Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Body Talk: To My Over Eater


My body woke me up yesterday when the sky was still dark and my house was quiet.
Take me for a walk?
It asked.
I shuffled about in the shadows of my house putting on shoes,
finding a shirt,
throwing on a jacket,
pulling up my hair.
Outside was spring-like, not the bone-chilling reception we've had these few months.
The birds were up too, perched high in the bare trees, chatty, noisy little things.
I walked and walked, talked myself into climbing up an inclined street until I reached the top and looked out onto my still, frosted town. The red-roofed library, the stacked Kimball tower, the dark sky scraping Nu Skin building, the white rounded temple, all in my view. I stopped and listened to the drumming of heartbeats in my ears.
That's when my body started talking to me.

You've got to trust me.

When I am hungry I will tell you.
You'll hear it in chambered echos, grumbles and moans.
DON'T FEED ME, until you hear my call.

When I am lonely I will tell you.
A lump will well up in your throat, like you've swallowed cotton and tears will form in your eyes.
DON'T FEED ME, try making a connection with the fine collection of friends you love.

When I am anxious I will tell you.
Your heart will beat fast, your breath will struggle to leave the lungs, and you might feel full of fire.
DON'T FEED ME, instead sit down and fight for those breaths, let the oxygen pour into you--clearing the veins and vessels, close your eyes, identify the fear that is squeezing you.

When I feel depressed I will tell you.
There will be a significant lack of energy, a slumpy reaction to bed-leaving, my mind will slow down and thoughts will become like black puffy clouds.
DON'T FEED ME, instead fill your head back up with new thoughts, ideas from books and discussions. Replace the dirty fuel in your mind with clean energy.

When I feel stressed I will tell you.
Like rubberbands squeezing around your cranium, your head throbbing, your stomach turning, your muscles tightening.
DON'T FEED ME, instead write it all out, everything you are feeling, look over the list and examine.

When I feel sick I will tell you.
Fevers, aches, pains and physical discomfort.
DON'T FEED ME, take care of me, bathe me, give me lots of water and put me to bed.

When I feel happy I will tell you.
Goosebumps infiltrate your skin, you will feel light and airy, propped up on energy, buzzing in your blood.
DON'T FEED ME, use the excess vivacity to spread your sentiments to someone else.

When I feel sensual I will tell you.
Your skin will turn pink and glow. Your mouth will involuntarily smile, your body will hum with awareness.
DON'T FEED ME, you know what to do.

When I need exercise I will tell you.
Your legs will ache to be walked, your back will beg to be stretched, your heart will ask to be throbbed.
DON'T FEED ME, walk me. And don't exercise me until I say so, please, or we will battle.

When I feel lazy, content, competitive, peaceful, overwhelmed, snippy, snappy, hot, cold, tired, frustrated, thirsty, full, beaming and bright I will tell you.
DON'T FEED ME, none of these sentiments require food. Excess surplus will have to be stored. I will have to make more of us--human shelves in rolls and lumps--to organize the overflow intake. Don't make me do that, please. There are babies to feed, children to squeeze, a husband to kiss. Right now, we don't have a lot of steam to become a storage facility as well.

But when I feel hungry I will send you a message of emptiness of stomach, dizziness of head, a sensation in your mouth extending into your throat that reads, I NEED FOOD, PLEASE DON'T STARVE ME.
Then, feed me.

139 comments:

Jenna said...

LOVE this.

Grandmamala said...

Publish this!!! It is perfect and beautiful.

kati said...

thank you for putting into words exactly how I feel. I will be rereading this again and again.

Cannon's said...

I love that the Blogher ad just below your profound words is for Choclate Twinkies.

Addie Gaylord said...

Best post ever! Really struck a chord, a lifelong battle I have dealt with. I need this in poster form framed on every wall in each room to remind me. Thank you!

Aiketa said...

I really liked it C. Jane!

It's true that sometimes we tend to eat whenever we are feeling stressed or something similar and it shouldn't be that way! And you said it perfectly!

Cannon's said...

Oh okay well it was. Good Job Courtney. It really was profound and beautiful. Thanks for sharing

Sue said...

Well said!

=)

Barb said...

This is one to bookmark and read again and again.

Diana...aka...MeMe said...

I love love this... Brilliant really! Thanks

RenaeBell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RenaeBell said...

This was just beautiful. Just what I needed today...how did you know? ;)

Natasha and Jesse said...

Great to remember, even during my pregnancy. Thank you!

Jeri May said...

My favorite post thus far, and I read your blog everyday.
Thank you and Happy Birthday month-I'm a March baby too.

minta said...

Wow, that was great!

Cheryl said...

Hello, my name is Cheryl and I too am an overeater! This was fabulous.

grbev said...

Wow, amazing ability to express how to be physically and mentally healthy. I agree. Publish this. Not only in your book but on your
column too.

"Feed Me" is not the solution to every problem but the brain sure seems to send that message!

Stacey said...

This is fabulous. I am participating in an addiction program with 2 other sisters in my ward. I will definately share this with them. We are following the church's 12 step program, but applying it to our over eating addiction. Thank you for this! :)

SmileyIsles said...

I adore this post. Love love love. You are just too good...

john's mom said...

so often the words you post are precisely waht i need to hear on a given day. if i were to think it was because we were mentally/emotionally connected, that would make me a stalker ... so i will just go with, you give voice to such deep-seated sentiments that so many of us feel, and thank you for saying it out loud.

Sarah said...

Wonderful Post. Thank you for this. I should read this every day and listen to my body.

Lindsey said...

i'm an emotional eater too- so good to be reminded that our bodies know what they need, we just need to LISTEN.
Love it!
xo
Lindsey

eliciakaye said...

Beautiful.

Delirious said...

My thoughts on this are very different than they would have been when I was your age. Now that I am 50, and my husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes, I look at gaining weight in a totally different light. A doctor once told me that if I never became over weight, I would never become diabetic. What happens when you gain weight is that the shape of your cells changes, and they can't allow naturally produced insulin to enter easily. But once you become diabetic, you are always diabetic. So watching cravings for me is about not becoming diabetic! I realllllllly don't want to have to ever test my blood daily, or give myself insulin shots. Hmmm....I might make a second comment because I'm worried this one is too long. lol

SB said...

This is amazing!!! And I agree it should be published. It is just perfect! So beautiful and so inspiring. Just what I need to read and reread every day. I'm printing this out and hanging it on my fridge.

the W* family said...

Thank you. LOVE this!

pollydove said...

I have those same thoughts almost on a daily basis ... only my thoughts aren't quite as eloquent as yours. You are such a gifted writer!

Amy said...

Just what I needed today.

Steph said...

Love it! . . . As I sit here eating! (But I really think I was hungry!) You just keep getting better and better at putting deep thoughts into beautifully feeling words.

Delirious said...

Our diabetes class teacher taught us that sometimes when you eat too many carbohydrates in a meal, it makes you crave more. This is why, when you have just eaten a huge meal, you still crave dessert. So keeping carbs to a moderate proportion actually helps avoid cravings. The other thing I really believe is that you are truly hungry, you should eat! And I also really believe that you shouldn't cut out all treats. When you do that, you binge. Even though it isn't fun, trying using a diabetic diet for awhile. They tell you how much of a carb to eat. I really think that will help control cravings. (for example, 1/3 cup of mashed potatoes instead of 2 cups. :)

Martha said...

oh yeah! truth! this is the type of thing i could print out and put on the fridge!

grandmastroudsblog said...

Thank you

April Annie said...

You wrote this for me. Thank You.

Janessa @ $avvy $aver $ecrets said...

This made me cry. I eat for every emotion and I know this but I really love what you have written. It is so true and so beautifully said. Thank you.

Amber said...

I need to post this in my pantry, on the fridge, in every cupboard. Thanks. Most of the time I feel like I am the only one with an Over Eater.

YES Gallery + Studio said...

Amen, sister! Beautiful, powerful writing. Trust and faith is key. I try to think of my body as I would a child's body. It is so precious. It's only mine to borrow for a time. It's chosen me - ME! - to collaborate with in this life. Amazing.

Michelle said...

This is perfect! Absolutely perfectly said.

Angie (Drowns) Kelly said...

I really like this post. Just thinking after reading this that we need to be careful about rewarding others with food also. I LOVE food, but sometimes worry that I am sending a message I don't want to when food is involved in so many rewards. (I'm thinking about YW classes where treats were brought frequently and bribing children with food.)

Megan said...

Thank you!!

Berenice Ventura said...

A masterpiece.

Lisa said...

Just love you!

Carly said...

this is wonderful! thank you.

Kristin said...

I don't think I have ever commented here before. Of all the pieces I've read of yours, this was the very best ever. Thank you. Thank you. And I hear ya sistah!!

Alicen said...

can't even form into words how beautiful this is. thank you. will re-read often!

Kristie Young said...

just beautiful

Em said...

As much as I've enjoyed everything you've written on this blog, I've never felt moved to comment until now. THANK YOU. I will be rereading this often.

calitransplant said...

LOVE IT! Thank you for this! As someone that is always struggling with weight this touched my soul and really hit home for me.

Raychel said...

Wonderful post. Saving this one for sure.

Shannon said...

Seriously, you have no idea how much I have needed this lately. I should have used it all my life, in fact. Maybe I wouldn't be as heavy as I am if I had. Thank you for writing and posting this!

Kate said...

thank you ... I needed this today. so perfect.

~ Lacey ~ said...

This was beautifully written. I actually used to be unable to eat when I was upset or stressed, etc. So much so, that when I went through a hard time many years ago (a divorce), I had dropped so much weight that people were thinking "eating disorder" or "drugs"...neither of which have ever been an issue for me. There was such a strong reaction to my weight loss, that I started forcing myself to eat, even when I was upset. Now, five years later, I have gone the complete other way. I eat when I am happy, I eat when I am sad or stressed, and I eat with every emotion in between. Sorry for this long comment comment, but again, this was beautifully written and exactly what I needed to hear. You spoke to me. Thank you for sharing. :)

Frances said...

I like this, thanks.

Shan said...

So perfect. Exactly what my mom and I have been talking about for months.

Connie said...

Nicely put! I am currently fighting a 20 year battle with my weight...it is like the 9 millionth time I have undertaken the task. This time, my body is SCREAMING at me to make it happen. I started out my "journey" at 430 lbs. and am down 10.2. I am already having bumps along the way - so frustrating - but I am determined to get healthy and give my body what it needs! I have been writing about my experience on a blog - which has been very therapeutic - hopefully it will hold me accountable as well! In fact, I am linking this post from my blog!!! THANKS CJANE!

Alyse Burt said...

Really needed this today. Perfectly written, I'm going to have to print it so I can remember. Hope that is okay.

:: ashley :: said...

thank you cjane for sharing, this is so true and such a mirror image of my constant 20 year battle with my weight. great reminders to only eat when we actually NEED to.

Vanessa Brown said...

I wonder when in the world I am going to learn this.

Tiffany said...

I just put down the trader joe's falafel chips. But I was just eating them because they are so super yummy. What of that? Does that fit in somewhere?

Thank you for this. I love the idea of having a conversation with your body. That is what hit me the most. We all know our bodies are telling us things, we don't listen enough. Thank you again.

Jaana said...

Thank you Courtney. Lovely and TRUE. I'm so grateful you share your thoughts with us in such a stirring, eloquent way. Love!

Heather said...

So often I find myself reading your words and they just seem to resonate with whatever it is I happen to be dealing with at the moment...be it child rearing, eating, weight. This post was timely and I had to take the time to re-read it. Nicely done.

alane said...

wow, just wow,you are SOME wordsmith...YES YOU ARE! AMAZING.

emily w. said...

This was simply beautiful. I hope your book is full of more of this.

Marvia said...

I think I need to put this on my refrigerator!

Michemily said...

This reminds me of "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom," a really fabulous book. I'm going to do a post about it soon. But anyway, I really recommend checking it out at the library!

Kimber said...

Beautifully written! I have similar thoughts on this--I've been trying to separate emotions from food, trying to realize that food is fuel and nothing more.

Andrea said...

Amazing. Perfect. Thank you.

Tyler said...

Putting this on my fridge...

thehaucks said...

Thank you Courtney. I have been struggling with the exact same thing lately (and my whole life). If only I can learn to recognize exactly what my body needs and not just fill in all the blanks with food........
You are an amazing writer and an amazing woman.

Beth Allen said...

Beautifully written. My husband and I were just talking about how our society has such food issues. There seems to be no balance- we either overeat or undereat. Our relationship with food has become so twisted. It is sad. I guess when there is so much to go around that is what happens- not to mention all the focus on diet and weight there is. I love the book French Women Don't get Fat- we should all eat like the french- to enjoy the food!

Davida said...

Well I'll be printing this out and reading it as often as it takes to make these thoughts a part of me. Thank you!

Kriss said...

Thanks for sharing!!! Your words are very inspiring!

Jennifer Bowman said...

beautiful. beautiful.

i always eat when i am anything negative - stressed, tired, unhappy, lonely etc

this was perfect and spot on.

Teresa said...

Wow oh wow your writing leaves me soooo incredibly inspired. The prose of this piece just cuts to the heart of the issue. Well well done CJane!

angelaluvnlife said...

Sooo pretty great picture very mysterious almost. I LOVE it! Just came onto your blog! and really enjoy it just started a while ago and love seeing what other people are writing about!

Butternutsage said...

wow! WOW!!!!!!!!

Jennifer said...

Beautiful!

Unknown said...

Quite possibly the greatest thing I have ever read.
Phenomenal.
Wow!

Kathleen said...

perfect

lisaslovlies said...

This is truly wonderful

Boulter trouble said...

Good land woman!!
This needs to be pinned.
Please publish this!!!!

P. said...

I love this! this is how I feel all the time!! thank you :)

Joanne said...

Oh C.Jane, you have made my life better with this post.
You have written what I have failed to be able to put into words.
Know that I will print this in triplicate;
1. Frame & put up on my board at home where I sit right now.
2. Pin to my cork board at work
3. Put in my bag to refer to it when
needed.
THANK YOU!!!!

Mrs.Dr.Shot said...

Wow. I teared up a little at reading this. Cheaper than food therapy - thanks.

Janet said...

Love, love, love this! Spot on. Thanks.

Threads of Light said...

Thank you, thank you. I'm on a quest to learn how to hear the innate intelligence of my body speaking to me, once again, and what you have written is a real boost in this journey.

Lauren said...

Thank you so, so much for this. Exactly what I needed to hear and will be so useful for me to refer back to. Thank you for being brave with this.

reen said...

So good I had to read it aloud to my daughter. We both liked it.

sedwards said...

Wonderful! Is it odd that I didn't take "don't feed me" as literal? But instead I read it to not feed the anxiety, the negativity, the stress, the sadness and to instead cherish the good, the beautiful, the right. I guess is doesn't, and shouldn't, matter. Right? Thanks for the post!

Deon said...

Wow. I need to read and re-read. Thank you.

Alison said...

virtual make out with you for that post.

Treble Clef ♪ said...

Courtney-
Beautifully expressed as always.
Thank you. I needed this.
I am printing and putting it on my fridge. XO

Pony and Petey said...

Simply awesome...God has used you to speak truth into my life!

Thank you muchly!!!!

Family of 4.... said...

Thank you, I really needed to hear these words today.

Molly

... said...

I think this is one of the best things you've ever written. I just might print it out to remind my sometimes over eating self of the same things.

... said...

This is the best thing you've ever written. I think I just might have to print it out to remind my sometimes over eating self of the same things.

MommyMert said...

Thanks CJane. :) Well put. I appreciate you, and reading your thoughts.

shelley said...

I have never mustered up the nerve to comment on your blog I have been reading for years. This post is simply incredible. How you have managed to articulate what I hope each day in such a profound and beautiful way. . . I am speechless. Teary and speechless.

Christie Bryant said...

Amazing and inspired. Thank you, I needed this.

Kath said...

feed me baby, feed me now! anybody for "Little Shop of Horrors" quotes.

Morgan said...

This was marvelous. (just change involuntary to "involuntarily" and it'll be that much grander!)

Diane said...

Such a good post!

soetmin demedts said...

Last night in bed I thought about how I could reply to this blogpost in a way that would express my experience reading it, because it spoke to me this much.I forgot most of it since I quickly fell asleep, but it will come back to me as I write, surely.

I once stumbled upon nienies blog because of her accident, soon learnt she had a sister and started reading your blog more because you write beautifully, whitty and entertaining.
Since becoming a mother myself 9 months ago I then started reading your blog in a whole different way. I get it now, it reaches deeper I think. Not because what you write has changed but because I read it with a different mind, a different life behind me. It is so much more than just entertaining. It enrichens me, if that is a proper English word (I am from Belgium). That is what makes you such a great blogger. This last post...now that is what makes you an exceptional blogger. I read it and paused, like my whole brain paused for a second.
You verbalised my inner conversation/conflict in a way I never could because I am not that eloquent. I must thank you for that. Really. It's like you giving me your insight gave me an advantage on my brain, on my maturity. Reading it made it conscious, where my own head would have taken years to come up with this self-trust.I should live in my body, not with it.

It feels like you put your soul into what you write, uncensored almost. I read it and reflect on my own life (just recently with the past loves for example). I am a better person for it. So thanks for all the time you devote to us readers, here on the other side of your blog. It must be time-consuming and tiring at times. But it is so worth it. It doesn't go unnoticed and it serves a higher purpose.

I felt like I should tell you this.
Lots of love! Soetmin.

Until such time... said...

Wow. That was amazing. Seriously! This should become a household piece of literature like the Desiderata.

Can a blog post win the Pulitzer?

kris said...

The source of inspiration for this piece surely was the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Amanda said...

I read you every day, but don't think I have ever commented...until now. That was the most profound, amazing and intelligent piece I have read in the interwebs in a very long time (thus a comment!). I am passing this post along to all of my friends, and printing it out to remember every day!
Thank You!

eliana23 said...

maybe you are a genius

Southern Elle said...

This is just lovely.
Thanks for sharing.. I need to bookmark it.

Rick and Anne said...

Just shared this on my Facebook page, I have been reading your blog for several years and this post is one of your best. Thank you for being honest, you have blessed so many by just being you and sharing what you feel. My eating has been been dysfunctional all my life, yet my life is so great now why do I still hang on to this destructive habit? Your words are another piece to my solving his puzzle.

Cape Cod Washashore said...

Profound and perfect!

1LDSmom said...

Important connections. Keeping your head and heart connected helps at those moments of heart pain when you believe food, or for some alcohol or drugs, for others retail therapy, and some indulging in vicious gossip or criticism, etc. believing that doing so will pacify or numb pain. It's staying connected that allows the head to say to the heart....not going to really help.

You are wonderful Jane! I heart u.

stacy said...

my life revolves around food! i remember being where you are and it was good...it was SO good! i can't wait for my mind and body to remember how good it feels to just react properly to all of lifes circumstances and not use them as a reason to feed myself. i'll get there and i know it will be soon but i want to let you know that i am truly excited for you to have this beautiful insight and i hope it helps you. i know that just because we recognize something doesn't always mean that we are in a place to put it into practice, i hope for you that you are and i hope for me that mine will come soon. you are beautiful!

Mommy to Monkeys said...

You are one smart chick!
Well said!!!

Jordan said...

I am printing this and taking it with me everywhere. Thank you

Christy said...

So simple yet genius. LOVED IT!

Geo said...

Truth indeed. Proof that bodies are made from divine materials.

Tell you what, have somebody design a fabulous poster of this, market it, and you will not only bless many lives with a beautiful reminder to listen to their bodies, but you may also make enough money to retire in style.

Lewis Family said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I am reading a new book: Women, Food & God and it kind of goes along with what you wrote... basically eat when you are hungry! Feel your feelings, welcome them, recognize them for what they are! Thanks CJane! :)

Jill said...

Love this, and so needed it! I am struggling with nursing and wanting to exercise/eat right, and find myself so stressed over it that I am eating eating eating! So not the solution! I just need to take your words, and live them!

Mrs Mason said...

Possibly the best thing you've ever written. Honest, open & poignant. You said it but there are millions of us who needed to hear it.

kelvis said...

Well said

CSB said...

Just amazing. I am in awe of your honesty, humility, intelligence, and writing.

Your writing is truly a gift, to you and to us! This should be picked up and published as widely as possible.

Lydja said...

How poetic. I think the notion that our bodies DO talk to us.

John and Blakes said...

That was said perfectly. for real.

Sandy said...

How beautiful you write. Thanks for those snippets of inspiration that we all need sometimes!
Hugs from Ohio.

Jeanette said...

Destined to become a classic!

Simpson Home said...

This will be printed and read over and over again. Thank you.

Natalie said...

Amazing. I need to use this as a template for my life, my reactions to these millions of emotions that I face every day. Thank you, you are amazing.

Lee-Ann said...

This is great! Now if I could just follow it!

Sarah said...

That was amazing...you are amazing. I want--no, I need-- to read this everyday. Thank you!!

Rachel F. said...

I meant to comment earlier. This is so, so wonderful. Thank you. Definitely filing this one away to read again and again.

Ronda said...

I'm so happy that I found your blog, amazing post!!!

jennifer768 said...

Wonderful and thank you !Hugs,Jen

Vicky said...

Fabulously written!!!

Notes from Holly St. said...

Wow! I will think of this post every time I reach for food for any reason besides hunger. You are a talented writer. Thanks for this.

Closed for Business said...

How is it that your body is talking to my mind? Quite possibly perfection! Thank you.

Jennifer said...

Beautifully done. May I use this for my patients? I work with clients with eating disorders. You so eloquently communicated a profound truth to recovery.

joyce said...

My Weight Watchers leader read this to our class this morning. I had already read it, but it certainly was more profound this morning, for whatever reason. I've been heavy my entire life (I'm 38). Over the last 2 years I've lost 54 and still have a bunch more to go. These were the perfect words for me to hear this morning. I've got to stay motivated and not let my emotions lead to me the kitchen...Thank you!!

Elisabeth said...

Read this tonight after seeing a link from Danielle at take heart. This is exactly what I needed to read, as over eating is something I struggle with every day. I've printed this out and hung it on my fridge and pantry. Thank you for writing this!

Lorri Baker said...

Wow, thank you. This is perfect.

Lindsey said...

Thank you for this. I am raising a beautiful little girl and have vowed that she will never hear me express negative thoughts about myself and my body (even though I do feel them and think them). Part of raising her to be confident and proud and happy with herself and to treat her body with respect means modeling that behavior to her always. Thank you for the lovely reminder.