Breaking Up

As I’ve mentioned before I’m an emotional eater.  It’s something I’m working on.  It’s something I struggle with.

An opportunity presented itself this week for me to face this struggle.  I had a rough day.  My “drug” of choice is that quarter pounder with cheese & extra pickles.  Hot and fresh from the local Drive-Thru.  To explain my relationship with said burger will cause shame and embarrassment but I must share to keep moving forward.

That burger has been there for me through thick and thin.  It was there when things didn’t go my way, when I was feeling sad, mad, happy or needed a bite at 3am.  It served me well when I didn’t feel like cooking.  It was there for the end of relationships, new beginnings and tragic endings.  It never complained and just comforted me.  It was a constant in an otherwise sometimes inconstant world.  Available to me 24/7 for whatever feeling I might be trying to numb at any given moment.  I can’t remember a time in my adult life without the ability to get one of those burgers whenever I “needed” it.

I hit a road block on Tuesday and desperately wanted a QPC (quarter pounder with cheese).  I had to sit with that thought.  If I get this burger, how will it serve me on my journey to living my Great Life?  Will I get closer to my goal if I keep retreating to the comfort of a burger?  Will I ever climb a mountain if I keep eating burgers every time I’m feeling emotional?  NO!  No, Melsha you won’t!

“We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”
Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

I recently did the Brené Brown/Oprah e-course and loved this quote from Brené’s book.  It was an a-ha! moment for me.  It makes perfect sense!  I can’t target just stomach fat when I’m working out so how could I use a burger to only numb the, less than perfect, feelings I don’t want to feel?  I needed to make a choice.

Dear QPC;

Thank you for all the years you helped me numb the pain, fears and feelings I never wanted to feel.  Thank you for protecting me from the discomfort when I was too weak to handle it.  I am grateful that you were there for me. I appreciate you protecting me in the only way you knew how. Thank you. 

I am strong now.  I can handle what comes my way without numbing with food.  There will be tough days ahead but I will find another way to work through it.  You are free to leave my life now.

Much love & gratitude,


That day that gave me some trouble this week?  I chose salad.  And I felt AWESOME!



Tags: , , , , , , ,

11 Comments on "Breaking Up"

  1. Scott says:

    I had to do the exact same with alcohol! We had a few post-breakup flings and we even had a few romantic getaways to re-live the good old days but we will NEVER get back together!

    Thanks for another awesome post Melsh!

  2. Pam says:

    Great post! I especially like the positive reframe of what that old emotional eating habit provided…shelter from pain that you weren’t prepared to bear at that time. I think too often we look back with regret and frustration at our old habits and end up beating up our current selves for the actions of our past. Way to create those new positive habits in a really positive way!

  3. Suzanne says:

    The best breakup letter ever. Love it and will use it to remind me of my goals.

  4. Joan Baker says:

    Thank you so much for this. You have no idea how much I can relate and how much I needed to hear this today

    • Melsha Shea says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read it Joan. I’m glad it was able to help you on your journey today! I am grateful.

  5. Briana says:

    Beautiful Melsha. I have had the same struggles. I feel like I can relate to this story in so many ways <3

Trackbacks for this post

  1. […] keeping my food journal. I put those supporting me at arm’s length. I ate some comfort foods (not THE QPC). I missed some workouts. I am struggling. For real. The thought of quitting has crossed my mind a […]

  2. […] keeping my food journal. I put those supporting me at arm’s length. I ate some comfort foods (not THE QPC). I missed some workouts. I am struggling. For real. The thought of quitting has crossed my mind a […]

Here's your chance to leave a comment!