What if eating that pint of ice cream because your boss made you feel incompetent was completely justified?
What if you were actually doing the best you could when you tried to starve away the anxiety that had been building inside of you?
What if staying in bed all day, eating cookies and watching Netflix because you couldn’t, for that day, face your demons, was the rational thing to do?
What if skipping breakfast to numb the pain of hurtful words uttered the night before was the only way you knew how to deal?
What if you stopped judging yourself based on what you put in your mouth or the size of your thighs? How would your life be different if you realized that in any given moment you are doing the best that you can and that using food as distraction or medicine is one of many coping mechanisms that we employ throughout our lives.
Nothing more, nothing less.
Having mechanisms in place to cope with life’s highs and lows is not reserved for the few, EVERYONE has them. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have to find ways of escaping the raw discomfort of life from time to time. So, your mom might like to spend a little too much money on shoes when she’s overworked (mom, if you’re reading this- Hi! I love you :)), and your best friend might want to have an extra glass of wine (or three) when she’s had a fight with her boyfriend.
Because, lets face it, sometimes we just need a B.R.E.A.K.
We all have coping mechanisms to get through this rollercoaster called life.
Food being readily available combined with our biological wiring and a permeating diet culture all make for good reasons to use it in other ways than as just fuel (which is, in itself, not necessarily a bad thing).
There is a psychological principle that says we are always trying to do the best we can. So when we finish off the whole bag of chips after a hard day, we ARE really trying to do the best we can. The best we can to soothe ourselves, act out the emotions we have been pushing down, numb ourselves of pain. Because we need relief!
As irrational as using trans fats and refined sugars as medicine might seem, food has probably “saved” us more than once. It might have helped us deal with the loss of a loved one, kept us sane in the midst of a crisis, comforted us and kept us going when all we wanted to do was to give up. And although we might want to start looking at other coping mechanisms to get through stressful times, or just the ups and downs of daily life, we must realize that food is not the enemy.
Food is just food.
And in reality, the fact that you are a grown up human means you get to decide what is right for you and what is not. Even though we might feel completely crazy around food we are still always, to some degree, at choice. Not in control, but at choice.
If you feel like you are at war with food and body, take another look. Replace judgement with curiosity. You might be surprised at what you discover.