So why do we fight what is good for us? I think that it all comes down to instant gratification. We have a hard time delaying gratification, what feels good, and so we do what feels right in the moment even though it may not serve us.
Food is a good example of this. I will admit that I manage my emotions with food (sometimes). In the past (my 20s) controlling food when my life became unmanageable helped me feel in control of my life. This is a dangerous fallacy. Even though I have done a lot of work here, I can honestly say that having had a baby, which has been the most rewarding and challenging thing I have ever done, some of my adverse food relationship has been re-triggered.
When you are exhausted, and you have previously used food and exercise to manage your emotions, you certainly do not have lots of energy for exercise so you can end up turning to food. You are looking everywhere outside of yourself to be filled up, including looking to your partner. You cannot rely on being filled by a person, food or exercise. We can however fill ourselves with something greater. This is where the spirituality of yoga has been a fit for me. When you turn to faith (whatever that may look like for you), you can find yourself sourcing from something infinite, which in my faith is the divine within.
I had a therapist tell me once that food is one of the best ways we know how to take care of ourselves so when we are feeling unmanageable it makes sense that we start to get funny about food. Food however is only a short-term solution, an instant gratification that may take away the feeling in the immediate but only disguise what’s really happening in the long-term. This is where, for me, my yoga comes in. Yoga gives me a way to manage myself and is also very productive. As I’m writing I can see clearly how by doing the yoga I have unveiled this old relationship with food that I still need to put to bed.
I was also this morning thinking about money and re-doing the family budget. I was surprised that money works in this way also. It’s easy to save if you don’t want to spend but we often buy things as rewards and its difficult not to reward ourselves in the moment. I find myself contemplating then, how do we find a way to reward ourselves in the moment that is healthy and self-serving? Food is sometimes good. Purchases are sometimes good. Exercise also sometimes good. None of these things though get to the heart of the problem. The bigger question is why are we feeling empty in the first place?