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When Food Is a Weapon You Use Against Yourself

againstyourselfI wish I could feel bad for picking on Cinnabon.

I don’t.

In “Emotional Eating: Cinnabon or Bust” I wrote about how, for years when I was fat (apologies if that word offends you; I don’t use euphemisms when referring to my former physical size), that enticing smell would send me reeling when I walked through the mall food court. Would I stop? Could I resist?

Truthfully, sometimes I did. (Barely.) But many times I didn’t.

Yet again: Cinnabon 1. Marilyn 0.

This is the hopelessness that settles in when you’re battling your weight. You feel like nothing you do makes any difference – no amount of sacrifice, no amount of exercise, no amount of suffering.

You always end up in the same place: fat.

In my case, that hopelessness devolved into a sense of futility. Eventually there was no point to resisting because change seemed impossible.

And yet, I did change.

In “The Clarion Call: Hope” I describe how I made that connection and transformed my life. It is not a simple fix. It has less to do with what I do or don’t eat, how I do or don’t exercise, than you might think.

It has everything to do with what I believe I deserve.

And then how I choose to act on that.

Every. Single. Day.

The last of the crippling emotional responses I’ll touch on is the most debilitating of all: shame. In “Shame on You” I describe how my weight became both the source and the manifestation of my shame. Though I tried very hard to mask my pain, shame is a wound that is ripped open again and again. And despite the common belief that you can shame someone else, it is self-inflicted, leaving you helpless against even your own thoughts.

Ultimately I decided that the only solution was to focus on what I CAN do rather than what I CAN’T do. In “Hard-Earned Confidence” I describe how I went from extremely self-conscious to self-assured by putting myself to the test. Only by doing things that are very difficult do we really find out what we’re made of.

Turns out, I’m made of some seriously tough stuff.

(By the way, so are you.)

Before we leave the topic of emotional eating, one more pit-stop. If you haven’t seen the videos I did on the subject, watch them now. “Emotional Eating 101: Denial,” “Confronting My Fears,” and “Cinnabon and the Emotional Eating Food Court” offer another take on this complicated subject. They’re worth a few minutes’ time to delve in a little deeper.

For all my picking on Cinnabon, realize: I’m just using them to represent all unhealthy food. There’s nothing any more inherently evil about Cinnabon than there is any other food outlet at the mall. And it certainly isn’t their fault that I carry around a lot of emotional issues that are triggered by that smell. (But truthfully, they must know that, right?!?)

Losing weight is hard, but it’s hardest at the beginning. Once you make the commitment it gets easier, I promise. And you’re so damn worth it!

Let’s go get it!

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