Just What am I Afraid of?

I did a short meditation last night. If I’m going to “invite my fears to tea” (as Kris Carr says), then I need to know what those fears are. So I sat for a little while to meditate on that question.

I had a sense of: what if I make changes away from unhealthy foods to healthy foods … and then there is nothing to eat? Literally nothing.

It sounds irrational. (But then, aren’t all fears irrational on some level??) I know that I am not going to go hungry. I am fortunate enough to never have to face that situation. It wasn’t that there wouldn’t be food in the house or on the table – more a fear that I would be left without any choices. What on earth was I going to eat??

Well, as I was putting lotion on my legs this evening to get ready for bed, I found my thoughts wandering back to this topic. And I had another revelation. My fear of having nothing left to eat might just be more specifically a fear of having no foods left with which to soothe myself.

I definitely turn to food for comfort when I am stressed, tired, overwhelmed, sad, frustrated. Basically, when I’m feeling any negative emotion. And what kind of food do I turn to for that comfort? The junky stuff.

As I write this down in black-and-white, it seems kind of obvious. These aren’t exactly new ideas – for myself, or for many of us who struggle with food and weight. So many people soothe themselves with food. However, putting it down in black-and-white makes it more real to me. I suppose in a way, it is a means of “inviting my fears to tea.”

My next question is this: if I am to make changes to healthier foods, and if I am no longer going to soothe myself with food (junky or otherwise), well then, exactly how am I going to soothe myself when I am experiencing negative emotion??