My sister Lisa has been having horrible headaches and a bad fever, and the doctors are doing tests, trying to figure out what’s going on, so my Mom has been watching her 3 kids for the last several days. Hopefully they’ll get it figured out and get her back to normal soon. Please keep her in your thoughts.
Anyways, last night, I went over to my Moms for a couple of hours while Jeff studied for a test, and helped out with the kiddos. I was sitting there feeding Sienna her food, and after eating most of it, she wouldn’t open her mouth for more. So I stopped and cleaned her up, and that was it.
When I got home though, I started thinking about how little kids have the ability to tell when they’re hungry, and when they’ve had enough without getting a stomach ache. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a little kid get full, and then keep on eating to the point where their stomach hurts too much.
So, at what point did I learn that? At what point in my life did I start eating too much, even when it gave me a stomach ache? At what point did I start using food as a bandage for inside hurts?
I laid there in bed, and thought about it a long time, trying to track back to what point in my life I took this detour. I remember when I got my drivers’ license that the first place I went to was Hanks store deli, so I could buy a bunch of their deep fried deli food.
I remember when I was homeschooled for 9th grade, being home with my baby sister all day long and foraging through the kitchen for food. Eating canned frosting with a spoon or on a graham cracker, though I never had the patience to wait so the cracker would soften a little the way I like it. I ate them the way I don’t like because I didn’t want to wait 5 or 10 minutes.
I remember when I was 12, coming home from school with my siblings and trying to find something that I liked to eat, but finding nothing, so then I’d eat a bunch of something that I didn’t like as much.
I remember baby-sitting my cousins when I was 10 or so for several hours a day, and going to their store room, where they had goodies galore. I’d stand right there and open the baggies of jelly candies and eat them, and then throw the wrapper behind the shelf. (I seriously hope they never clean out back there!)
Funny thing is I can’t remember any further back where I ate like that. Age 9 or 10 is about as early as it goes. I don’t know what my trigger was, likely emotional stress, but the goodies and crap were freely provided, because that summer, the one where I remember this so well, I spent 6 days a week watching their kids for half the day.
So my thought/question, whatever, is at what point a person develops the habits of emotional eating. At what point do we go from being a little kid who stops eating when we’re full and a kid who’s told to finish their plate, to a young person who will eat anything and everything in sight, who will search the cabinets high and low, just for something to put in their mouth?