I just had an epiphany
I know that my favorite thing to do is to watch TV whilst eating a huge bowl of something and drinking a huge glass (or two) of something. And I always knew that it was some kind of soothing thing. I mean I would literally prefer to come home and have alone-time with my popcorn than sleep over at my adorable boyfriend (now loving husband’s) house. (I know, kinda weird) But I finally broke that habit.
Well now here I am, stuck in this emotional-eating phase again, and I find myself going back for the restaurant leftovers that I managed not to eat at dinner (noodles/pizza/fill-in-the-blank) at 11pm and craving carbs and a show in the middle of the afternoon. (Things I haven’t done in literally YEARS)
And the stress and anxiety that I’ve been feeling has of course rubbed off on my 7-year-old daughter too. Yesterday when she weighed in at 80th percentile for weight (30th for height) and I quietly asked my pediatrician if I should be concerned, she said, “that’s the last thing you need to worry about right now.” She also said that my daughter’s constant humming and singing—which we thought was attention-seeking (and which adds to my anxiety)—was a “self-soothing” behavior. And then it hit me.
My parents divorced when I was 5. That’s coincidentally when my love affair with food began. But I’m suddenly seeing myself as a young girl sitting all by myself on the couch and getting all my love and soothing from a bag or bowl of something and my favorite TV show. So it’s no wonder that when my life feels out of control, I seek that same old comfort that I was used to.
I’m also remembering our visit to the GI doctor when Aja was just a baby and wasn’t nursing well. The poor little thing had probably been starving for four months while I stubbornly insisted on nursing her, and then understandably she gorged on formula and we went from worrying that she was too skinny to worrying that she was too chubby. (You know I blame myself for all that and wonder if that’s where her love-affair with food started) But what stuck in my mind was when he said that if weight ever does become an issue there are things we can teach her like “not eating in front of the TV.” (Bingo)
Well, I guess I never really learned that lesson. So the best I can do for my daughter—and myself—is to limit TV-watching-and-eating and break the cycle of self-soothing old habits. Not easy but I’m going to try it.
Do you find comfort in a bowl or bag (or cup) and the tube? I’d love to hear from you.
Forever yours—constantly thinking and evolving and trying to grow.