The real tragedy with food isn’t that you spend hours worried about what you’ll eat at the restaurant tonight.
Or that you’ve lost and gained the same 10-20 pounds countless times over the past decade or two.
Or that you hide your pizza box in the bottom of the trash, so that your roommate won't see how much you actually ate.
(Of course all of those things are sad and unfortunate and even heartbreaking.)
The real tragedy of your unhappy relationship with food is that it has tricked you into thinking that your unhappiness is about food.
Yes, your eating is probably making you unhappy.
But, even more problematically, your eating is likely distracting you from much deeper issues.
Issues such as:
- How do I feel about my days? Why do I spend my entire day numb in my body?
- How do I feel about my relationships? Why do I always find myself eating way too much with this person?
- Why do I always feel like I can never have "enough" of time/money/love/chocolate?
- Who gets to say whether I am worthy of love or respect?
- Who gets to say whether my physical body is worthy of love or respect?
- Will other people respect or love me if they see all the parts of my personality (even the messy, dark, or out-of-control parts)?
You can spend your entire life gaining and losing the same 10 or 20 or 40 pounds.
You can spend your entire life carefully measuring out portions, and then beating yourself up when you eat too much.
You can spend your entire life living the daily soap opera of “omg I ate too much today!”
And in a certain sense (stay with me here, I know this is a bit radical): That will be easier than the alternative.
Worrying about your eating and your weight means that you stay safe in the sandbox of “food issues.” You’ve felt these feelings before; you’ve thought these thoughts before. You know how the drama plays out: the herculean efforts of dieting, the sweetness of overindulgence and the guilty remorse that follows. The drama! The action! Even if you never quite “get it right,” it’s all familiar, in a way.
The alternative, of course, is to step out of the sandbox where you’ve always been, and actually go on a deep journey of personal exploration. What is really, truly, motivating your “eating issues”? Hint: it’s probably not that you don’t know the appropriate portion size of ice cream.
Every single time I run a Dessert Club group, the participants tell me that they have way more “feelings” than they ever realized. And it can be scary. Overwhelming.
It's worth pointing out that these same Dessert Club participants are thoughtful, self-aware ladies...but they just didn't realize how deep this stuff goes. Food stuff goes really, really deep.
If you choose the "deep journey of personal exploration" route...it may be intense, but it also allows you to eat cupcakes without guilt and experience truer joy and connection and self-worth than you may have felt before.
What do you choose?
p.s. If you want some support for this journey, I just posted dates for the two summer Dessert Clubs (Including one that is Europe-friendly!). I know it can be scary to think about talking about this stuff in a group, but I suspect that it will be way more fun + encouraging + helpful than you imagine.
p.p.s. To be honest, I still feel kinda awkward on social media (I'm pretty private!), but I'm trying to dip my toe into the Instagram pool because it seems so fun. Want to say hi? Here's my personal-ish account, and here's one for the Dessert Club. I'd love to meet some more of you :)