Sunday, March 30, 2008

Secret Eating

One of the behaviors I had was to hide my eating by eating in secret and sneaking food out of the kitchen to eat alone. This allowed me (in my own weird way of thinking) to eat more without having to admit to anyone how much I was actually eating. Of course, the results were obvious: lots of extra weight and a big reduction in the number of cookies in the bag. As part of my weight loss journey, I have cultivated carefully the principle of honesty about what I’m eating and the quantity of what I’m eating. If I ate two pieces of carrot cake, I’ll say I ate two pieces of carrot cake, both in my food journals and to anyone that might be interested in knowing about it. In fact, I think that if I start hiding food or lying about the quantity I eat, that is a big red flag that I’m falling back into the old disordered way of thinking about food.

The habit of hiding food started a long time ago, when I was a girl. I have specific memories of sneaking as many Cheetos as I thought I could get away with as well as cans of tuna. I had quite a few empty cans “hidden” in the storage space in my bedroom. And I can’t remember how many times I made sneak raids on cookies and thought I was cleverly hiding them as I sidled away. As if no one could tell that the quantity was mysteriously getting lower.

I got to thinking about this recently, because as I was returning from my Nevada City trip I found myself thinking that I could look forward to having some time to myself and that “I can eat whatever I want.” That thought was an old one from the pre-weight loss days where I gorged on stuff like vast bowls of mashed potatoes, humongous Jamba juices, canned green beans and pints of ice cream or large quantities of cookies whenever my husband wasn’t around. I wouldn’t do it when he was there because I wanted to be able to pretend I didn’t do stuff like that. What I was very happy about this time around was that I recognized the thought right away and was able to laugh and tell myself that I can always have whatever I want and know that what I wanted wasn’t the aforementioned gorge-menu.

Gratitude of the Day: I am grateful for the new habit of desiring healthy food.


kayjay said...

Hi you! This post more than any others really hit home with me. I remember spending all of my allowance when I was little on those hostess cream pies-- lemon and chocolate. I would buy dozens at a time and hid them in a bag in my room. And really, I still do it, which didn't click with me until you shared your story. I might buy two pastries at the bakery at lunch, eat one right after lunch and then another at 3:00 while hiding in my cube, eating as fast as possible so no sees. I'm thinking that eating makes me feel better, but then the shame spiral starts and what's with that? Anyway... thank you for sharing!

Michelley said...

Hi sweets- I really related to this piece. I still notice when I want to eat it stems from my childhood. My dad worked for Hollywood candy- Skittles, Sugar Daddy, Toffifay, 1000 grand bars, and my personal favorite-Zero bars...yum.
I ate them, literally, in the closet, we had a big walk in pantry...I sold them at school and bought more, other, what a memory! thanks kid.
I am so very proud of your accomlishment, and am so glad to bear witness to your transformation. It is invaluable in my own.
I am glad you have this place to pour your thoughts out. I look forward to more. I love you sister Megan!