Thursday, March 17, 2011

Book Sharing : "When food is Love" PART 1

Do you constantly diet and can't seem to lose weight?

Are you preoccupied with food and eating?

Do you think you're fat no matter what your weight?

Do you desire to be thin above all else?

Does your weight affect how you feel about yourself?

Do you often turn to food when you're not physically hungry?

Have you spent the majority of  your life on a diet?

Is there something missing in your relationships?

This is a self-help book of sorts about compulsive eating, specifically in relation to love and intimacy. It explores the reasons why diets don't work, why people abuse food and themselves and how "...our patterns of eating were formed by early patterns of loving.". When Food Is Love is about compulsive eating but it is my opinion that you could easily substitute the word food with alcohol or drugs etc. and have it still ring true. Please note that is not the author's intention.

The friend that loaned me the book found it to be very enlightening. In fact, Oprah Winfrey is quoted in saying, "A life-changing book.". (If Oprah says so, it must be true, right? It's on the back cover of the book.)And I would have to agree with her. It's very easy to relate to what the author has to say about childhood trauma and relationships and how that sets the mould in how you interact with food and people in adulthood.

I will be quoting text from the book directly. All of the quoted text will be in bold type. I may comment on the text or I may not.

I hope that what you read here will have some significance for you. Perhaps it can change your thinking. Maybe even change your life.

"When we allow our bodies or our weight to interfere with the quality of intimacy in our lives, when we feel too ugly to be seen with the lights on, we are trying to protect ourselves from being hurt again. But the hurt we are protecting ourselves from is not in the present. Nor is it in the future. We are trying to protect ourselves from feeling a hurt that has nothing to do with our lives now; over and over, for the rest of our lives, we try to protect ourselves from feeling our past, and in so doing we never allow ourselves to claim the present."

"We all have broken hearts. Every single one of us has had our heart broken at least once - in our families, from the loss or betrayal of a parent. Some had their hearts broken over and over again in terrible ways. When the heart of a child is broken, something inexpressible - and up to that moment whole and unquestioned - snaps. And nothing is ever the same. We spend the rest of our lives trying to minimize the hurt or pretend that it didn't happen, trying to get someone to love us the way we, as that child, needed to be loved. We spend the rest of our lives eating or drinking or smoking or working so that we never have to go back there again. Never have to feel the unbearable pain of our broken hearts."

"Compulsion is despair on the emotional level. The substances, people, or activities that we become compulsive about are those that we believe capable of taking our despair away."

"We create drama by lying, by suffering, by bingeing and dieting, by living in the midst of perpetual motion, by forever beginning or ending relationships. We create drama by externalizing our pain, by making things hard between ourselves in relationships instead of being honest about how hard it is inside ourselves. When we are not honest about the internal conflict, we stage an external one. We create drama because we are afraid of what would happen if we held still. We create drama because we are afraid of revealing ourselves. Creating drama protects us from being intimate."

"Contentment is unthinkable. The same is true for intimacy. If we are comfortable with struggle and suffering, then we will choose partners who are not attracted to us, who are alcoholics or drug addicts, who are incapable of making a commitment. Or comfortable as we are with struggle and suffering, we will find a way to suffer in even the best relationships.
Peace and contentment are feelings that take practice to achieve. They are not a consequence of being successful or being in love or being thin. They are, among other things, a consequence of stopping in the present moment and looking around. For those of us who as children felt  as if standing still meant being smashed, being content is perceived as a threat to our survival."

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