I just reread the last post, and realized that the weight gain was only a little about indulging whims. Actually, the indulgence was only a subset of what really goes on. It has something to do with a deep belief that food is the way to care for myself. When I feel too lonely, or depressed or sad, or even angry food is always there. It offers sustenance that extends beyond corporeal nourishment. I’m not sure how to even talk about it here. It can provide comfort where there is none, it fills spaces in time that could just as easily be filled by companionship and laughter, if there were some of that to be had.
Taking it even deeper, I could say that it is safer to fill the gaps in the heart with food than with people because at least food is predictable. At least I know the outcome of eating. The taste, the feeling of fullness, even full to feeling sickness ~ all those things are constant. Unless food is somehow tainted I can count on the outcome of eating it. I have learned in this life that I can’t count on the outcome of relationships with people, be they friends or lovers. At some point I seem to have made a choice between people and food, and food was safer. Not more satisfying, really, not that at all. Just safer. Less possibility of betrayal, hurt, whatever is so threatening about trusting others.
So that is the habit that I truly need to change, and it truly is an inertia that goes way beyond that of eating a piece of steak or a cup of ice cream. The other day someone asked me if I am “open” to meeting new people. I answered that of course I am, I just don’t meet anyone to create new friendships with. Then a few days later, I stopped into the health food store for lunch and as I was going out the door I looked up and saw that a man was looking at me. I opened my eyes wider and smiled and said “Hello.” I felt the difference in that moment of being open or not. That man was not the issue – I wouldn’t recognize him if I saw him again – the issue was that I felt myself literally open my eyes and say hello to another person. And I felt a shift.
So, we’ll see.