Saturday, July 3, 2010

when hungry, eat

A couple of weeks ago Nadine wrote about Joanne Fedler's new book When Hungry, Eat. I can't wait to read this book, for so many reasons (not least of which is that I love Joanne's honest and irreverantly funny writing style).
I've requested it from our library and I'm 4th in line...

While I wait, the title turns itself over and over in my head. So simple, so wise.

For someone who spent more than a decade of her life wrapped up in a compulsive dieting and eating disorder this phrase has been my path to freedom and a healthy relationship with food. All food.
Even chocolate cake.

Too often we use eating to satisfy emotions that can in no way be resolved with food.
Stifled? Yes.
Smothered? Yes.
Comforted? Maybe (yet briefly).
Resolved and healed? No.

So I've been jotting down some notes. Reminders of what to do when needs other than physical hunger have found (and sometimes still find) me stuffing food into my mouth. No doubt, I'll keep refining these, adding to them as life goes on and I develop new ways of meeting my ever changing, sometimes confusing needs and emotions.

When hungry, eat.
When thirsty, drink (preferably pure H2O)
When tired, sleep.
When happy, laugh (or hug or dance!)
When angry, breathe.
When scared, pray.
When lonely, reach out.
When bored, read.
When stuck, stretch.
When doubtful, wait and see.
When lost, find north.
When depressed, clean.
When inspired, write. (For that matter - when uninspired, write).
When curious, ask.
When desperate, walk along a wild and windswept beach.

While alive, love.

How do you deal with emotions, both positive and negative?


  1. Oh my Goddess!
    I think I am going to be dealing with my emotions the way you suggest, Kathleen!
    I battled with food in my teens and early twenties too. First, not eating at all. We know what that's called, but let's not call it that. And then systematically overeating. It's been a long path to self-acceptance. Long.

  2. Badly usually. I'm fully of marvellous advice about dealing with emotion. I'm less marvellous at following. Physician, heal theyself.

  3. Food, until now, has always been a struggle. One can quit drinking alcohol, or even eating a particular food. But eating is essential to life. I discovered that emotions were at the root of my struggles. Not wanting to feel them, protecting myself from the world looked like terrain covered in emotional landmines. I see something different today when I look out past the boundaries of my own skin, and when I look within I find the problem and the solution. Thank you for this post.

  4. Thanks for your comments... I'd like to write more on this topic - it's a big one!
    In the meantime, let's be gentle with ourselves :-)