By KELLIE KAMRYN
At the age of 12, I had to have an emergency appendectomy. It was a vulnerable time in my life for many reasons. As friends and family do, they brought me get well gifts, some in the form of food. My grandma brought me an entire batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies—a favourite treat to this day. After I got home from the hospital, I kept the bag of cookies in a drawer in my room and indulged in them every so often until they were all gone. Little did I realize at the time that the cookies represented a big old bag of love.
As a teenager, I was a competitive gymnast. I trained 20 plus hours a week, ate multiple meals a day and never worried about what I ingested. I needed calories and I was fit. When I had my surgery, I felt vulnerable and scared. Feeling vulnerable tends to make me crave love, support and comfort. On occasion, that comfort takes the form of special treats. As a child, I didn’t make this connection between food and needing comfort.
I believe in the mantra “everything in moderation.” I believe it’s okay to treat yourself without guilty thoughts running through your head. However, I have found it hard to do that. Whenever I would eat a treat, I would tell myself things I thought were kind: “Oh, I’ll work out hard tomorrow,” “It’s a special occasion” or “I deserve this. I only live once.”
Those statements alone might not seem like I was making myself feel guilty, but I did feel shame for eating treats, like I wasn’t worthy of enjoying delectable things. When I stopped to ask myself why I had to justify enjoying certain types of foods, I found something interesting.
Feeling vulnerable tends to make me crave love and support. For me, vulnerability makes me crave comfort and even though I would indulge on occasion and tell myself it was okay to treat myself once in a while, I finally figured out that I used sugary foods to satisfy my need for emotional comfort.
Becoming aware of this emotional eating pattern was such a blessing. Whenever I craved something sweet, I would stop and observe to see what may be causing me the emotional discomfort that triggered my craving. Not giving in to the need to comfort my emotions with food was difficult at times. I had to sit with how I felt and wait for it to pass. Reaching out to friends helped. Asking for love and support when I felt vulnerable was difficult, but it gave me what I really needed. In the process, I’ve learned to enjoy treats on occasion without guilt. And wow!! Things taste totally different when you don’t have the guilt program looping over and over in your head.
It has become easier to hear my body too. It will crave healthy, nutritious foods as well, and I am becoming aware of what it needs and when.
Have you ever experienced emotional eating? How did you overcome it? Please share with me and other readers.
© Kellie Kamryn, 2017 www.kelliekamryn.com
Kellie Kamryn is an award-winning erotic romance writer and voice actor, as well as former columnist for Evolved World. Her articles receive a wide reception on her personal website and elsewhere for her commitment to keeping it real, and helping people get in touch with their inner truth by sharing her personal experiences. Kellie loves to hear from readers, so if you have an experience to share, please comment!