Katy Byrne, MFT, Licensed Psychotherapist, Radio host, KVON 91.3 FM, Sonoma, Ca.
Eating Too Many Hairballs
Spring has sprung! Society’s obsessed with weight loss. It’s as though a carbohydrate is as evil as a terrorist. The media decides what’s next and we follow like lambs. Cigarettes are out, high heels are in, hairy armpits had their day. From Marilyn Monroe to Twiggy and back – being weak and waif-like is in!
Why is this subject so important while the world is bursting with bigger issues? What’s the bottom line on big bottoms? Maybe looking good is “where the big bucks are” Why is being abundant bad, when having abundance isn’t. Isn’t abundance good in all forms? Short, stacked, tall, bald, blonde or black…what happened to the Renaissance woman anyway?
Ok, we all want to be healthy and we know that toxins speed our inevitable death, that eating white bread, dirty water and feeding on frightened animals, fuels our internal poisoning. Why such harsh criticism of rotund people? Don’t we all make the world go round? Anyway, shouldn’t we be more worried about enormous issues facing us, like housing market bottoming out or starving children or homes being eaten up by banks, creatures of all kinds suffering from “lack of…” Why the obsession with slim beauty? What happened to the voluptuous woman with voluminous hair? We’re watching the bouncing ball in all the wrong ways. Doughnuts do exist for a reason. Ever heard of comfort food?
Why do I write about this? Because I lived it. People who have never eaten compulsively can’t understand what it’s like to think about food all day. To get up at 3:00 am, on a cold winter night, throw on your faux fur coat over the flannels, and drive to the store for more frozen pizza, chips and peanut butter cups – devouring it all in agony and self loathing. What a bitter pill to swallow while hunched over, gripping the steering wheel, fogging up the windows as I rushed towards the market. I remember pursed lips and weighty looks from passersby.
What caused my breakthrough from being a voracious eater to having a normal desire for food? I found a little girl crying inside me. She never felt loved or seen. She was starved for attention, desperate to be held and soothed. After grieving and passing through that horror show, the baggage of years of pressure and anxiety were relieved as all that craving was re-directed and I started speaking up! Out of my throat came longings, requests, communication! My deprived child stirred my compassion instead of repulsion. I cried in the night and held her instead of eating cookies.
For me, speaking up instead of stuffing was the BIG shift. Having an eating problem was a pain in the butt, but learning to let things out was the cure. Having guts wasn’t easy, but sitting on my self expression was even harder. Still, there’s too much on the plate, the world plate. But I believe that if we could get it out, get it all on the table, respectfully, instead of attacking we might like ourselves more and have peace between each other – getting the hairball out and on the table could heal all that ails.
The world is rumbling like a grumbling tummy while we stuff down the real issues. Is everyone’s anger and craving really hurt and fear? If only we could listen to each other and ourselves. I’m tired of all the conflict and competition, worn from worry and strife. Isn’t it time we learn to care? Barbie dolls are good, but starving isn’t. It really is just that simple. Hunger is all over the planet and inside each of us.
Yes, a lot of food is cancer producing but so is a lack of good communication coming out of our mouths. We’re starved for good jobs, safety, affordable housing, health care and homes, kindness to kids and animals. I just can’t stomach it anymore. I’m even hungry writing this.
Corporate America has a big bottom line how come I can’t have a big bottom too?