Starving Myself Full: the soul purpose of eating

Guest Blog Written By: Silvia from Redefine your balance
Why is food and dieting so complicated for some women? Our relationship to food is more than an abstract comparison to ‘feeling full’. If you’ve dieted more than a handful of times then food is probably emotionally charged for you, as it is for me. This means that eating is unconsciously equated with certain emotions, positive or negative. For me, that emotional response is security, feeling safe. I grew up in a household where eating brought us together, it brought me praise and it afforded me time with the people I loved the most. As a child, I learned that being around food meant that I was surrounded by love.

Becoming aware of this relationship with food is important because I missed the boat entirely on self-acceptance. At a very young age I understood the world to be made up of finite resources.  The things most important to me were scarce and life required a constant level of competition in order to survive. My family life seemed completely healthy and adequate and I grew up around people who shined brightly.  However, there was a tiny glitch along the way and somehow I believed that every day was a zero-sum game.  The logic went that the more everyone else had and the brighter everyone shined, the less I had and the duller I felt as a person.  I began to feel completely starved on a soul level. I went on to spend about half of my life oscillating between over-consuming food in attempts to catch a  glimpse of security to fill up this void, and conversely restricting what I ate or, worse, purging what I ate as the ultimate act of self-defiance – to remind myself that I wasn’t worthy of that kind of security.


Over and under eating were painful ways that I treated my body.  However, suffering from bulimia is almost impossible to talk about. This is a disease that rots every part of your spirit. It’s a condition that supersedes any logic about dieting. Regardless of my weight, I have been so overwhelmed with fear and shame and guilt built over time that purging what I ate was a comfortable way to abuse myself, silently, without anyone knowing for decades, from age fourteen to thirty-two. These heinous acts of self-bullying are made possible when we grow up never learning how to cope with life’s stressors, never knowing that life is about learning how to love and accept ourselves. Those are big emotional and spiritual gaps that form early on. Sadly, we live in a society where someone can eat five thousand calories in a day and no one notices, where someone can purge three meals a day and no one needs to know, and where young women can go through life never learning self-acceptance. This needs to change.

My battles with food and dieting had little to do with body image – although this is often times an easy way that we can justify such extreme behaviours. The truth is that when our spirits are starved then our actions will often follow suit.

My road to recovery began at a time when I was ready to put the armor down, forfeit the fear so that I might figure out who I was in this big scary world. I spent so much of my life being what I thought other people wanted me to be or being someone who might succeed in this world. I never really spent any time figuring out who I really was – what the soul inside this fluctuating body form looked like.  I managed to get a moment of clarity four years ago. I looked around at my newlywed life and realized that everything was beautiful, everything was perfect. All of the worrying and hiding I had done for decades wasn’t really shielding me from an ugly world. In fact, life was good. What exactly was I afraid of all of these years? I made a commitment from that point on to exercise my spirit and its intuitive knowledge as much as I exercise my body or engage intellectually for my mind. I realized that when I began to silence the noise in my head I could hear and feel beautiful things emanating from within. The more I listen, the more I feel like I am working with the flow of the universe, with God’s plan, not against it. It’s in this flow that I actually feel safe, protected and secure. The connection between food and security began to fizzle away once I learned how to start shining on my own, how to play the lead role in my own life.

I am celebrating four solid years of body love this month – diet remission! It is important to share this story because I no longer need to hide the bruised and bumpy parts of my past. My gift to myself this anniversary is unrestricted, uncensored self-forgiveness and love.


Silvia D’Addario is a certified health coach, a mom of two and a firm believer that physical health is intricately linked to mental and spiritual well-being. Silvia, and her sister Trisha, are the founders of redefine your balance- health & wellness coaching. You can read more from this sister duo at:


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