Tuesday, 27 July 2010

But I might miss out...

A week or two back, I posted about how I was chucking out the scales, and adopting a new approach to my eating, my diet and my relationship with food.

I have been really happy with "letting go of perfect".

I have been eating well, and I have only dropped the ball a few times on my mission to eat supportively.

(Sunday night in front of the Masterchef final was a good example of "mindless" eating. Handfuls of peanuts anyone?)

I have been tracking, every single day, everything I have been eating.

Just jotting it down, along with how hungry I was before I ate, and how full I felt after having eaten.

It makes for very interesting reading. This emotional eating bizzo is a such a complex puzzle for me.

I have always known I was an emotional eater, but I suspect I was always too nervous to delve into that any further.

Now I am feeling like I am in a good place to tackle this emotional eating business once and for all.

So, one of the main things that prompt my emotional eating are -

- When I feel like I might "miss out" on a treat by depriving myself. I know why. Now that I have analysed it a little, I can clearly remember feeling like this as a child. For a couple of reasons, food was often restricted, from me. My mother no doubt had my best interests at heart, and I know she was doing what she thought was best at the time. But it evidently impacted my relationship with food.

She operated on a strict budget, and there was very rarely "treats" or "junk food" in the house, ever. When she did buy such treats, it was restricted, out of scarcity. And it was rationed out. So of course, I always felt like I wanted more. I had older siblings who always got more. But I wanted more too, to be like them, I guess. But I wasn't allowed.

Out of all of us, I was not fat, but as a child I the one with the sturdy build, in comparison to my siblings who were all long and lean. My mother had battled with her weight through her teenage years, so I think she was terrified I would turn into a "fat child". She put me on a diet at aged 7. When I look at photos of myself at this age, I was not fat. At all. But I wasn't skinny either, so I guess she was trying to anticipate weight gain? I don't know.

Either way, I was always told "no more for you Lucy", whilst my siblings were allowed more. "That's enough, Lucy", whilst my siblings helped themselves.

See? Scared of missing out.

So the minute I put myself on a "diet", all those feelings of being "deprived" and "restricted" and "being the odd one out" return. And make me feel sad.

So the instinct is, of course, to rebel, and eat loads of all the restricted treats.

Which is what got me overweight in the first place.

Arrrggghh! See? A complex puzzle.

But, since choosing to chuck out the scales and not restrict anything at all, I have been a whole lot happier.

And whilst I have not weighed myself, instinct tells me I have not put on any weight at all. And that I have probably lost some weight.

Which makes me feel calm and happy.

Which is a good place to be.............


  1. Our relationship to food is so complex isn't it! This is my approach to food too. As soon as I say I'm not eating that, I eat it. It's the rebel in me. For me it's not about weight loss, but about pain management. I know certain foods make me ache... they also taste oh so yummy. So I eat a little of it on weekends, when I most crave it, and it satisfies the craving and the inner rebel enough to get me through the week.

  2. Very insightful post!

    I often feel that way too..like I might miss out if I don't take the present opportunity to eat what's available. If there's apple pie there (wherever "there" is), like if I don't eat it today, it's the last opportunity I'll ever have to eat it.

    Not sure where it comes from..but I go through it alot.

  3. Your self-awareness in this eating thing is really admirable, as is your decision to chuck out the scales and trust yourself to be responsible. I think you have come full circle, Lucy. You are eating like a thin person now.

  4. Awesome work Lucy. I'm glad you feel more at peace.

  5. Oh gosh, another fear of missing out person. I thought I was the only one. My fear applies itself to many things and is mostly connected to my sense of fairness.

    For example in the early days when hubbie was a BF, we would get a packet of biscuits. When it was just me, I would eat what I wanted and have the rest later. With him it was different, if I did not eat my half now, then I would not be able to have it later. He would eat it as he did not believe in "bagging" food. So no matter how full I was, I would eat that half packet of biscuits, as they were mine and that was "fair" in my eyes. 3 months into our relationship I had put on so much weight that I got stretch marks across my belly.

    I am better with it now, I think something within me has clicked, I still get the feeling of fairness and missing out, but not as strong as before. Actually I think I am to exhausted to care these day. Stressing about fairness and missing out was sapping too much of my emotional energy.

  6. Lady Astrid, I can TOTALLY relate to the need for fairness. TOTALLY. The exact same issue crops up with me and lovely husband.

  7. You have great self awareness Lucy :) isn't it wonderful when you all of a sudden figure out why you do something and can see how to stop it? :) . I love your approach to weight loss. I decided when K was diagnosed that I was not going to sweat the small stuff anymore, and that included what number my jeans were or the number on the scales. Now the only time I am weighed is when the WiiFit berates me. Although my clothes are feeling tight so it is becoming time to stop cold weather eating and start cutting back, until they get a little loose again. You are an inspiration :)

  8. I reckon this is a huge topic .... missing out, not enough to go around so you gotta get in when you can, lack of .... and on it goes. I wonder if it has an even deeper level. There's something gnawing at my mind, but it's not at the surface yet. Think the surface has been scratched though. I'm sitting here feeling teary and wondering what is happening. Time to just sit in it me thinks.

    Thanks Lucy for a great post that so ties in with where I'm at too - think this area is going to be a big section of the book somehow!

  9. Good on you! I have this same problem. I hate the idea of someone having 'more' than me. I always serve hubby and me the same size portion (even though his body needs more than mine does). I am going see if I catch myself feeling this way this week. Thanks for sharing again

  10. Good for you! I am an emotional eater which I am delving into right now!

  11. Such a big learning curve, isn't it? I'm still working it out. I'm probably only about 20% of the way there for that.
    (Visiting from the Weekend Rewind :))

  12. It sounds like you've reached the roots of it, and that's a good place to work from. All the best!

  13. Great post Lucy. I can see the correlation between childhood and food relationships so clearly. Makes me wonder what I'm doing with my boys sometimes...

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro.

  14. What a lot of useful things here Lucy, I can very much relate to you and that fear of missing out. I was always the podgy one in the family and a lot of my over eating started in my childhood - two sticky buns on the way to school.

    Oh it is good to get older and to see some of these issues. Once the light has been shone on linkages and reasons, the clarity is there forever.

    Now, how to stop the nibbling of the leftovers. I bet you have a post on that.

  15. Hi Lucy,
    I have been meaning to check out your site for some time; just came across this via the Fibro weekend rewind.
    I identify with some of this. As kids my sister and I were "sturdy" (not fat but not thin) and our mum was into every diet (for herself) that the 70s offered. Our parents tried so hard to feed us right but the diet thing was always there and they rationed treats for our own good - but from the time I left home I definitely equated food with independence. Being able to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted was so exciting! I stayed fairly slim when I was young but put on weight in my 30s I have still not lost. It makes me very conscious of how I am with food with my kids (trying so hard to be realxed and natural about it all - ha!) and can only hope I'm not doing the wrong thing by them in some other way - at other times I think it is unavoidable.
    Lovely post and well done to you for managing all this so well.

  16. Ooh, very insightful and very useful for me! My mum was (still is) a super-health-freak and anything unhealthy was very strictly rationed and I always felt a bit different compared to other kids - I guess that impacts my emotional attachment to eating junk today to cheer me up - had never thought about it - so thank you! (Visiting via the Fibro)


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