Some of you may have read my recent post about last weekend and how I desperately didn’t want to overeat. Comfort eating has been my Achilles heel for so long, a coping mechanism to push down any sort of feelings I feel unable to cope with (which is pretty much any emotion).
I’m so pleased to say that I got through the weekend without turning to food – I did it!!! I’ve now been 24 days without any form of comfort eating and it feels scary, as I potentially have so far to fall, but also amazing. I’m so proud of myself for this accomplishment.
The weekend allowed me to step back and see a few things that perhaps led to my overeating and I don’t think I’m alone in struggling with them, so thought I’d share them with you, lovely friends.
The damage of ‘should’
At times in the weekend, I felt I was not doing what I should be doing and this made me feel not ok. I felt I should have been outside enjoying the sun, socialising more with friends, being productive.
These ‘shoulds’ made me feel rotten and took me away from fully enjoying the things I wanted to do – having a bath with a book and a glass of wine, spending the day pottering around the shops in Brighton, having another bath…
The ‘shoulds’ I put on myself drained me of joy and, when I stepped back and observed my feelings, I realised the ‘shoulds’ were really just projections of what I thought others would expect of me (which is crazy as most of the time I was by myself!). As I’ve explored before, I know these projections aren’t real or fair to anyone. The next time I think ‘I should’, I’m going to remember this pledge to myself and to all of you:
I don’t want to ‘should’ anymore. Instead, I just want to do what makes me happy.
Follow your instinct
I had a lovely afternoon on Saturday with my friend, Anita, at a community festival in Brighton. There was live music, a great atmosphere and so many people chilling out and having fun. I discovered what a connected, social butterfly my friend is (seriously, she knows about half the people in the city!) and had some really lovely heart connection-conversations with people I met.
After 2 hours though, I felt slightly overwhelmed from all the noise and chaos – I wanted to go home. Again, the ‘shoulds’ returned – I should be sociable, I should benefit from this opportunity – but I listened to my instinct and followed what I wanted to do. I went home and it was wonderful! Instead of my body being at the festival and my mind being preoccupied by thoughts of the calm quiet of home, I trusted myself and left.
I felt truly happy returning to my house and no-one had to deal with the grump I would have become if I had stayed. I’ve had other instances like this in the past where I haven’t followed my instinct and am not proud of the person I became in those moments!
From now on, I aspire to trust my instinct more as doing this brought me such joy at the weekend.
Vulnerable is beautiful
What stopped me from sharing my difficulties in the past is the fear of being a burden to others. I think I partly put a bottle stop on my emotions to stop the mess and disorder impacting others. However, when I wrote my post sharing my fears for the weekend, I had such loving, kind replies from people who were either experiencing similar things to me or who wanted to let me know they were thinking of me. Some people even checked in with me during the weekend to see how I was doing.
It was so amazing to feel supported by such wonderful people who knew me well or perhaps hardly at all and it made me see that being vulnerable can bring such beauty and strength.
I aspire to have more openly honest conversations from now on about my struggles, as well as my wins, because I experienced such grace from being in such a dark place and reaching out to people.