I must be in a way crummier mood than I had thought.
I have spent the past couple of days feeling awfully useless and pitiful and, as always, this has quickly translated into a period of self-loathing. So, it's interesting to see how I answered my worksheet questions today.
1. On page 22, author Geneen Roth writes that she turned to Hostess Sno Balls the same year she gave up on God. Do you turn to food for comfort, sweetness and the feeling that you matter?
I always say that I do. I'm working on making sure that I really look at the reasons behind my eating now, though. I think that, sometimes, I eat because it's something I can DO, rather than doing nothing and feeling powerless. There is comfort to be had in food, but it's also a wonderful tool of distraction. I HATE feeling like I can't control a situation. I hate feeling like other people are able to do things that ultimately change the course of my life. I really, really hate that feeling.
2. What does going on a diet mean to you? Does it give you a feeling of taking control and doing something for yourself? If you have been on many diets, do you honestly believe this one is different, or do you diet because you are discouraged and don't know what else to do?
Going on a diet currently means to me that I have given up on trying to accept myself. Dieting is an act that specifically says that I am NOT good enough the way that I am.
I suppose that, in a roundabout way, exercise can be the same thing. Except that exercise often empowers me, and dieting always, without fail, either leaves me feeling really righteous and virtuous, or leaves me feeling crippled and sort of insane. And hungry.
3. On page 23, Geneen describes dieting like praying and that "making the decision to stop dieting was like committing heresy, like breaking a vow that was never supposed to be broken." Are you ready to stop dieting? What feelings does thinking about this bring up for you?
What she says pretty much mirrors what I said for question 2. NOT dieting is an act that tells me that I can accept and trust myself.
I wish I could diet and be happy. I wish that there was some sort of magical cure. Or that I knew how to really be at peace with having extra fat on my body. But, if I'm going to be unhappy with myself, I'd rather do something that has a chance at teaching me how to become happy, rather than doing something that history has shown me will make me miserable.
4. From page 25: Geneen writes: "I don't believe in the God that most people call God, but I do know that the only definition of God that makes sense is one that uses this human life and its suffering—the very things we believe we need to hide or fix—as a path to the heart of love itself. Which is why the relationship with food is so important." What do you believe about God, love and your life?
About God: hell, I don't know. I just don't know anymore.
About love: I think it's a good idea. It's complicated, though.
About my life: Huh. I guess I'm in the same place on all three. Tonight, I am feeling very jaded and tired. I'm tired of trying to sort through things. I'm tired of things feeling unfair, and feeling like my best efforts are not enough. And I know all of this is connected.
5. Do you believe you deserve kindness and beauty? If other people deserve it—if your children deserve it—why not you? Why is it so hard to treat yourself lovingly?
I don't deserve those things, because I've screwed up too much. And I'm still doing penance. And no, I do not want to talk about it anymore. I've done that for decades, through scores of self- and professional-help experiences, and I still don't feel better. I still feel like I deserve to be punished for things that I would instantly forgive from strangers.
6. In Women, Food and God, Geneen says your relationship to food is a doorway to your true nature, your deepest self. Do you believe you have a true nature and a higher self? Are you willing to use your relationship with food as the doorway to that?
I know this can work. And I have experienced this "higher self" concept. I would like to have that back in my life.