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What I Miss About Emotional Eating

I’ve been dreaming about this post for a month.

I’ve been wondering exactly how to describe this feeling of loss that I have.

Loss that I can’t quite put my finger on.

Without consuming ____ to glue together all of my jagged edges, I feel a little like a bag of mirror shards, clanging around and reflecting one another’s sharpness.

Food used to tie it all together for me – family, romance, awkward social situations, fear, loneliness, anxiety - Nothing a bowl of mashed potatoes couldn’t fix.

The feeling that I have now is a little bit sad. I feel a little let down. The grandeur of going out and eating a fancy meal is a little less sparkly. The gnocchi has kind of lost it’s mystery.

I have never been so sick of eating vegetables in my life.

I miss the quick-fix, the bowl of beans and rice, the easy remedy that I could provide myself with the contents of my cupboards. Yes, I always knew this fix was fickle and short-lived, but in that moment, cheese solved most problems.

Nature Company trashcam gems

Without the food, the feelings are there, inmates clanging against their shackles and bars and demanding that I pay attention to them. They want me to know that while I was oh so busy trying to shut them up they were bored out of their minds with all of the television that I was watching and heartbroken that I never gave them a chance to be who they always wanted to by and WHY didn’t I let them go out and have fun once and a while and and and…

They wanted to know why I no longer got on stage with my hula hoop and performed on top of  a speaker.

They wanted to know what I was planning on doing about how resentful I felt towards myself for making myself believe I had to take care of every single thing for every single person that I know for the last twenty years.

They want me to have this tattooed on my wrist, so I’ll never forget it:

Just because you can, doesn’t mean that you should.

So, friends, here’s the deal: I’m ready to let a couple of those feelings out of their cages and see what happens. Yes, there have been temper tantrums. Yes, I have cried – yelled – demanded – begged – pleaded to distract me from how I feel inside.

Without food to stuff it all down – I need to be very, very kind to myself  - because without food my coping mechanisms are stiff and stunted. They are difficult to access in a moment of crisis.

Without food, I get it wrong, a lot.

I apologize, a lot, for my brattiness,  but I don’t feel sorry for living authentically.

This is really, quite exciting, and it will impact things around here, because, well, this site and all of you are my wildest dream come true. In 2012, there will be products, more, BETTER posts, gorgeous eLetters, dynamite facebook polls/banter/silliness, and continued twitter rabble-rousing. In 2012 there will be body-loving coaching – details will be delivered to the mailing list Monday night and to the rest of the world Tuesday.

The bar has been raised, and I am oh so grateful.


23 Comments to What I Miss About Emotional Eating

  1. February 16, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Wow. I am at exactly the same place. I feel raw and rough-edged and like I am missing something when I am not trying to stuff everything down or numb out with food. It’s a weird place.

    • mmarzipan's Gravatar mmarzipan
      February 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      YES and it’s hard to see that what you’re “missing”, for me, is all of the things that I sort of wish that I could have gone along permitting myself to believe. It’s a weird state of knowing.

  2. Alice's Gravatar Alice
    February 16, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Beautiful post!

  3. Jen's Gravatar Jen
    February 16, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Food filled that void that I am still struggling to fill.

    I love the Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. It can apply to a lot of areas in my life.

    Thank you for the post.

  4. February 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Wow–this is brave, and true, and I don’t think I’ve seen it expressed anywhere.

    I remember very distinctly feeling this sorrow about a week after beginning a treatment program and realizing that recovery would mean I would never be able to binge again. Like, never. I felt this sense of loss, loss for a coping mechanism that had been with me for 25 years. It wasn’t a “one day at a time” thing; it wasn’t that the realization made it seem hard or impossible. It just made me sad. It was like losing a friend, even a passive-aggressive little jerk of a friend. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone in this feeling.

    • mmarzipan's Gravatar mmarzipan
      February 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Autumn. And YES, that is exactly the feeling – never again. Nope, not at all, not even a little. There is this whiny little kid inside me that is just begging me to reconsider, but even the binge has lost its sparkle, now that I know how my body feels, without the binge, you know? It is a little like losing a friend that you love because they’ve been grandfathered into your life, even though you kind of hate them when you stop and think about it. xo

  5. Daphne's Gravatar Daphne
    February 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    this is a fabulous post. As someone who has seen many women go through this, I just wanted to add that “this too shall pass.” And the feeling of freedom and sense of personal power that emerges from this path is so unbelievable – not to mention that food starts to become fun again (in ways you may never have expected). So congratulations. You are doing the “hard work” and I support you completely!

    The Pleasure Nutritionist

    • mmarzipan's Gravatar mmarzipan
      February 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      thank you Daphne! I love that perspective. xo

  6. February 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh those pesky feelings. It’s a habit to tune out with food and go numb. It takes a long time to create a new habit, to allow those feelings to just “be.” It’s hard and not really all that pleasant most of the time but there is a huge payoff, right? More authentic, genuine living! Better posts! Gorgeous eLetters! Whooo!

  7. HL's Gravatar HL
    February 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Uh wow, it’s like you were in my brain when you wrote this. I’ve been participating in a program for behavior changes around eating, and like you, I’ve felt so RAW these past few weeks. Food is not as appealing and the struggle of insead sitting with my feelings is uh, intense. So yay, someone else is experiencing this too! And yay for new blog posts and future kick-ass-ness.

  8. February 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m so excited for you, and a little bit for myself, too. Looking forward to 2012 right along with you.

  9. February 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    At times, for me, it is a bit bizarre to grieve over the loss of something so destructive for me, but it’s there… starring me in the face, those little mirror shards dig deep into the recesses of the heart. Mara, you are so brave!!! Daphne’s right and so are you. It passes and once you step into that weird place of knowing, there is no turning back. Thank you for “showing up!”

  10. February 16, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Ah man, Mara, you always strike a chord with me when you write! I feel that sense of loss, too, with both food but especially exercise. The emotions come up full force instead. It’s scary for sure. I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve this year :)

  11. Paradigmgallery's Gravatar Paradigmgallery
    February 16, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Seriously…you are a great communicator about an obviously very tender topic…such powerful insights to share…a true sister.

  12. February 17, 2012 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    Hi Mara,
    welcome to the show. I stopped stuffing all my feelings as well, and I am still an emotional wreck, but I can’t help but be grateful for it, because now I have the ability of truly living everything that’s inside of me, no matter how painful and powerful and overwhelming it might be.

    I am looking forward to the stuff you’re going to bring to the table during this year.


  13. February 17, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    such beautiful writing. nothing else to add. xoxo

  14. February 17, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    What a great post. I am an alcoholic in recovery with almost 15 months of sobriety, and, boy, do I get this. I’ve also been a binge eater, and it worsened once I got sober. I’m trying to work day by day on myself (I also use a 12 step program), and I’m starting to learn how to deal with all of these pesky feelings I’ve stuffed for years. It is hard, but rewarding, work, as you know.

    I love your blog, and I’m looking forward to watching your journey in 2012!

  15. February 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    mara, your posts are always brilliant. no need for the “better”. i love this post, too, can relate in many ways.

    and i also want to know why you haven’t hula-hooped on top of speakers! (that sounds flippin’ awesome).

  16. February 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    more often than not, my go-to, new coping mechanism revolve around other kinds of detatchment: tv, internet, shopping. But I’ve noticed that even allowing myself these fallible outlets have eased something up inside me enough to engage meaningfully in other areas of my life: relationships, connection to nature, and even, sometimes – gasp – connection with my body. we love you, mara. we totally totally can’t wait for everything. but take your own sweet time. In the words of LynneAnn: your pace, is THE pace.

  17. Melissa's Gravatar Melissa
    February 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    This is a universal truth because of the almost endless options for the blank:

    “Without consuming ____ to glue together all of my jagged edges, I feel a little like a bag of mirror shards, clanging around and reflecting one another’s sharpness.”

    People willing to be honest can fill that in easily. I thought of three things that fit me immediately.

    Amazing post. Thank you.

  18. February 21, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Love that – “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

  19. February 24, 2012 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    So much yes to this!! I had this experience when I first started Intuitive Eating, I can’t use food to solve my problems anymore. It used to be so easy, I would be struggling, feeling low, and ‘fix’ or sooth or whatever it by breaking my diet or eating something ‘bad’. Now, there is no ‘bad’ food, there is no diet to break, or to start to solve all my issues. Now there is just me. I have to do the work. Thank you for this post. xx

  20. February 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Oh how i loved these words.. and boy do I get it! It’s amazing what lies beneath even for those of us who are fairly attuned and oh-so-smarty about how all the pieces go together.. actually feeling them and letting them run wild is a whole ‘nother story… And we have to make tons of room for this sort of shift. Keep your best most trusted people super close and put boundaries around everything else. Tons of daily sacred rituals..beautiful nourishing food, lots of writing.. I know you know the drill. And that it won’t be perfect but a bit raw and ragged.
    Cheering you on and can’t wait to read more…
    Love and Blessings,
    Sacred Simple Solutions to Living Beautifully In Your Body..

  1. By on February 19, 2012 at 11:32 am
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Welcome! I’m Mara.

I’m Mara Glatzel. I’m an intuitive coach and writer. I guide women home to themselves and teach them to create lives brimming with supreme self-care. read more
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