Some people have asked me how I started my weight loss. My first few months in the blog archive explain it all.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"My Soul Hungered"

Somehow I got a rash on my shins. It is nearly invisible to the eye, but not to the nerve endings that are constantly irritated. This morning at 4:00 I woke up to the sound of my scratching. I can scratch and scratch but once I stop scratching, the itch remains, the relief is gone.

I think a lot about emotions. The ups and downs rule and govern how I eat, if I sleep, If I sing and dance, or mope and cry.

When I started this blog I wanted to discuss something purely emotional, something I had no words for. It is a phenomena to me. Something that I do that must be put into words to understand. I think I might be getting close.

There are times that I have found myself looking at a half eaten bowl of ice cream and I know I am not hungry and yet I continue eating. The next bite is already in line waiting for its turn to be shoveled in. My mouth can be full, and I can have no more hunger but my hand waits obediently to put more food in. I think “I don’t even know why I am eating this” and yet I continue.

As a girl I remember watching my dad coming home after work, or meetings at the church, and almost bracing himself at the table. One arm steadying him, the other feeding him. There seemed to be a trance-like state that he went into as he satiated his hunger. He was a very hard working man. Sometimes after finishing his food he would take the thing he was eating and kind of throw it from him with a look of disgust. I have done the same thing. I have left a table full physically and yet I am still hungry.

When I invited the spirit to help me lose weight, things changed. I felt certain promptings. Once while I was getting some chocolate pudding, the thought came to my head, “will that pudding fix what hurts?” “Once it is gone will the problems be gone too?” “Exactly how much pudding will it take to solve this problem?”

I found a scripture that put those promptings to words: 2Ne 27:3 “. . .it shall be unto them, even as unto a hungry man which dreameth, and behold he eateth but he awaketh and his soul is empty; or like unto a thirsty man which dreameth, and behold he drinketh but he awaketh and behold he is faint, and his soul hath appetite;. . .”

I have learned that my over eating has been like the scratching of my rash. My rash itches, I scratch, and while I am scratching I find relief, but if I stop the itch is back. I am left with two obvious solutions: I can either continue to eternally scratch until the skin is red and bloody, or I can go get help, and find the reason for the itch and then fix the problem so I will have no more need to scratch. While I am eating, I am temporally lulled into comfort and I find some relief, but when I stop, the comfort stops as well. Comfort has to be found with something that truly feeds and fills the viod, not food, but peace. Trying to fix that which is broken spiritually with temporal things will not work.

I have learned that it is impossible to feed my soul with that which perisheth. Look up “hunger” in the topical guide, This is not a new problem. Enos solved his souls hunger through prayer. Alma teaches the poor to “feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst”(Alma 32:42) Jesus tells the Nephites “He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled” (3Nephi 20:8)

The solution comes through prayer and communication with our Father. Even more important than exercise and menu planning is the need to have your souls hunger satiated, which can only be done through Christ. No amount of chocolate pudding can take His place.

I have had miracles happen in my life. I found a wonderful therapist through LDS social services. I was led to someone who helped me find what I was trying to fix with food. As I let go some of the old patterns and learned to replace them with healthy ones I was able to finally satiate that hunger. The fix may be different for each one of us, but will be taylored to meet your needs through the quiet promptings of the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful for Christ in my life. I can say like Nephi “My God hath been my support he hath led me through mine afflictions. . .He hath filled me with his love . . . “(2 Nephi 4:20,21)


General Wolfe said...

That was so very beautiful.

watermelanie said...

thank you for your honesty. You inspire me to lay my feelings bare, not worrying what others will think, because it is what I feel and it is valid. thank you for motivating me to look a little deeper than the "band-aid" solution of stuffing the boredom, hurt, loneliness, etc. away with food.

By the way, the trick with chewing gum really worked for me. I must have made four entire batches of cookies yesterday, and because of my wonderful gum, I ate not a one of those evil goodies! :) thanks again for all the good insights and experience.

Marc said...

So you totally nailed the Dad part. Had to chuckle at that. :)

Calamity Jane said...

thanks general, and thanks for the help

Melanie, I am so glad the gum works, what is your brand? I love orbitz bubblemint!

Marc, I was wondering if dad had gotten healthy by the time you got around to watching him eat. It is such a vivid memory to me.

Marc and Megan said...

I love love love the ways you apply the scriptures to such every day things like eating.

Oh, and I had a moment this afternoon when I was eating a bag of Kettle brand chips - Cheddar and Herb Flavor - and Marc told me it reminded him of your post today. So, I made him take the bag away. Darn chips, you can never just eat one.

Kimberly said...

That phenomena you're seeking to describe is the very thing that drives me. That was beautiful and touching on more than one level.

Chubby Chick said...

Hi, Calamity Jane! Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving such a nice comment!

I totally relate to emotional eating. That is pretty much what has led to my weight problem. Recognizing that has helped me to get back on track, thank God!


Janice said...

I just read that passage in Jeremiah, and had those same thoughts! I need to live in the real here and now- no more dreamin' with my eyes open!

happy mommy said...

I really, really enjoyed this post. You articulate well the struggle of those who eat to dull pain.

My favorite was "how much pudding will it take?"

Very insightful.