“Diets don’t work because food and weight are the symptoms, not the problems. The focus on weight provides a convenient and culturally reinforced distraction from the reasons why so many people use food when they are not hungry. These reasons are more complex than- and will never be solved with – will-power, counting calories, and exercise. They have to do with neglect, lack of trust, lack of love, sexual abuse, physical abuse, unexpressed rage, grief, being the object of discrimination, protection from getting hurt again. People abuse themselves with food because they don’t know they deserve better. People abuse themselves because they’ve been abused. They become self-loathing, unhappy adults not because they’ve experience trauma but because they’ve repressed it.”
– Geneen Roth, introduction to When Food Is Love.
This felt like the most profound and appropriate thing I could have read today, considering it’s Father’s Day.
Today I started reading When Food Is Love. I didn’t even get past the introduction of the book before I realized I am that person she described. I thought I would be able to succeed in my journey without addressing the hurtful, messy past that caused me to abuse food in the first place. I was wrong. I haven’t been able to fix my symptoms – binge eating, emotional eating, using food for avoidance. Finally I’m now on the path to fix the root of my problems. It’s probably going to hurt and I’m probably going to hate it. But I don’t want to be that person she described anymore. I don’t want my past to have such a strong pull on me anymore.