I just want to get this post out of the way so I’ve decided that I’m going to dictate it using voice recognition software. I hate using it but I just need to get this done and finished and out there.
So, as you can guess, my diet is officially, like Monty Python’s parrot, completely dead. It’s expired, it’s lifeless, dead as the proverbial dodo (interesting that I just had to manually correct that last word as dictation software wanted to put dead as the proverbial dildo).
I was at a socially distanced outdoor children’s birthday party on Sunday. Of course I wasn’t drinking but I was eating and I was also observing how I ate in comparison to how other people ate. It didn’t take me long to realise why I struggle with diets. It was quite clear that I eat the way I used to drink; excessively with moderation completely thrown out the window. Whilst other people picked up the occasional crisp I was cramming handfuls into my mouth. When the hot sausage rolls appeared most people politely picked up one whereas I, on the other hand, managed about four within the first five minutes of them appearing. I was not eating like other people. I was devouring food. I was not eating to satisfy hunger, it was some anxiety generated, emotionally damaged,bored black hole I was trying to fill. I was suffering from some strange affliction. One could just say I was just being a greedy pig but that doesn’t sound good to me as it smacks of moral weakness, “Eataholic”is more reassuring as it takes responsibility away from me and locates it in a condition over which I have no control but is clearly nonsense.
Then it hit me, I talk too much, when I smoked I smoked too much, when I drank I drank too much, often when I eat I eat too much, I used to do a lot of drama in other words I love the sound of my own voice, I play music and have the need to sing all the time; it’s quite clear I’m orally fixated. Freud would love me, he would say I’m a perfect example of someone who didn’t go through that initial oral phase in a satisfactory manner. I got stuck there and constantly seek comfort and pleasure from all things connected with my mouth. And yes my mother had to stop breastfeeding me quite early and so at last I now know why diets do not work for me. It’s my mother’s fault! She should’ve carried on breastfeeding me then I wouldn’t have had all these problems with smoking, drinking and eating. Simple.
I jest of course. There may be a slight element of truth in what Freud had to say but of course his theory of psychosexual development does not really stand up to scrutiny. What I can say though is that consuming alcohol and food has been my way of coping with a certain level of social anxiety and an inner void, of which I’m increasingly aware. The fact is that on occasion I do eat excessively and diets alone will not work for me, I have to look at the why of my eating?
What this all means is that I have to approach cutting down on food the same way I approached giving up alcohol, I have to dig more into the reasons why I really eat and find a way of managing some of those compulsions. As I said before the option to just quit food isn’t an option so it will be very different to how I tackle booze in that with food it will be about moderation. It will be about stopping certain foods and it will be about monitoring how I eat, when I eat, types of food and the quantities. Crucially though I need to do the work of what emotionally I’m trying to comfort and suppress when I do eat excessively. Maybe that’s been long overdue so now is the time stop blaming my mother and dive into that emotional void. That should be fun! Wish me luck.