Yesterday I started writing a blog post about how I've coped with the loss of my dad in numerous ways, one of them being emotional eating. I've used other tools to cope, like retreating from the world or binge watching TV shows (like Gilmore Girls or Mad Men) or completing various creative house projects (I hope to share in future posts), but emotional eating has been a big one. Taking comfort in food seemed to numb the pain a bit. My intention with the blog post was to share how I've recently noticed that emotional eating not only dulled the pain, but also the joy. An interesting juxtaposition. The idea had been introduced to me in the past with Guidepost #3 in Brené Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection, but I didn't truly understand or appreciate it until now.
As I've begun to focus on my health again (I have an extra 15lbs to lose due to my emotional eating), I noticed that I've felt much happier like the emotion itself was stronger. But I had also noticed that my heartache has been feeling deeper. Out of nowhere, I'd be flooded with memories of my dad and my heart would just hurt. I appreciated the meaning of nostalgia the way Donald Draper presented it in Mad Men: “the pain from an old wound." When I'd reminisce, whether it related to my dad or my childhood or even younger times with my girls, I would hurt. And for months, if I hurt I'd do my best to stop the hurt, mainly by overeating. But in numbing the pain (the bad stuff), I was also numbing the joy (the good stuff). So yesterday, as I started to write, I thought I had gotten a grasp on my emotional eating and what it was doing to me. But then surprisingly, I started eating junk food the rest of yesterday, unwilling to stop. Funny how that worked.
So I might still have some food issues to deal with. And a continual heartache to handle. But I'm doing it. I'm still moving myself back into my life, however uncomfortable that might be. That's where the magic happens, right? Outside of the comfort zone. Change can be uncomfortable. But in order for things to be different, I have to make changes, right? So today, rather than give up after a not-so-great day of overeating (pretty much the strategy that gained me the extra weight), I'm back on the good health kick. I'm back to taking care of me. Because I need to do this, no matter how hard. I have too much happy yet to experience. I want to live a happy and healthy life, for me, for my family, and for my dad. He would've wanted this for me.