People are afraid of having feelings. It seems that we have gone out of our way to create walls for ourselves as a protection against feelings. Our battle really seems to be with “bad” feelings. We are afraid of experiencing anything other than joy. But perhaps it is that very fear and the resulting behavior that causes the true pain.
We aren’t taught how to deal with our feelings so we stuff them deep down inside (literally) rather than letting them out. Feel bad? Have some “comfort food”. The bad thing is that just like with any other addiction a new problem is created. Your old problem is still there and you now have something else to contend with.
We may feel guilty for having eaten half the bag of cookies. So we eat more. And then we feel not only mentally bad that we have no self-control but we may also feel physically bad. We may start to gain weight. Then all the subsequent feelings come along with that problem. Our knees hurt. We have a hard time bending. We get out of breath more easily. We start to feel trapped in our own body.
Then it becomes a really big problem with really big issues. We have slid further into the hole. Our “fix” is causing more problems than it cures. The way out is hard work. When presented with this it is normal to dig in, either with heels or forks. People want a quick fix to their problems. We think that there are no repercussions to our actions. We think that they can eat whatever we want and then take a pill or have surgery to fix the problem. Meanwhile, the underlying problem is still there. The weight isn’t the problem. The reason for the flawed coping mechanism of overeating is. Address that and we’re on the road to wellness.
The gym is a better choice than liposuction. Eating more vegetables and less fried foods is a better choice than a diet pill. In both instances we do many positive things. We get healthier inside and outside. Our muscles get stronger and we have more energy. We start to feel better mentally because we can see that we are losing weight but also we are burning of stress.
It is easier to eat ourselves to death rather than face our feelings. It is easier to let the other person have their way and for us to remain silent and passive in the face of injustice. It is easier, yes, but don’t do it.
It is hard to make this change. But it is our own lives that we are saving. Our feelings and opinions matter. It is very hard to feel emotions when we haven’t allowed ourselves to feel them for a long time. Unexpressed feelings are painful, and that pain often manifests itself in the gut. That feeling isn’t hunger for food. It is a hunger for self-awareness. It is the feeling of us waking up to ourselves. It is OK to feel that. Feel that feeling and then try something different, since what we have been trying all our lives hasn’t worked.
Go for a walk. Write in a journal. Paint. Dance. Sing. Do something, anything that makes you feel really alive and happy. It is important to express those feelings. It may look weird. It may not come out right the first time. That is OK. That is normal. Keep it up anyway.