blogging, dealing with food cravings, emotional eating, enjoying family, Finding old friends, Food Addiction, losing weight, love, Medical Weight Loss Program, optifast, problem solving, weight loss journal

Days 26 & 27: No More Wire Monkeys!

Psychologist, Harry Harlow in the midst of singularly f**king up this poor monkey's life. (Photo courtesy of The Adoption History Project, University of Oregon)
Psychologist, Harry Harlow in the midst of singularly f**king up this poor monkey’s life. (Photo courtesy of The Adoption History Project, University of Oregon)

I’m discovering so much about myself during this weight loss adventure and very little of it has to do with food.  While I expected to get to know my body’s signals for hunger and satiation, as well as the situations that trigger my desire to eat emotionally, or out of boredom, I didn’t expect to uncover the true source of why I overeat.

I assumed that I was “chubby” because I was still grieving the death of my mother who died when I was 20.  I also suspected that eating sleeves of cookies and bags of chips was my way of coping with the pain of nearly losing my daughter to her mental illness.  I supposed that if I tallied in a divorce when I was 30, and eight years of financially-strapped single motherhood with all of the other crappy things that had been thrown my way, that my size was the product of life’s perfect equation for fatness.  I was wrong; so, so wrong.  My weight has very to do with the things that have happened to me and far more to do with how I’ve reacted to them.

For as long as I can remember being me, I’ve never wanted to appear like I didn’t have my act together. I made good grades. I had outstanding work evaluations. I was the perfect daughter, sister, mom, wife, teacher, Girl Scout Leader–you name it.  I thrived on compliments like “You’re so strong.” “I can always count on you.”  “I don’t know how you handle all this, I’d fall apart!” Falling apart was fine for everyone else. I’d be there with hugs and baked goods if someone else was suffering.  However, if I was hurting, I kept it in, choked it down with extra portions, and made those baked goods for myself.  I never reached out to others because I didn’t want to appear weak.

Last night, I though of the Harlow experiment that probably everyone learned about in Psych 101.  It’s the study where Harry Harlow probed the nature of love and attachment by separating a group of  baby monkeys from their real mothers, a dick move in my opinion. He placed some of the babies with soft, terry cloth mothers that they could cuddle when frightened or stressed, and the others with cold, wire monkeys that provided no real source of comfort.  As predicted, the monkeys with terry cloth mothers developed normally (though I sort of doubt it) while monkeys placed with wire mothers were seven shades of f**ked up.  Food has been the wire monkey that I’ve clung to for years.  It’s mutely offered no condolences or advice.  Most importantly, it’s offered no real love or comfort.

From now on, I’m done with wire monkeys.  I won’t even let a terry cloth one darken my doorstep!  I’m letting real people in, and I’m letting them get to know the real me; the me who isn’t always so perfect, but is perfectly ok with that.

What changes would you like to make in your life?  How are you going about it?

****PS–I have so many wonderful blogs that I want to checkout and comment on, but I’m off to an appointment today.  I’ll be home this evening reading and commenting! Have a nice day everyone! 🙂

9 thoughts on “Days 26 & 27: No More Wire Monkeys!”

  1. What a wonderful post full of self realisation 🙂 sounds to me like you are really understanding yourself and it sounds great. I’m very happy to be able to say that I made a lot of changes in my life over the past few years and I’m done and happy x

    1. That’s so wonderful for you :). I’m very happy for you! Though I’m still a work in progress, I’m so excited about the changes that I’m making. I’ll be 50 in April, and I certainly don’t want to live the second half-century of my life without better health in all realms. I can’t wait to be off of Optifast so I can try your healthy recipes. I’m not a vegetarian, I’ll eat fish and turkey, but I’ve never been much of a fan of meat, so I’m constantly seeking alternative sources of protein. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Have a great day!

      1. You’ll be feeling so good, I think it’s very exciting 👍 nuts, seeds, tahini and quinoa tend to be my sources of protein, all good stuff. Hopefully you will eventually get to enjoy some of my recipes 😉

  2. I truly enjoyed your post. Aren’t revelations …. well … I was going to say wonderful, however, I think they fall more in the category of bitter-sweet. “I’m so glad I have an answer” coupled with “Who pulled the rug out from under me?” Thank you for sharing.

  3. You know, I found this post in particular to be a very courageous share. To share a self realization and followed by, “I never reached out to others because I didn’t want to appear weak”. What a profound and deep statement.

    Man sister, now I feel like you’re talking to the group of women who cry and suffer in misery and silence all to save themselves from the possibility of being found out and discovered because maybe, just maybe, we aren’t doing so hot and need a little help.

    Your trials and tribulations have made the strong woman you are today. Thank God you’ve discovered the Optifast program and are now doing something about it. It’s all part of the healing process.

    Two months to go…. 🙂

    1. I sure could have done without the trials and tribulations, but they have served to make me stronger. I blame my German ancestors (my maternal Grandmother was the first generation born here, so all of the strictness trickled down–she certainly had her loving side though) for my rather stoic upbringing. I learned very well how to be self-sufficient, but not how to ask for help, because that was a sign of weakness. I’ve always been a person who likes to help others and now I’m gradually learning that it’s alright to ask for help, or just a shoulder to lean on in return. It’s a process though! Thank you, as always for your kind comments and have a beautiful day! (We have almost 24 inches of snow in WV, so I’ll be getting a shovel workout today! 🙂

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