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“Girl, Yo’ Eyes are Bigger than Yo’ Stomach!” Something Mama Used to Say about ‘Being Greedy’

“Girl, yo’ eyes are bigger than yo’ stomach!”

Something Mama used to say to me from my earliest memory and she always laughed when she said it.

At first I didn’t know what that phrase meant, but I knew it had something to do with eating and having seconds. Once I got a little older, I understood that it meant that I was being greedy and eating a lot… a conflicting truth that was both encouraged in my family, and also joked about.

After a big meal at Grandmama’s house (in Virginia), when I was a little girl & teenager, one of my aunts would say, “Girl, you so greedy, hahaha!" And would follow that statement with, "You want some more food?”

So being greedy with food didn’t really feel like a bad thing. But being fat, now that was a whole ‘nother thing, Honey Chile. Mmhmm.

Society taught me that being greedy wasn’t a problem as long as the person didn’t get fat. And yet my body always had a little more fat than my peers. So trying not to be fat, felt like trying not to be me (with my lil cute Black, fat self ), but as I grew older, I got pretty good at both. The ‘trying’ part anyway.

Some of these ideas fueled my disordered eating and the many ways I lost sight of who I was.

Today, I am fully me! Fully fat and fully free!

Now listen here, Chile, that don’t mean that I am perfect! Uh uh... far from that disillusioned concept, but along my healing journey, I learned that food was an important and useful coping mechanism for me as a child. Food helped me cope with social alienation, after being separated from my family, being physically and sexually abused, and being bullied by kids at school and neighborhood kids. Food helped me to cope with PTSD, because I experienced all of the above and more before the age of five. (Read the first part of my story in my book, Who’s Watchin’ Me? Season One).

To this day, food helps me to cope but I am learning to use this tool to experience pleasure (rather than numbing myself) AND to do so in a way that honors my body.

Today, I know that when I catch myself eating past being satisfied, it’s my body’s way of telling me, "Hey Girl, time to take a beat or two to breathe and see what's goin' on with us?" Both the little girl me and the oldish-grownup me. It's my body's way of telling me to stop and pay attention, because something's going on.

Today, I am grateful for what being greedy is teaching me as I continue on my healing journey.

ID: Black text on white page that reads:

Even though I’m on this path of trusting God and trusting my body, and have experienced so much ED Recovery, sometimes my eyes 👀 are still much bigger than my stomach! 🙃😜😋 With an image of a transparent stomach beside the word "stomach" and a knife crossing over a fork, in the bottom left corner.

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