Victoria: I thought this exercise was a bit silly at first. I mean, duh! I’m overweight because I eat too much! Because I finish my plate (and my kid’s plate) without thinking whether I’m hungry or not. Because food tastes really good and I like to cook. But because I needed at least ten answers, it started to get a bit interesting. My last two answers were: “I’m frustrated” and “I’m empty inside and need to fill the hole.”
Digging deeper, I asked myself: “I’m empty inside and need to fill the hole because...” My answers made me so sad:
- I don’t have enough satisfaction in my life.
- No one pats me on the head and says “good job”.
- It allows me to deny what is really happening in my life.
- Food is more attractive than the other things I should/could be doing.
- I am looking for something and I’m not sure what it is.
Kim: I am overweight because I feel unworthy. Food provides easy comfort, and conversely being overweight reinforces the feeling of remaining unworthy.
Jessica: Because I use food to numb the pain of my feelings of abandonment.
Julia: Because I get overwhelmed and anxious and am comforted by food.
Mary: I am overweight because I did not realize how my past experiences play a role in my actual eating behaviours and how they are linked in a complex way. This deeper understanding, along with a strong commitment and belief in the importance of my mental and physical health is allowing me to address my eating behaviours.
Maria: Because I don’t love and care for myself the way I deserve to be cared for and loved.
Melanie: Because eating makes me full when I am empty, lonely and sad. It also is easier to remain unnoticed - you cannot really make a mistake if no one is aware of you. But the real benefit is that historically, when I have caught the attention of others - namely males - I behaved badly – I could never stay committed to one person. So, it became a protective factor – except it’s not.
Maeve: Because... it is far safer to be companioned by food than by people, who might reject or abandon me.
Chloe: I am overweight because I still believe I'm not valuable enough to take good care of myself. I'm stuck feeling "less than" a lot of the time so treating myself with care and respect on a regular basis is proving to be really tough.
Sandy: I am not being accountable to myself, and have been using food as both a comfort and a punishment, repressing and expressing hurt feelings and anxieties through eating.
And what about you, dear reader? What would you write if you had to give ten answers to the question: I am overweight because? Let us know by posting your responses/thoughts. And don't forget to join us next week!