I'm going through a counseling program at my church. It's wonderful and awful all at the same time. You basically deal with your emotions, the ones you shove way down and try and cover up with other things. Or you try and find your identity in something- your job, your body, a relationship, anything. You throw everything you have into it, thinking "if I could just get THIS under control, my life would be perfect!".
But it's an "empty well". You keep trying to fill it up, but it never works. So then you feel like a failure, like you're doing something wrong. So you push harder, put more into the well. But it's not working. You end up frustrated, miserable, and feeling like a horrible person. You're nasty to be around, and unhappy even with yourself. Recognize the cycle?
One of my "empty wells" is most certainly control in every aspect. If I can control x, everything will be roses! If I can control my food, I'll be happy. If I can get my work under control, everything will be perfect. If I could control my husband's choices, THEN we'd have a great marriage. If I just get my exercise under control, I'll finally lose weight.
The problem is there's so much more to it. There's so much underneath all of that, and ultimately, it's that desire for control that will be my demise, pulling me away from everyone and everything around me. I don't mean to be dramatic, but it's so true for me. The more I try and control my husband, the less time he wants to spend with me (who wants to be controlled?!). The more I try and control my food and exercise every second, the angrier I become with myself.
This was a light bulb moment for me! I still think it's perfectly ok to want to (and actively try to) lose weight. But there's a line between HEALTHY and OBSESSIVE. And you can cross it before you know it. By giving up the control I feel I need to have, and roll with the punches from time to time (re: no panic attacks when a food shows up that I don't know the calorie count for or I *gasp!* miss a workout), I'll stay on the right side of the line. Amen. Now I just need to put that into practice :)
Sidenote: I'm watching Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution" online right now and I'm in love. Oh. My. Goodness. I can't wait to write more about it!