. Not bottle everything up and eat it away one chip at a time.
This wasn't about me losing weight and being the socially acceptable definition of what I should look like, this was for me. This was for my mental wellbeing not the approval of others. Maybe they do correlate a little bit, in the sense eating better will make your body look and feel better as well and who doesn't enjoy that? I'm not saying I'm going all natural and never eating anything greasy in my entire life but I don't want to do it as a 5th meal when I'm not in good spirits or struggling.
This year I will not be a new me, I will continue to be the woman I am. I like who I am, but everyone can improve in some way for their own good. I will not resort to food when I am struggling with understanding my emotions instead I will work on them. Will this be an overnight process? Absolutely not, but being aware that it needs to change is a start.
I know it will always be a life long struggle to learn to deal with my emotions especially coming to terms with knowing it is okay to show them. But, I think this is the first step to doing that. I will try to not show my feelings to food and instead try taking steps forward to showing them to people. Food may be very comforting and an easy go to it is not the answer, it will not solve your problems. It may seem like it does at the moment but that is only temporary.
If you are feeling this way you are not alone. You are beautiful as you are and you DO NOT have to change. But just know you are able if you want to. You do have the ability to make a change and do not have to feel alone. Whatever your outlet or comfort zone is, just know there are other choices than food. There are healthier and more beneficial things that will make your mind, body, and soul feel more at ease.
We can take the time to work on our emotions but don't waste that time eating it away!