Sunday, December 4, 2011

Food as Victory. OUCH.

Thanks to Chanale's comment on a previous post, I borrowed the book “Women, Food and God” by Geneen Roth from the library. The writing in this book found its rapid way into my soul. It’s funny and moving, extraordinary in its simplicity. This author is a real person who acknowledges real life issues in a very appealing way. In short, it spoke to me. Loud and clear.

My post on Eating Mindfully was an early part in my journey of awareness and my eating habits. Not a totally committed journey, unfortunately. I need lots of reminders, and while I had this brief thought of hanging up posters all over my kitchen and dining room that said “think, taste, eat”, ...I don’t live in a food camp and I am a little vain... Poster idea scratched.

Back to the book. I borrowed the book from the library and it arrived just in time for me to leave on a mini getaway. I took it with me to a lovely spa hotel in North Jersey and read the first 20 pages soon after I got there. There’s a reason for everything, but let me say, it was a really good time for me to be re-inspired to eat mindfully. I had way too much food with me and was grateful for the reminder to eat in a way that was respectful to my body.

I voiced a minor complaint at the front desk and the manager I spoke to sounded rather patronizing. I walked off in a huff and decided it wasn’t worth my effort. I heard her calling after me and chose to keep going. I made it into the elevator, pressed the button and the door closed. She was fast enough, sigh, and the door reopened.

Ms. Manager apologized for my unhappiness and I used the opportunity to explain myself. She offered me a discount on the room rate and I accepted. She also offered an upgrade for a return visit. I thanked her.

The elevator opened on my floor and I exited feeling victorious. I walked into my room and reached for food. My hand dropped, instantly. I had just finished a big breakfast. I recognized that I was not hungry. I was feeling victorious. I removed myself from that food situation and pulled out a pen and paper. The untold truths had to be just a few pen scratches away.

Why do I associate food with victory?

Back to the front desk. I wasn’t actually asking for something. I just wanted to be validated. Why then am I feeling victorious? I didn’t even get what I wanted. I allowed myself to be consoled by a thing, money in this case, when what I wanted was validation. My emotional need was not met, I was just handed a distraction. Could that be the reason I reached for food? Ouch.

Either way, I am glad that I didn’t eat. Glad I got some money back. Glad that I’m capable of validating myself.

Very grateful to Chanale for recommending the book, Geneen for writing it, the library for making it available just in time and to myself for maintaining the awareness needed to not eat unconsciously.

I am hereby resolving to read something every day about mindful eating. It’s not the knowledge that I’m lacking, but the constant reminder and inspiration. Nothing too long, even just a page or a quote or something. To start, I ordered a copy of this book on Amazon. I have taken note of a number of websites devoted to mindful eating. And  I can read my own writing. I realize that I have everything I need, I just have to tap into it.

To good health,



  1. this is a really great post and so revealing; really. i guess i personally never thought that food would or could be used to celebrate a "victory" - but then again, our entire religion (well, not the entire) is based on the "We Won, Now Let's Eat" theory. Anyway, thank you for writing that post and i am happy you got the validation you needed (but - discounts and upgrades are no trifling matter

  2. I wish more people could absorb the goodness in the world like you do. I really admire how you continue to work on yourself day in nd day out. Its wonderful to be so in tune with your spiritual and physical growth and measure thosemilestones!

  3. really well written and thought out. I'd like to discuss with you the idea that the food some are eating are actually empty in minerals and pulling from the system which in some people's cases wouldn't be overeating but struggling for actual nourishment. sometimes validating is necessary but sometimes the body is begging for actual food (not the cookie scenario) really looking forward. I went to basil last week w. my friends and i had 2 salads and left so hungry. I know that because my body is used to organic food lots of seeds and tehina/miso dressings this wasn't even a snack. Their food was empty.

  4. working on yourself is a lifelong process. enjoy the journey...

  5. thanks Chanale. It was high time to combine my birth info with my blog. blogger made it pretty seamless. there are blogger benefits after all...

  6. Thank you Faygie. You are absolutely right. If I can keep reminding myself to enjoy the process I will be a much improved person