When is a Coke not a Coke? When is chocolate not chocolate? When is a bowl of pasta not just a bowl of pasta? The answer is when you are using it to fill a gaping hole you feel you have inside.
This was me last week, in the middle of a breakdown, a bad day at work I wanted a can of Coke. That was all I wanted, I knew it would make me feel better, just that sip of Coke would make my day better. I KNEW that Coke would make me emotionally whole again! And it would have for maybe 2 minutes, I could get past my crisis and move on with the work day. But that was a lie, sort of. I'm sure the chemicals in that can of Coke would have adjusted my mood for a bit but at what cost? There are better ways of coping with that kind of stress, something that doesn't mean filling that unhappy hole with food. Coke, chocolate and pasta are my go-to feel good foods. They call it comfort food for a reason right?
I resisted...and resisted ... and resisted and did not reach for the can of Coke. I cried because I was so stressed out. I chanted because I was so stressed out and I made it through the breakdown. I could breathe again. I wondered if this is how addicts feel because it was a physical NEED at the time.
I am an emotional eater. I eat when I am bored. I eat when I'm stressed out. I eat when I'm feeling really, really sad. I eat when I'm lonely. I resisted drinking that can of Coke because I now acknowledge this about myself. It would have made me feel better right away - instant gratification - but it would have put me further from my goals. In that moment my goal was to not let my emotions run me. I'm an adult! (mostly)
I went to the gym that night with my friend RP and had an awesome workout. I felt great!
I was also very proud of myself, still am.
There will come a day when that can of Coke will just be a can of Coke, when that chocolate will simply be a piece of chocolate. I'm not giving any of them up, per se but I am choosing to be aware of what that Coke or chocolate or pasta could represent. Is it something to enjoy or do I NEED it to fill that gaping hole? I had pasta for dinner tonight, loaded with veggies and...it was just pasta. Go me!