Confession: I have Kummerspeck

I know this word is going around the web right now, but I love what it speaks to.

Grief Bacon?

Um, yes, please!

And that’s the problem.  Bacon makes everything better.  But it’s really more of an emotional reaction than an objective “fact” to me.  Yes, bacon is the garnish du jour, but it’s not really healthy.  I suppose a little bit is okay–but I don’t stop there.  I know that about myself.

And I’m known as the bacon guy at work.  In the past, I’ve made the following:

  • Bacon Caramel Apples
  • Bacon Apple Caramels
  • Bacon Caramel Popcorn Balls
  • Banana Shortbread Cookies with Bacon and Peanut Butter Fudge
  • Bourbon Bacon Banana Bread

See a little theme here?

And that’s another problem. I should want to be known as the “Healthy Tasty Food Guy” or the “Guy Who Lost All That Weight.” Not as “The Bacon Guy.”

Of course, the part of this word that really impacted me wasn’t bacon.  It was grief.  The grief eating.  The emotional eating.

I. Am. An. Emotional. Eater.

Make that an Emotional Over-Eater.

That’s my confession for today: I eat to find comfort.

I don’t exercise (which would be a beneficial replacement).

I don’t pray (which would be my ideal replacement).

I eat.

And while I’m ashamed of that, I trust that claiming that struggle will help me past it.

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2 Responses to Confession: I have Kummerspeck

  1. Beej, I think everybody in the world — okay, the so-called developed world, where food (not all of it good) is plentiful — has a touch of kummerspeck at least once in their life, if not often. Just like all those other good German words — weltschmertz and schadenfreude, for example — kummerspeck describes a human condition everyone is susceptible to. I have skinny friends who have worse kummerspeck than I do! But I can so relate to your desire to change it. I have tried everything to alter the way I self-soothe when feeling overcome.

    Why can’t I crave 20 minutes on the elliptical instead of a big pizza when I’m sad, or grief-stricken, or in the grip of any strong emotion and seeking relief? I so wish it were my reality…but bacon, peanut butter, pizza, sometimes tortilla chips … these are my anesthetizers. Food has been my way of numbing myself since I was a child. I no longer feel ashamed of that — I’ve come to see I’m not alone at all. I used to feel more ashamed of myself before I understood what was driving my compulsion to eat ALL. THE. TIME. I thought there was something inherently bad about me. I thought I was being punished for some reason. Why else was I always, always eating and unable to control myself around food, when seemingly everyone else could? I felt deeply, deeply ashamed of what I perceived to be a compulsion born out of something innately wrong with me. In short, I blamed myself. Once I began to get a grip on WHY I was eating — ie, identifying that emotion was pushing me, it became easier to learn how to redirect my kummerspeck. I am not successful all the time. Sometimes the kummerspeck is stronger than any other thing in my heart. And then I have to deal with the kummerspeck, and the aftermath of my grief about kummerspeck! But I often see that now, even when I eat in the grip of kummerspeck, I eat less than I would have 5 years ago. Sometimes I even make better kummerspeck choices. In any case, I no longer fear kummerspeck like I used to. I hope you can make friends with your kummerspeck too. In the long list of things we humans have to be ashamed of (hello, species extinction, global warming and industrial farming), kummerspeck is….well, a speck. Anyway, a warm holiday hug to you Beej, and your kummerspeck too! PS. I think of you as the Vibram guy, by the way!

  2. 45and304 says:

    Is it wrong of me to love bacon?
    Hope your confessions are helping you move forward.

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