This very restricted, pre-surgery diet that I’m on is, as I’ve written, really difficult. But the entries about this subject have pretty much only dealt with the physical reasons why the diet sucks. I’ve been completely ignoring the emotional and psychological side of things. I think it’s time to change that.
As I mentioned in “The Monster Inside”, food has long been a way for me to feel like I had control over at least some aspect of my life. What I didn’t mention is that food has also been one of my various self-comfort methods. That is, it’s what I use to calm myself down or make myself feel better in stressful or otherwise negative situations. When I feel anxious, sad, or worried, my first impulse is to eat. Being that I’m more high-strung than some, I often feel anxious, sad, or worried. And being that I’m not a robot, I also often feel a whole host of other emotions that trigger that “must eat now” response. This is one of the things I know I’m going to have to find a way to overcome if I want to be psychologically healthy as well as physically healthy. And during my pre-surgery diet, well…I’ve had a few instances of wanting to curl into a ball and cry. Or whimper, at the very least.
I can’t utilize any food-related methods of self-comfort right now. Well, actually, I can’t do it anymore at all if I want to successfully lose weight, but I’m trying not to focus on the permanence of the change right now lest it cause more issues. I’ll cross that bridge when I’m not highly stressed because dammit I’m constantly hungry.
But so that’s a mental adjustment I’m having to make in addition to all the physical ones. I want to resort to my usual means of self-comfort. And I can’t.
But writing about it is very cathartic. (Seriously–if you decide gastric banding/another bariatric surgery is the way to go, I highly recommend you keep a journal, private or public.) It also leads to another Important Question:
Why do I find food so emotionally comforting?
Another way I self-comfort is by snuggling things. These things are often stuffed animals or the like, and occasionally one of my cats if it vociferously demands attention. I can’t bring a cat into work, however (more’s the pity), so I think I might start bringing in something snuggly I can cuddle when I’m feeling down in the dumps. Is that an odd way to soothe emotional issues when you’re twenty-five going on twenty-six? I believe most people would find it so. But there are times when I just stop giving a damn about what other people think and…y’know, this is one of them.