I was listening to Geneen Roth on the Oprah podcast today and she said something that really clicked with me — or should I say, I had an “aha moment”? If you don’t know, Roth is an expert on emotional eating and women’s relationship with food. She noted that every time we want to run to food for comfort or when we aren’t hungry or whatever is an opportunity to dig deep and figure out who we really are and that the problem really is. Not a novel thought, but one to really hold onto if you are battling a vice.
If we give into emotional eating, we glaze over the emotional turmoil, bury it and never overcome it. But really, whenever we experience that discomfort that pushes us toward food (or whatever the vice may be), we should look forward to those moments because they offer us a chance to learn more and become better, strong individuals. It’s in those moments we feel weak and uncomfortable that we can really begin to do that work that will heal whatever wound is festering.
Now, I do not look forward to these moments — and I have them often — but if I can change my mindset and attempt to look at these moments are opportunities for growth & positive change, perhaps I can make some real progress. Being pregnant, I’ve not been able to run to one of my biggest vices — which is wine. I drink wine pretty frequently — like 5 days a week when I’m not pregnant. Not a lot but 1-2 glasses and it is not just because I like the taste, mmmk? And I’ve had to sit with some really uncomfortable feelings when I don’t have that to run to.
I have found myself in many hard moments, reminding myself that this is real life and I can do hard things and trying to patch over them with wine or ice cream or busy-ness doesn’t make them go away. I have found sometimes I just have to make myself sit in the mess of my emotions and endure them. It has given me the important realization that they are temporary and I am not a slave to them. So I guess I had already sort of begun implementing Roth’s idea about embracing hard moments as opportunity but she put words to it today in a way I hadn’t.
I will give in again — to food or wine or whatever it is. But, one thing I learned in my slow recovery from an eating disorder, is that you can’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. Maybe just maybe by thinking this way, I can being eliminating the times I do run to my vices one by one. And over time, I will see they have less power over me and even that I want to use them less because of the good that has come from embracing the hard in order to grow.
Thought for the day 🙂