Thursday, October 1, 2015

When Self Love Makes You Fat

I have joined/spearheaded/committed to 3 fitness challenges in the last year. I'm a pretty disciplined person so I thought it would be easy. I don't have a HUGE weight problem and I don't have an deep rooted emotional issues (yeah, right) so it will be simple. Just be conscious of your food choices and listen to what your body is telling you. The first fitness challenge began a month before I dropped my firstborn off at the MTC (missionary Training Center) for a 2 year church service mission. I had been doing really well in spite of family gatherings and holiday treats. I drove him to Provo, UT and dropped him off at the curb for a super fast goodbye.

As soon as I got back in the car, without my boy, I could not stifle an uncontrollable stream of hysterical sobs. It was far more painful than I had anticipated letting him go.  I sat with the pain for a few minutes, allowing myself the luxury of these ugly, violent sobs, and then I thought "enough is enough", and I reached for some chocolate.  And that was the end of my discipline. I made a conscious choice to stifle my pain with food.

I've been much more aware since that day of when I am using food to suffocate and emotion. I've even become attuned to which foods are most effective at silencing which emotions. Sadness? cookie please. Stressed? Salt and Vinegar chips. Angry? Boneless Buffalo Wings. And it works, though I've been trying to do it less and less. So now its been a year, and I feel like I have this negative emotional eating under control, and i'm really ready to shed these 20 pounds before they get too comfortable on my hips. I began a pretty strict eating plan about a week ago and its going really well. I'm dropping pounds just like I expected to, but something bizarre is happening. I'm experiencing all of these random emotions rearing their ugly heads from my past. In an effort to understand these feelings, I turned to a book I've been meaning to read for a few years.

In this book I found a concept that hugely impacted me-Brene' does a beautiful job of defining love.

"Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them-we can only love others as much as we love ourselves."

Self-love is the limiting factor in how much love we have to offer other people! 

And she continues: "Practicing self love means learning how to...treat ourselves with respect, and to be kind and affectionate toward ourselves"

As I contemplated this, I felt like I do a pretty good job of practicing self-love. I do nice things for myself all the time. I stop in at Sees candy when I'm at the Apple store.  I treat myself to a hot cocoa at Starbucks on a chilly day. I meet my friends for lunch a couple times per month. I experiment with new recipes I love on Sundays. you see the pattern that I saw? All of the self love I practice involves FOOD! All of it! And this had led me to an interesting question: 

How do you practice self love that doesn't make you fat?

It seems like I've loved myself right into this place of feeling unhealthy and dissatisfied with my appearance...which is not love....but if self-love is the way to find love....and I usually love myself with do I get out of this cycle?

I've been brainstorming for the past 24 hours and I've come up with some good ideas, but i'd love to hear your thoughts on ways you "treat yourself" without using food.

Here are some of my ideas so far:

Take a walk
Get a pedicure
Use some yummy lotion
Charming Charlie's
Read a book you don't HAVE to
Sit in the back yard
Essential Oils 
Watch a movie

What are your ideas? Leave a comment and when I get 10, I'll do a drawing for a free oil!

**And Beware if you are embarking on a weight loss journey-every pound of fat you lose releases a repressed emotion that you need to have a plan to deal with when it rears its ugly head...preferably one that doesn't involve chocolate. 


  1. Work guilt free on a hobby. I've been trying to spend time in my craft room, making things, just because. There are always dishes to do and laundry to fold, but when I find myself getting another snack, just to delay doing chores, I in w its time for some fun.

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  3. Take a nap
    Call one or all of my sisters
    Go to Goodwill with my sisters
    Take that walk with a friend
    Finish a project
    Take a drive at dusk listening to my favorite music