Growing up I had a best friend in elementary school. Her name was Susie Q and I could always count on her to sit with me at lunch. I had plenty of friends growing up but she was the most dependable to be there every, single time I needed her.
She wasn’t just an ordinary friend either. She had a stocky, square build, dark skin and a heart made of sweet cream.
We are not born with these issues, but we do often develop them at a very young age. For me personally, it was during childhood. I can’t remember the first five years of my life, therefore I’ll start at six or seven.
I’m sure by now you realize I’m talking about the Hostess snack cake, not a real person.
You see, I come from a fairly dysfunctional background, as many people do. The specific details of my tumultuous childhood don’t matter to this story, allowing you to insert and identify your personal story that could have affected your habits. I will just tell you that whenever I was sad or depressed from having a meltdown, when I wasn’t sure where or who to turn to, Susie Q was ALWAYS there. No matter what.
Susie Q and other unhealthy foods were always around. The time that I grew up food was the easy, accessible fix for everything and it promised happiness, wrapped up perfectly in a box filled with artificial ingredients and artificial happiness.
When I think about food being what I turned to as a child and think about how it was (and still is) marketed it’s obvious why it was the easy solution. Cracker Jacks would be devoured just to get to the prize. Ice cream filled with candy would be scarfed down just to get to the candy.
It wasn’t that the Cracker Jacks or the ice cream were always desired, but the payoff was highly-coveted. Getting a prize meant success, something new, something happy. When happiness isn’t filling every ounce of your life it’s easy to turn to the promise of happiness and chomp away at the bit, hoping that at one point a void will be filled. When we want the prize, the candy, the happiness, we are searching for the end point. The happily ever after. We forget about the middle.
I’m writing about this because just like in my post about emotional eating, we all have emotional baggage. I’ve never met a single person who lives a perfect life and I’m pretty sure no one perfect exists. Everyone has issues, struggles, failures and bumps in the road. Some childhoods are severely horrific and some are more common that others. I don’t believe mine was beverly bad, but I do believe I didn’t have the tools to deal with my family life so I carried the issues throughout childhood, teenage years and I still carry a lot of it with me today.
Anyone who works in the health field is there for a reason. They believe in the core of themselves that they possess something that gives them the ability to help. When I decided to embark down a career path in holistic health and nutrition I knew emotional baggage would be one of my biggest areas of focus. I knew it because I had lived it. I live it on a daily basis.
The story doesn’t always matter because it’s pieces are usually in the past, what’s not in the past though are the side effects. The night snacking. The overindulging. The boredom eating. Breakup bingeing. I’m not perfect, I will never be perfect and I don’t preach perfection. I preach that perfection is a flaw.
When we are conditioned to allow food to heal us, help us and bring us happiness it can be hard to get past the feelings without the food. Please reach out to me if you feel you are struggling, emotionally eating, going through a hard time or having health issues. I’m here to help.