Maybe you are wondering what I mean when I call myself a “stuffer”.
Let me give a little background. In my wellness journey, I have realized just how much my emotions - and how I handle those emotions - have played into my weight over the years. I can tell you how many calories are in any food, I can tell you how many calories I burn exercising, I know about nutrient density, low fat, no carb, paleo, vegan…I know it all.
But there was still something sabotaging me.
I have finally had to come to terms with how much I eat to soothe, to deal and to ignore. And, in retrospect, it has been going on a long time. Probably as far back as many of my early memories go.
Once I realized what was going on wasn’t just a character flaw, I had to figure out what mechanism(s) were triggering me exactly. I know stress is a big one for me, but also nerves, feelings of self-doubt or plain old feeling overwhelmed will also trigger me. Once I had identified those hot buttons, I have had to work to unravel their power instead of packing the offending emotions away in a neat little box and “stuffing” them down with whatever large quantity of food was on hand, junk or otherwise.
This has been a scary project!
I’m generally very even in my temperament and moods. I was worried that my status quo would get way to out of balance if I allowed myself to feel and process. And to be honest, it has, but not in the way I had imagined.
I have had to learn how to stop and ask myself why I want to eat that entire plate, box or whatever. What is really going on? I have had to learn to be quiet for a few minutes, to tune in, and to meditate at times. I have had to learn how to really be open to people, to ask for help, and ask questions to seek understanding instead of just trying to control outcomes. I have had to try and not control in general (this was a big one for the high planner that I am). I had to be willing to go with the flow more and worry less. And, I learned I needed to shift my perspective sometimes. View lots of demand from family, clients, and work as an opportunity to serve others rather than feeling like I had too many demands being placed on me. (This step has been HUGE!)
Yes, I am still a recovering stuffer, meaning that I acknowledge I still have so far to go on this path. And yes, I still protect my voice, my personality, my boundaries, but I hope to continue to do this in this new improved way as we go into this new year.