September has always been a hard month for me. Since I was a kid, the transition from summer to fall, going back to school, along with some other difficult things that had happened around that time of year combined with my birthday, usually sent me into a depression. This year, both of my daughters moved out and I also had to adjust to an empty nest. While it’s nice that I have my place to myself, it’s been difficult getting used to living in a quiet, clean home. It’s so weird! Then my sister and I went to visit our father who we haven’t seen since we were little. Another weird day on top of my difficult month. And the guy I was seeing decided he wasn’t really ready to date even though he thought I was great and I was the kind of person he could envision himself with. Great, I’m not sure if that made me feel better or worse.
All of this just made last month hard, and I started to turn to food. Wow, that’s hard to admit. I was alone and sad and I ended up soothing myself with food at night. I’m much better than I used to be with emotionally eating, but I’m not perfect.
In the past, when I had a hard time and my eating became difficult, or my depression got bad and I couldn’t get myself to the gym, I would get so frustrated. I would vow to clean up my food, get back into my workout routine and make sure I lost whatever weight I had gained. And, it usually worked for a while. I would be strict in my routine and by the next month I usually got back to my previous size. But, while I was doing this, I was so uncomfortable with my body; I was annoyed at myself for “letting myself go”, for letting my emotions affect how my body looked. I wanted to hide until I got back to a comfortable weight.
Well, this year was a little different. I knew what was happening but I was just so damn tired of beating myself up about it. So, instead, I decided it was ok if I gave myself a little compassion. I’ve been down this road before; I recognized why I was eating, but this time, instead of getting mad at myself I tried to accept it. I wasn’t thrilled that I gained some weight but I could see where it was coming from and I accepted that this was where I was.
October has been a little better. I started to come out of my September funk, I slowly started going back to the gym and the nighttime eating started to fall away. I just don’t care about eating at night. My pants feel a little more comfortable, but more importantly, I feel more comfortable with myself.
When we stop trying to control everything, our eating usually becomes easier. When we love ourselves, we naturally start doing things that make us healthier and happier. What would happen if you stopped trying to control everything, stopped getting frustrated and you gave yourself some love and compassion instead?