First of all…I don’t care how offensive my reader’s may feel the picture is, it represents how I feel tonight. All of my life I have struggled with my weight. The summer before my senior year in high school, I began eating carrots and celery every day and shed pounds quickly. In my twenties I began running, up to five miles a day while lifting weights several days a week. After one relationship ended, a friend commented to me that he worried I had transferred my substance addiction for eating correctly and working out…to the extreme. In my last relationship, much of our social life centered around eating out, eating in, eating, eating, eating. We loved to eat. In fact, on our last day together, he commented to me that maybe we were just two food addicts that fell in love with each other and with eating. There may be some truth to that, but I think it was so much more. Even though at the time that relationship ended, I was topping 240-250 and fitting into size 42 jeans.
NOW, my fiance is a 25 year old, Venezuelan with a great dancer’s body who comments daily about how he feels he has gotten fat.(Which incidentally has taught me that body dysmorphic disorder is alive and well, because he looks amazing to me, but I know deep down, he truly struggles with his weight.) So maybe, people fall in love with me and deal with my craziness through eating. I don’t know, but it needs to stop. I refuse to ever again feel comfortable only in a pair of 42 jeans. In the last year and a half, I have gained 25 pounds. 25 POUNDS!!! I can hardly believe I’m admitting to it, but the pictures of me recently tell the truth. I suffer from epilepsy and years ago my doctor wanted to change my medication because he was concerned about my rapid weight gain and possibility for diabetes. I was completely resistant to changing medications because I felt good on the medication I was taking and, well, because I had been at my lowest weight ever when I was on the medication. The reality is, I have never looked better than I did a year ago, so I have no excuse. My goal weight is not extraordinary or unreachable. I know what to do. An old friend I used to work with often told me, “eat less, move more”. Of course she was right, but also, the perfect weight. It’s always frustrating to hear someone who has never struggled with eating disorders tell you how to maintain or lose weight. Of course it’s simple. Some of the most difficult things I have ever done were the most simple.
It’s all about a lifestyle change. But you see…that’s hard. Because I’m an emotional and memory eater. I eat things which remind me of my childhood. Pumpkin pie and candy apples around Halloween. Ahhh…and of course those little snickers, thick chili and apple cider. In the summer, cheeseburgers, slushies and late night drive through food. I eat food that reminds me of my mom. Hell, even on Griffin’s last day, I bought him Frosty Paws and chicken from Long John Silver’s because it reminded me of when he was a little pup! I’m sick! HELP!!! The food train must stop here.
Two nights ago, I had my moment of clarity. Alex and I were on our way to the movies. I stopped and got three bags of candy. He, of course, wanted nothing. We then went and ate dinner at Applebees. (Cheapest meal with had in a long time, by the way, and they have weight watchers meals on their menu). Afterwards I asked if he was going to get popcorn at the movie, to which he replied, “No, I’ll probably just get a large bottle of water.” Hmmm…”Well, I’m getting popcorn.” I said, “Because tomorrow…”And he cut me off…
“The real diet begins?” And I walked in silence behind him into the movie theater. In that second, I realized how many times I had said those same words. To Alex. To all of my past boyfriends. To my mom, my dad, my cousin, to friends, to everyone I knew. “Tomorrow, the real diet begins!” What crap! And then tonight, two days after the real diet didn’t begin, I was standing in line at the grocery store, two combination Totino’s pizza’s, a bag of ruffled potato chips and sour cream and onion dip in my cart, when I saw this amazing couple in front of me. As my hand dropped to conceal my belly, I watched as they joked and laughed, unloading their cart of juices, raw vegetables, protein bars and chicken. They looked tan and fit. They looked healthy. They looked happy. And I realized. I want that!
So…My destination is to be those fools in the grocery store, only better. And I realized how right Alex was and that sometimes you just need to hear the right thing at the right time. I want Alex to find me sexy, hot, youthful and happy. I want him to be that way too! I want to be that! Don’t we all? It’s not only about appearance, trust me. It’s about standing in the closet with nothing comfortable to wear and almost wanting to skip a night out, or a business meeting, because nothing feels comfortable or looks right. It’s about feeling like a failure because you can’t lose those last five pounds, or those first 60. It’s about, as Oprah said, having accomplished everything you wanted in your life and being successful, and not being able to enjoy it in the body you have. I don’t want to look like the woman in the picture. But that’s how I feel. Full! Still stuffing crap in my mouth.
As a therapist it would be easy to diagnose, rip apart and analyze my deep rooted issues which push me to eat or feel insecure with my body image, and trust me, I will be doing that as well, because that is a vital part of the two-stemmed problem. If I don’t stop what has helped continue this growing urge, it will happen again and again as it has before. And healing is part of me feeling better as well. And I know, for me, food is comfort eating!
So, there is no time like the present. In all honesty, now that this post is completed, I wrote this because I wanted some accountability and I knew writing it on here would bring me some attention, wanted or otherwise, it is needed. I will be back to where I want to be, only better, after my voyage…what will your voyage be? Start desiring and living the best life you possibly can because, as you know…we’re on borrowed time as it is!