Jul 26, 2010

a little self-reflection, yes?

hello friends!
i hope your weekends were awesome in every way. i had an interesting weekend, to put it simply. learned a lot about myself, my thoughts, and what i want in life...

ever have one of those days where something just clicks? my weekend was full of those "aha!" moments.

noteworthy news:
the absolutely wonderful Medicinal Marzipan was kind enough to list me in her Body Loving Blogosphere weekly roundup. the other posts are incredible!

i also had the blessed opportunity to have lunch with Chuck Feerick, of Feerless Food. he was down in richmond for a triathalon (in the 100+ degree heat!!!) and was sweet enough to grab some food with me before his drive home at a cute little diner called Millie's.

while the atmosphere was fun, it was a little more crowded/noisy than i had anticipated. they were also out of almost half the items on the menu... not bueno for vegans :). all in all, we had great conversation, and he's a total doll. if you're interested in seeing exercise and food from a guy's perspective, hop on over to his awesome blog!

today's thoughts: gum, and why we chew it.
i don't know about you guys, but up until very, very recently, i was a gum-chewing machine! yes, sugar-free gum and i spent many a day together, with all it's chemically, fake, poison-y goodness. i didn't go anywhere without a piece, and i could easily mowed through a whole pack in a weekend!

i kind of considered this my one vice... it wasn't a terrible habit, right? only when i started to notice it bothered my stomach did i ever even consider giving my up beloved gum.

since then, i've spent some time considering where this obsession came from. sure, it's not cocaine or anything, but an addiction is an addiction.

gum is one of those silly things we don't think about, but i am a firm believer that there is a reason behind everything we do. and i consider myself a strong person, so i didn't really like the control gum had over me. i seriously couldn't go a day without it!

so in a very christie-like manner, i just asked myself "why?"

i turned to gum for a few reasons:

1. emotion eating/food obsession: for the first time in my life, i wasn't eating constantly. i wouldn't just go grab something whenever i felt like it, but i still had the urge to. i hadn't dealt with all of my emotional reasons for needing food, so i still wanted to be chewing constantly.

why? because it was comforting! gum was a nearly calorie-free way to satisfy my food addiction... but satisfying that obsession wasn't the same thing as dealing with the problem.

i was addicted to food because i still thought eating, or the lack of it, would make me happy. my focus was in the wrong place - instead of pursuing things of worth (volunteering, friendships, God), i was too caught up in how "good" i could be (eating "healthy," getting skinny, being popular).

until i dealt with the emptiness inside, i was compelled to fill the space with food/chewing.

2. stress/loneliness: when i was really honest with myself, i chewed gum because i was worrying. i would get lost in my thoughts and fears about school, my major, my parents, losing weight, etc., and would turn to gum as a stress-reliever. once again - i wasn't dealing with the root problem. i was avoiding doing anything about my fears.

gum also distracted me from realizing i was lonely. i was working in the pool (isolated from the rest of the gym), going to community college with no friends, and dating a guy who worked long, random hours. the fibro was starting to limit what i could do, so i was getting out a lot less. the gum kept me "busy," so at least i didn't realize i wasn't really doing anything.

3. sugar: as you guys know, i'm hypoglycemic, so now i don't eat added sugars. when i was phasing-out sugar, naturally i craved sweetness, and sugar-free gum satisfied that need for me. i figured less sugar and no bingeing on desserts = success, when in reality, trading sugar for fake sugar = fail. don't get me wrong - i was moving in the right direction, just a bit misguided in my attempt.

gum was my jam. it was my dirty little habit. it's taken a lot of practice and effort, but i can turn it down now and think about what my body really needs.

it's a scary thing to really get to the bottom of your actions, but it's worth looking into! there's no greater gift you can give yourself than understanding who you are.

will you do me (and yourself!) a favor?

please take a second and get real with yourself.

gum might not be your addiction, but make it personal: think about that food "you aren't safe around," or have no self-control with... i guarantee you it's not just because you really like the way it tastes. when we act compulsively and irrationally around a food, there is almost always a driving force behind it... be it emotions, memories, or guilt.

give yourself some time, keep thinking, and allow yourself the freedom to just be. you are absolutely worth the effort. treat yourself right, and get that monkey off your back! 

need some help getting started?
- i really can't recommend christie's blog enough, if you're looking to ask the hard questions. not only is she a sweet friend, but she's pure magic.
- looking for honesty? she's a bit on-again-off-again, but sui is a gem and says things how they really are.
- if you struggle a bit more than you'd like to admit (i've so been there!!!), lara's blog is a straight-up resourse for those of us who are no-nonsense.
- most important? find someone you can confide in. a loving, supportive person in your life is the greatest strength i've found.

what food challenges you? pulls at your compulsive side?
what "food habit" do you allow yourself?


  1. I had/have a big gum addiction as well. I use to eat it instead of 'food'. I actually counted the 2.5 calories in it as well..Obsessive? YES. Sad? YES. It gave me terrible stomach aches though so now I ration myself. I probably have about 4-6 pieces a day instead of a pack... :)

    Dana xox

  2. I used to chew gum instead of eating at one point. I got through so many packets of the stuff it was ridiculous! Luckily when I arrived at the treatment clinic for my ED they confiscated it and forced me to go cold turkey. I've never touched it since, although still have a bit of a thing for mints.

    Sarah x

  3. I love you!!!

    just emailed you :)

  4. I love reading your stuff, so...I nominated you:
    you win YAY and thank you for just rockin :) http://bit.ly/9NZXWb

  5. Oh I was such a gum fiend last summer. It was awful, looking back at it - made my stomach and teeth hurt! And it was during work instead of snacking. Great, right? Not so much.
    Now I can't remember the last time I had a piece. Sometimes I get the urge for some, but since I never have any the feeling passes. It's more of a "I just ate too much garlic hummus I need something minty." situation, haha.
    I can't think of anything that pulls at my compulsively that I don't also truly enjoy. I think coffee is probably my worst addiction, though. But - it's not cocaine, right? ;)

  6. it's so interesting meeting bloggers in person.. & especially getting the perspective from a guy about eating/food/etc. issues :)

    thanks for the shout-out!

    I could've sworn I've commented before... (have I? O_o)

    I used to be addicted to gum too. fake-sugar gum.... I'd go through several packs a week! that was around the same time I started eating more as a way to suppress my feelings... so I guess I felt like I always had to be chewing something...

  7. I use to be a gum addict and could easily go through more than one pack a day but I've cut it out completely since about 2 weeks ago. Gum IS addicting and not only that, it really isn't good for you. At all. So I cut it out and while it was extremely difficult at first, it's not so bad now although I still get the occasional craving for it.

    A food that pulls at me is.. fruit. Yes, I'm kind of addicted to fruit and don't think I can go a day without it. At least it's healthy though!

  8. I am queen of analyzing my habits. :D
    Why? that i don't know...i guess to understand and know myself better.
    As far as gum-can't do it.
    The sugar free kind literally makes me ill, and just chewing gum in general MAKES me hungry.
    So, whenever i see dieticians recommend people chew gum to curb cravings, I'm like, "dude-i would so gain like 10 lbs from chewing gum. I get hungry within like 10 seconds of chewing it."
    LOL :)


questions or comments about my thoughts?
feel free to share, and thanks for stopping by!