There’s a word I learned recently. Kummerspeck. It’s German. Its literal meaning is “grief bacon.”
Figuratively, it’s used to mean the weight you gain from emotional eating.
When it comes to grief bacon, the struggle is real. Don’t I know that.
Because ten years ago, I lost 160 pounds. It wasn’t easy, took a complete overhaul of the way I view food, a careful process whereby I combined various parts of eating strategies into one novel plan that was realistic for me and still gave me the results I wanted. But I kept at it, and it worked.
While I’ve kept most of it off, I know nothing is a sure thing. That I didn’t get as heavy as I used to be without years of unhealthy patterns. Ones that could easily reemerge if I let my guard down.
So grief bacon is always looming over me. It’s there, waiting for me in every possible choice I make:
- Do I eat chicken alfredo and sigh wistfully as I mentally ruminate over unpleasant childhood memories?
- Do I go for a walk and hope the sunlight does me some good and that I’m not destroyed by my meanest inner voice in the process?
I’m forever asking myself a similar question: Do I indulge this one time or sacrifice? Stay temperate, gorge, or abstain?
There’s balance to be found somewhere. But I’m afraid of losing it. Afraid of getting lost in the details and losing sight of the greater overall pattern.
Not Noticing the Grief Bacon Until It’s Too Late
And I’m not just this way with emotional eating. I see these decisions everywhere. In where I spend my money, where I spend my time, where I spend my attention.
Tradeoffs. We set our priorities with each and every tiny action we take. Whether we realize it or not, the person we are is shaped by minute choices.
But it never feels that way, that any of these choices are important… not until there’s a pattern that crept up on us when we weren’t paying attention.
And just like I fear one day waking up 160 lbs heavier again with no idea how I got there, I fear unexpectedly turning into a version of myself who isn’t living the way I’d like to be. Whose values are out of sync with her actions.
Wearing layers and layers of psychological grief bacon without any memory of how good those momentary indulgences tasted.
My new book is out!
Dealing with Difficult Metamours, the first book devoted solely to metamour relationships, full of strategies to help you get along better with your partners’ other partner(s).