Time for another week of Flashback Friday, where I dig deep into my past life as a chronic, unhappy dieter to shed some light on what I’ve learned since then. This week I tackle emotional eating, cravings and everything in between. Are you ready?
I have a confession: Back when I was in college & hardcore dieting, my #1 vice was peanut butter. Fat-Free Skippy Peanut Butter to be exact. While everything else (like bread, real cheese, Mexican food, margaritas, pasta, certain meats, real sugar, full-fat anything) was off limits and “bad”, I still allowed myself to eat peanut butter. Fat-free peanut butter.
I’d eat it straight out of the jar with a big metal spoon, mindlessly scooping away until before I knew it half the jar would be gone. It made me feel really good — it was my “drug” of choice. I went through a jar of peanut butter a week (give or take).
While Skippy & I had a love affair throughout college, I labeled most food as “bad,” avoiding them like the plague. My “good” list was definitely lacking, and contained things like fat-free dressing, lean chicken, carb-free, low-cal “noodles,” fake cheese, rice cakes, iceberg lettuce, some nuts, raw fruits and vegetables.
And I had THE WORST cravings for my “bad” foods, especially comfort foods like cheesy dips, creamy casseroles and savory pasta dishes. So what did I do? Ignored them, naturally. Or if I dare had a bite, I’d stuff my face out of control as if it were my last meal on earth.
My roommates (who loved food & had a healthy relationship with food for that matter) said I would often stare at their food with wide eyes in a longing “I can’t have it” sort of way. Sometimes they’d even put food in front of me/offer me their leftovers because they knew deep down I was hungry.
The truth is, I was hungry not only for food but for something else.
Back then I never really stopped to ask myself, “What am I really hungry for?” “What am I truly craving?” I think if I could go back in time, my 20-year-old self would say things like self-love, acceptance, confidence and romance. Those were the things missing most from my life. And therefore I sought to get them from all the wrong ways: extreme dieting, makeup, hookups, tight dresses and burning off all my calories at the gym.
But no matter how many diets I went on, pounds of makeup I put on, boys I hooked up with, skin-tight dresses I bought at Forever 21, or calories I burned I never felt loved, accepted, confident or romanced. I was never “good enough.”
Next time you have a craving, I challenge you to dig into it, rather than ignore it. Go ahead and get close & personal. What do you find? What is your body truly asking for? That right there is what you want to take a deeper look into.
If this sounds like you or you’d like to understand your emotional eating behaviors, I’d like to invite you to a FREE 60-minute webinar “Stop the Bingefests & Learn to Love Food Again” on Tuesday, June 18th that I’m co-hosting with Stacy from ZenConnect. Watch our video & pre-register here!
P.S. Feeling like the odd friend out in your group of friends who seem to have it all together? Want to improve your relationship with food once & for all? Dying to know how to make eating healthy simple, fun & stress-free so you can ditch dieting and make more time for the things you love? Let’s talk!