Abusive asshole.

The person I’ve become hasn’t been someone I’ve wanted to be.

After talking with my counselor nearly two weeks ago, I uncovered this idea about how I’ve been in this abusive relationship with food, for 20 goddamn years! She encouraged me to look at abusive relationships, and break it down into categories. She sent me home with a sheet of paper that had different categories on it and what makes up an abusive relationships?

I have been wanting to explore these anyway so it was a perfect opportunity to do so. These categories are Psychological, Emotional, Physical, and the Illusion of being something different. After a few bubble baths, tears, and intense writing later I came up with a lot more than I even imagined I would.

I will first write what I discovered and conclude with the bigger picture of what came out of this exercise.

Psychologically my relationship with food has been abusive because….

  • My weight feels like i’m different from others, and not in a good way.
  • I will compare myself to others.
  • It brings out jealousy of what others have, because what others have is always better than what I have.
  • I constantly second guess myself.
  • Isolate myself from others.
  • Compares my body to others, not just weight, the whole picture.

Emotionally my relationship with food has been abusive because…

  • It makes me think negative things about myself: That I’m fat, ugly, heavy, boar.
  • The negative reel runs through my brain without permission.
  • Trained to want what others have.
  • Trained to think no one will like me unless I’m something else.
  • To feel sad or depressed, anxious.
  • Need to feel and be perfect.
  • Afraid to make mistakes.

Physically my relationship with food has been abusive because…

  • It stretches my skin.
  • Makes me feel bloated.
  • I pick my skin…
  • I have scars over my body from picking my skin.
  • History of internal damage.
  • Heartburn.
  • Stomach hurts.
  • Gas.
  • Clothes don’t fit.
  • Grind my teeth consciously and unconsciously.
  • Face hurts.
  • Shoulders hurt from tensing up.
  • Keeps me fat to disappear.
  • Punishes myself.

Illusion of what food has brought:

  • It’s great.
  • Brings light and friendship.
  • Feels safe.
  • Fills anxiety.
  • Comfortable
  • I know what to expect from it.
  • Makes me feel safe when I don’t know what else to do.
  • Becomes inviting and warm.
  • Familiar.
  • Happy.
  • Feeling of relief when eating it.

After crying in a bath of my own tears, I realized that not only are these things connected to food, but they were developed into a part of me. Into a personality trait I hadn’t expected to uncover. I have developed this twisted persona inside that was full of jealousy and judgement. I wanted to be or have what others have and if I couldn’t control it, I would react in a negative way. Coping through controlling things around me, mostly coping through food addiction. I realized this piece through re-visiting all of the past years negative interactions with my friends.

I had several friends this past year who had shared with me positive things that were happening in their lives. My reactions were less than ideal, and pretty bitchy. I pretty much almost ruined a friendship after reacting the way I did when a friend told me she was getting married. I’m actually fairly embarrassed of my behavior and after reflecting on these incidences I realized how judgmental and jealous I had acted. I wanted whatever they had. Weather it was they were getting married, or they bought a new car. I wanted the romance, I wanted the money, and I thought that it would make me happy, because it had made them happy.

The person I had become has been selfish, unhappy and overly judgmental.

I have become everything I never wanted to be. A selfish asshole, blaming others and things and really myself and body for my unhappiness.

I never thought I would or could ever be like him. I never thought that I could do that or that he would have that much of an impact on me. It wasn’t my fault. I was just a child. A child who absorbed everything. A child that didn’t have control over her surroundings, a child that didn’t have control and found a way to cope and gain some control in a world where she had none. As an adult I’ve continued this.

With that said, it’s hard to accept this dysfunctional self I created. I spent a week, laying in unhappiness, and watching tv. Letting my body melt into the couch. I came to a point of “welp, this is who I am, and have to accept it.” Using this, “lashing out at my friends” has been a coping mechanism in addition food which has been a form of punishment. Food in this case has become a pawn and used as an excuse to not improve and move forward. It is used in a way to cope, and to fulfill and ease pain, joy and used to bond with people or to hide from bonding with people.
So friends, hang in there with me. I am happy for you, just show it in really dysfunctional ways. More to come. 

The Power of Vulnerability

If you haven’t read anything about vulnerability, by Brene’ Brown, you really should. She has a Ted Talk about vulnerability… actually let me just do you a favor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o

Watching her years ago, and then followed by reading her book Daring Greatly, followed up by gobbling more of what she has to offer… I really learned a lot. I learned more than I was even really ready for. She taught me the importance of bringing up the hard things, because if you didn’t that they would continue to stew and bubble over. She also taught me to embrace some of my most vulnerable moments of my life. I encourage you to watch that video if you haven’t, because then you will really understand what I mean.

I held on to this and started to really make incredible strides. I am most vulnerable when talking about my body, or my food, food addiction, eating disorders and WHY. Bouncing off of my previous blog post I needed to practice talking about these things.

I had worked out, and been through several weight loss and gains. People had seen my vulnerability in that retrospect. They’ve seen me struggle. But they didn’t really know internally what was going on. People might assume “it’s so easy to lose weight, just eat sensible meals, good nutrition and work out.”.  Yes thank you, thank you for stating the obvious. Most people, all people know this. We know that is a way to lose weight.

With that said, they don’t see the inner struggle that happens. The years and years of built up habits and patterns, ridicule, positive and negative reinforcement. We have to heal our inner selves sometimes in-order to move forward, sometimes it takes longer to heal than we realize. People also might make the assumption that you are not already doing something or trying to work on these things, or that you don’t eat right.

Regardless, talking about my weight, talking about the food struggle, and my body, and all of the things about why has been one of the most vulnerable places for me to talk about. Not many people do talk about food, or weight or whatever and when they do it can be so shaming. When I do talk about it, most people cannot relate because they do not understand the cycle.

Talking about the struggle has been hard, reaching out for help was harder. One of the hardest and easiest things I had to do was normalize the conversation. I had to make it something that I was comfortable talking about. How do you do this??? PRACTICE! I always knew I struggled with food addiction/binge eating/emotional eating. On my own I went to a few OEA (over eaters anonyms) meetings when I was in my early 20’s. Once in a while I went to online ones, or reached out to people on line. I also went to a few in my mid 20’s, and saw a counselor for a while (for other things). I reached out to a friend, who I knew went to OEA and I didn’t get a response. I went to another OEA meeting by myself. Which took so much courage, and I cried when I got there because I was late, and I couldn’t get into the meeting because I didn’t know which door it was, and then after words no one reached out to me. I felt so alone, and so vulnerable for showing up. I never went to another meeting again.

And… then I reached out to my mom. I was so nervous. I was scared because I never told her of my true struggle with food before. I was 28, just about 29. Right before I started at the weight loss clinic. She was surprised and helped me find Solutions weight loss clinic.

I started really talking about it at 29. I didn’t go to another OEA meeting, because my experience wasn’t that great. But I did join some Facebook groups that were about food addiction that were really helpful apart of my journey. I was able to connect with others, talk about our experiences and move forward while losing weight at the clinic. I talked to the ladies at the weight loss clinic and partook in their weekly self reflection tools. I lost a lot of weight really fast, and I’m not saying I was successful or had failed. I just know that as a long term solution, the weight loss clinic wasn’t going to help my emotional side.

What I’ve really wanted to share with you has been my newest vulnerable topic. I have talked a lot about inclusion out loud with people, and the importance of it. I have talked about judgment, assumptions and the negative repercussions of them.  I preach it so much because of how deeply rooted my own need for self inclusion and acceptance is. I started to realize the other day how much grief and anxiety I was carrying because of my own self image and what people (may or may not) talk about.

I worry so much about gossip, and what people say, or don’t say even to me. I worry about how I interact with the world, if I offend anyone, or make them uncomfortable. I worry if people don’t like me, or if I’m not doing something right. At therapy this past week I realized how deeply I carry this, and I realized that no matter where I go, or how much I overcome my past, that my childhood may always play a part in my life, and the grief is more present than I’ve realized.

Not to bring on a pity party or anything but imagine a child from birth, always walking on eggshells because of someone else, always trying to please so that someone isn’t yelling. This piece is a whole other blog post, may even be a whole other topic even, but none the less it’s real. I grew up in this space. A developing child living in these anxieties, now in the world functioning under anxiety and this idea that people are judging her for something she may or may not be doing. This is me right now. I don’t live like this every day, or all the time even, but it sometimes prevents me from making new friends, or partaking in activities. It sucks how the past can play such a huge role in your present and future. It’s so sneaky too.

Talking about this is hard. When I first started talking about my struggles, I felt easily judged. I felt scared, and fearful of what people would say, or not say about me. Though the more I uncover about myself in this process, and share with you, the less likely you will make assumptions about me. If I’m being authentic and sharing these vulnerabilities, it leaves less room for you to make the assumptions.

I also think it’s important to turn my experience into an opportunity. An opportunity for me to grow from myself and others, an opportunity to educate others and challenge peoples assumptions. Maybe it’s also an opportunity to challenge myself and my own assumptions about food and my capabilities in this world.

Before I sign off for the day, I wanted you to know that I re-watched Brene’s Ted talk and realized why I started this self journey in the first place. When I overcome my fears, I will be living my true authentic self. I will be doing and living in a space I love every day because I will have overcome some of the hardest things I’ve ever had to overcome and put in the work to get there.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path” Brene’ Brown

“When we work from a place “I believe I’m enough”, we stop screaming and start listening; we are kinder and gentler to the people around us and ourselves.” –Brene’ Brown.

Practice.

Ever hear the phrase “Practice makes perfect”? Annoying right? It’s something that is really hard to hear. At least, I think it’s annoying. It reminds me of something my mom would have said when I was in middle school. I played the clarinet in band, for two years, big deal. The less I practiced, the more my mom said things like “Practice makes perfect”. Now because of that, the phrase seems like nagging. Nagging sucks, it only makes me want to practice less.

Though I have to say that practicing is the only way to get better and make progress, so unfortunately… my mom was right, love you mom.

I have always struggled with my writing. I struggle with focusing and I give partial blame to that, but a significant amount of blame has gone to my confidence. I never thought that my writing could measure up to other people and their masterpieces. I would use procrastination as an excuse not to write, turn my stuff in late and or not do it. I loved learning, just hated writing. Look at me now!

In graduate school I took a writing tutor class as an elective, for three quarters. I did this to supplement my writing and to help me write my final synthesis paper. The teacher for this class had combined psychology with writing, and had a deep understanding for people’s fear of writing. She offered something that would change my life in more ways than she could even imagine. She gave lectures every class period about different tips and tricks of writing. The one that changed my life taught me about practice.

She said that when we grow, we create neural pathways in our brain which are what we do every day when we do things over and over. They are learned behaviors. When we practice new ways of living, we create new neural pathways in our brain. The more we practice along these new neural pathways, the more likely we will continue to follow them. The old ones will always be there, but we will be less likely to follow down those pathways.  (You can google neural pathways right now and it will give you 10 ways to train your brain.)

I have been struggling with food for about 20 years or so. The earliest memories I have with my relationship with food goes back to about 9 years old. I remember being bored, so bored that I would eat to fill time, to fill comfort. Comfort from what? Comfort from loneliness probably. It was stimulation, stimulation that I needed to feel. I remember that I would often go for salty salty foods, or ones that were sweet (when we had sweet things in our house). I remember chicken noodle soup, tuna fish, and baking. I developed a lot of comfort in my relationship with food.

It takes a lot of practice to undo years and years of what the opposite is of what you are trying to accomplish. I have practiced a lot of new ways of living in order to get where I am today. Some good, some not so good, some that have made my brain crazy, some that have helped and some that haven’t helped. What we know from learning new things has been that I’ve made progress. How so? Because I’ve made an effort, I’ve put work in. I have committed to trying out new things and practicing them over and over again.

The point is, when it gets the hardest and you are at your most vulnerable, you put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward because you are worth it. You are deserving of healing. You are deserving of being healthy, and or following your dreams, no matter what those dreams are. All it takes is a little practice and eventually you will no longer be practicing.

 

I’ve made progress.

As I reflect back on the last year, versus any other time in my life I’ve noticed the difference in myself and my food choices. My brain, body and capabilities have made some incredible leaps. I, me!!! I have done this. I went from commitment, to practicing new ways of life and now I just do the things that I’ve practice, sometimes without a reminder to myself I need to do them. All have been in many different areas of my life.

I notice these changes in subtle ways through a variety of avenues. I’ve noticed that when I go grocery shopping I will rarely shop down the isles and actually I spend most of my time in the produce section when grocery shopping. There are the occasional things that I will go down the isles for which usually include pineapple out of a can, green beans, salsa, tortillas and sometimes crackers.

I cut calories. Cutting calories is an art form, and all though doesn’t seem very fun, is one of the things that helped me most with food. Cutting calories at most or every meal has really taught me a new way to consume and look at my food. It’s taught me that even though I want the cheese on my burger, I don’t need it, or those fries, or extra anything on anything. It’s taught me that food can still be good without the extra things. It helped with portion control.

One way I “cut calories” was with ranch. I will probably never use ranch again in the same way as I use to, if I use it at all. I say this because if you use greek yogurt and mix it with a ranch powder packet, you not only cut your calories but you are consuming something with less preservatives and with added protein. It’s a creative and tastier way to eat more veggies.

Another way I cut calories is in my coffee. I really love coffee, like a lot. As a side note I started to realize that one of the reasons why I loved coffee so much because it was the one thing I had in the day that I would stop for, and really take a moment to enjoy. Food was consumed as an afterthought in the day. With coffee I realized what I enjoyed about that moment with coffee. I loved the foam, and the dark warm aroma of a latte’. With that said, I cut my calories in half by getting non-fat milk, cut with water. The foam was still present, and I still got that cozy feeling I was after. I also switched to sugar free. I know what people say about chemicals and aspartame (and I know what I said about ranch dressing). But as a coffee lover, this was probably one of the most important changes in my “liquid” part of my diet. Liquid calories are tricky and add up rather quickly.

At first it seemed silly asking for my sf mocha, half water, half nonfat milk latte’. It doesn’t sound tasty and it’s not what people are use to hearing on the other end. I remember the first time I started asking for something different than the norm, it felt uncomfortable. I didn’t want to offend anyone, or make anyone upset and after watching the movie Waiting I really didn’t want to piss anyone off for making their lives difficult.

It’s a slow process, asking for what you want in your food. It takes patience with yourself as you build strength to do it and understanding that in the long run… It’s their job. It’s their job to take your order exactly how you want it, it’s their job to serve you and they will be there even if you ask for something exactly how the menu reads. After a while it gets easier, your confidence will improve and eventually you will be able to do it and even joke with the waiter or waitress/barista about it.

In time asking for the things I want has become automatic. It took me a long time to get super creative with menus. I usually will brows it and get creative with what’s on the menu because after visiting the same establishments after a while and only eating off of the salad section of their menu gets pretty boring and makes me hate eating out. I now can eat burgers with no bun and face up hot turkey sandwiches with cheese (only eating half of the bread). I also ask for light on the sauce, brown rice, and extra veggies.

It is though sort of comical to order a burger with light mayo, no cheese, wrapped in lettuce, with a side salad and no croutons (with dressing on the side of course). The waitress kind of jokes with you, and if you visit this place often they start to recognize you. In the end it’s my body, and it’s their job to make it for me.  After all, if I’m allergic to cheese or whatever I don’t ask for, and they bring it to me anyways, I could sue their asses. 😉

Other ways that I’ve made progress are in how I talk to my friends about food.

The biggest way I’ve made progress though is how I talk to myself about food, and maybe now it’s not how I talk to myself about food directly, but how I talk to myself in response to the food I eat and my body and brain in which I have tended to put down for eating food. The last piece is something that I’m now starting to work on and struggle every day with.

Progress is made when we practice new behaviors. I only got to this point where I am through practicing new ways of living. We can only move forward if we practice and I know for myself I will only make progress in my journey through continuing to practice new ways of living. Practice and progress go hand in hand. If you are practicing new things, trying out a new recipe, adding extra veggies, or parking further from the grocery store in the parking lot you are making progress.

Next blog post, Practice, stay tuned. J

She is still me.

I was going to write a blog post titled “I am not going to be that girl”. Meaning, I looked at an old picture of myself in full disgust of what I use to weigh, look liked and exuberated into the world. I looked gross, greasy, falling out of my clothes and sick. I wanted to write about how I saw a picture of myself in a time where I was sitting on the couch staring at my computer, being lazy. I looked at the picture and started walking around and jogging in place to up my fitbit steps. I did it because I didn’t want to continue being fat anymore.

Now I’ve already written about how critical my personal inner monologue can be, so you are probably catching on to what happened there. It wasn’t until days later, probably a week after I wrote that statement that I realized what I had done to myself. That is still me I’m talking about, right? So why wouldn’t I treat myself better?

That girl in the photo I was looking at, yes she was heavy and she may have looked hot and uncomfortable from it being summer. When people see me, they see the fat girl, I know this. It’s fairly obvious from my experience. In the long run though, she is still me. She is so much more than just fat:  She loves people, loves animals, helping, painting, music, nature, hiking, camping, her friends, flowers, cooking, shopping and so much more. Why punish myself with harsh words, it only re-enforces that I should stay there.

I know that I am really hard on myself, I have always known this. The self hatred runs deep in my veins, so deep that I use to hit myself with books in high-school. Once, In middle school once I was running late for school, I missed the bus, I held a butter knife to my wrist in hopes it would do something (I couldn’t ever really get up the courage to actually cut myself, I mean I used a butter knife). It was the only moment in life I actually thought dying would be better at this moment than calling my mom who worked so far away from home to tell her that I missed the bus to school. Maybe I missed it intentionally, I hated school. I got made fun of, a lot only reinforcing that me, myself is gross, fat and ugly.

My drug of choice, and self harm of choice was using food and well I haven’t really told a lot of people this, but picking. Picking is not something I’m ready to talk about yet though.

Mom if this is the first time you are reading or learning about myself hatred at such a young age, I am sorry you have to have found out this way. You didn’t fail as a parent; I didn’t fail as a child. I just didn’t tell you, I didn’t want you to know. I didn’t want you to have to carry another burden.

Living in this kind of fear is a learned a behavior. It’s learning from a young age that I am not worthy of loving myself, learning that I am fat and ugly. So in my battle of weight loss over the years, every time I got to a point where I’ve “Lost enough weight” that people would notice, I would reinforce those old and new voices that people implanted in my brain. That’s all you are ever going to be girl, so accept it. Those inner voices again, sneaking in, seem to be a pattern, awesome.

So it’s not that I’m not going to be that girl again… I want to learn to celebrate her and the progress she has made in and out on her journey.  Learning how is one thing, doing it day after day is another. There is more to say, though at this time I am unsure how, and what the lessons are. What I do know that my eating and foods are completely separate than what is actually happening. This is the first time I’ve looked at it from this angle. This is progress, it is a good thing. It still sucks, and what is to come won’t be easy, but it will come in time. I do know though, that I am going to be okay.

Don’t just put a band-aid on it.

I am a fairly emotional person. Most people I know already know this, though you may have gathered this information from reading my posts, OR you might be psychic. I am also empathic which challenges me on a daily basis. It’s hard sometimes to decipher my own feelings from other people’s feelings often which SUCKS. Through time, I’ve come to figure out ways to find a balance in my life with this.

In addition also have attention issues, which has been a detriment to my writing, food journey, life journey etc. I tend to get derailed often because I have the ability to lose focus quickly. I found some comfort though in coffee shops, with no time agenda, and headphones with loud music from the 90’s helps me stay on track.

One tactic that helped me significantly, especially while I was in graduate school getting through my papers was using a metaphor to describe what I was talking about. I found that it was a great way to merry two of my strongest personality traits when describing things to people. It helped me map out what I was trying to say in a way that helped my thoughts flow easily and effortlessly.

I use metaphors to help describe my experiences, break them down to understand them deeper and when I haven’t gone deep enough I will create a plan to help overcome barriers and create meaning.

With this new blog title I will complete this post.

Passion and direction through metaphors:

I was writing a previous blog post and wanted to use a metaphor to describe my own experience with eating disorders. The deeper I got into the metaphor the more wrong it felt. It is weird because I have used it often to describe my own personal experience to myself. The idea was being raw, raw and vulnerable during some of the darkest times of my journey. I described it originally as an “open wound, deeply cut, fresh, pulsating, hurting and bleeding. What you do next with that wound is very crucial for its healing and with any healing, time, healing takes time”. When you get wounded, specifically if you get scratched by a cat or cut with a knife, you first asses it and maybe ask yourself some questions: How deep is it? Do you need stitches? All the while you may be getting it to stop bleeding. You might clean it, put antibiotics on it and then what do you do next?  Most of the time you then put a band aid on it.

Finishing out this metaphor I thought “Hmm, well no wonder I’m not being successful right now, I just put a band aid on it.” I don’t want to say this metaphor has been the sole reason for holding me back, but it has been keeping me from moving forward.

When I was going to graduate school, we talked a lot about assumptions. We learned to identify our own assumptions on every level. We are always assuming or judging things, no matter what we do they will always be present in our brain and there is no getting over that. It’s what we do with them when they are identified is what matters.

Like everything that I’ve talked about, assumptions are multi dimensional. We have our own assumptions which are developed because of experiences we’ve had, and then there are the stories we tell ourselves based on those assumptions. The stories we tell ourselves are based on things that we don’t know, and based off of an experience we’ve had. In another blog post I will dive deeper into assumptions because that deserves way more attention than this blog post can offer (and understanding my own assumptions has been a crucial part of my healing on this journey).

The metaphor that I was using in the story previously, I was telling myself was that it was okay to just put a band aid on it. Which is what I’m sure you have gathered by what I’ve been telling you.  I’m  giggling to myself as I’m writing this because when I think about it, it’s kind of obvious why I haven’t been moving forward in larger strides as I had at the beginning of my food journey almost two years ago. You can’t just put a band-aid on something so deeply rooted. The story that I had been telling myself with this metaphor was holding me back from letting my wounds heal. If you do not treat a wound properly you can get an infection, and that infection only gets worse the longer you neglect it.

ALSO…. If you just put a band-aid on it, and pretend it’s not there, you are only doing a disservice to yourself. You are not giving yourself the compassion you deserve. Putting a band-aid on it, and ignoring the issue is only making it worse and festering that wound till it oozes over.

At some point, you need to peel back the band aid and re asses what is going on again, and again and again. You have to disengage from the pain, look yourself in the eye and create a list of new things to try to help heal this wound and really try them. If you are committed to healing and committed to yourself and moving forward… You will try them. You will do whatever it takes to over come this beast.

After all it’s a journey, not a destination.

My inner voice is screaming at me!!! Again!!

We all have this voice inside our head that says all the things we don’t want to hear. Sometimes it’s as if we do not have control over the voices and things pop into our head like “you are fat” “It’s okay to accept that you will always be this way”, and the most recent one “You have deprived yourself for so long, just do it”. These are things I, or rather a lot of people struggle with on a consistent basis and I will just be honest, I’ve been generous with the words that I’ve given her when I speak of these voices. They are generally more sickening, and darker than I’d like to even admit sometimes.

I have quite a few friends, and a few who are closer than others. Two of my closer friends this week have said things that have affected me in multiple ways.

My boyfriend is a very kind, accepting person. He doesn’t like to admit his sensitivity sometimes but he really does care and respect me as a person. He has loved me at my heaviest and has been a part of this journey in a very unique way.  At my lowest I told him if I ever got over 200 again that I needed to re-evaluate what was going on. I also told him to tell me when I was starting to get heavy again, no matter what.

As a disclaimer I’m not saying being heavy is BAD, just my actions being heavy are bad. I also don’t really like using the word bad, because putting a negative connotation on it makes this a negative experience and what I’ve been doing for all these years is not BAD by any means. It’s a coping mechanism for something larger that I created as a child to help cope with life.  These habits not healthy and eating food in this way is consuming me, almost more than I’m consuming it.

For me, this is all a slippery rope as I have experienced throughout the years. To go back to before my disclaimer, he looked at me as we were watching TV around Christmas and said “Well, are you giving up?”. He said this probably after the 3rd or 4th chocolate, or cookie, or whatever I had walked to the kitchen for and came back to the television to eat. I was a bit shocked, not offended because I prepared myself for this conversation. This is what my inner voice had been telling me the past two weeks, though not quite the same way and most definitely not as confident or straight forward.

I don’t think I said much to him about this comment, other than the NO! I delivered at the time. I then began to think about his words and process what he said over the next few days, and no I wasn’t going to give up (as I turned to writing this blog post).

My other friend has been struggling with her weight also the past few years or so also irked me with some feedback about my progress. Recently she sucked me back into my fit bit which keeps track of my daily steps. She went on a run and invited me to join her for a walk after a bit, I agreed even though I had another agenda. I made a lot of excuses a mile in for not wanting to walk and she kept trying to talk me into staying and said “I know you haven’t been happy lately so I wanted to encourage you to keep going” (or something similar to that). Earlier I sent her a text message with a picture of my weight with a message stating “It’s time to come clean again”.

Both of these people in my life care about me and have permission to say things like this to me. What they don’t know is that these comments jab in my side. They didn’t call me names, they didn’t say I was fat or sugar coat their feedback. They were only being supportive of my goals and original commitment to my self. The comments that they said, only reflect what my inner voice is screaming just in different words. As I mull this over as I write, I remember how uncomfortable I felt when they said those things to me.

These times, where I’m at my darkest (which I will openly admit that I am right now), I am the most raw and sensitive to things. Being raw means that no matter what I do next I am easily influenced in both good and bad ways. It’s a very delicate time, it’s exhausting, frustrating, full of rage, and oodles of other amazing emotions.

To really break it down it feels like I’m drowning. I’m exhausted from swimming to shore, and treading water but never really getting there. I feel consumed by food, consumed by people talking about food, being worried about food, and when and what I will eat next. I’m frustrated because these thoughts are not easily controllable and are ever present. I’m frustrated because I don’t feel significant motivation o change. I’m angry at myself for allowing it to consume me. I’m angry at other people for it being easy for them (even though I know it’s not), I’m angry at my boyfriend because he can eat anything and not gain weight. I hate myself because I don’t feel like I can keep my head above water. With all of these feelings running through my body at once, it wears you down.

With this said, it’s a good opportunity for self reflection, and taking some time to rejuvenate my introverted self. Good thing I took this week off. J Taking this week off was necessary, and couldn’t come at a better time. Since hearing those things from my friends, my attitude has changed. These friends of mine were actively being cheerleaders in my progress. They knew that I needed to hear these things, and I needed to hear them in order to move forward in my progress. Were they hard to hear? Yes? Were they necessary? Yes. Do I want them to keep talking to me about hard things? Hell yes.

They may not know exactly what I’m going through; most people don’t, as everyone’s journey is different and even if you have experience in something you still don’t know what the other person is dealing with inside. They especially have a hard time understanding what I am personally going thorough,because they do not have experience directly with eating disorders, or addiction. They won’t understand the battle I struggle with most every day and that’s okay. It’s not really my job to get them to understand. I just appreciate that they accept and love me for who I am and will always be my cheerleader no matter what.

 

Commitment

People who have known me for years have been so complimentary of my success. They say things like “You look so good”, followed by  “What is the key or secret to your success?

Usually I start with “Thank you“. If you don’t know me well, or if you do know me well you should know it is really hard for me to accept a compliment. After the initial thank you, I tell them a list of multiple things, sometimes I look back at what I write (through face book or text message) and find it a bit overwhelming myself. I usually follow up by saying something like “I’d love to sit down with you and chat if you are ever interested.” 

It became very apparent that my success has never been one thing. To be honest a lot of the times I don’t feel successful, especially right now. People want answers though and I get that. They want to know how to do it themselves. What I can tell you is that success is multi-dimensional.

Everything we do and why we do it is multi-dimensional. Meaning I had to attack it from different angles and layers. As I approach this blog, I am primarily addressing the different layers of my self and what I’m going through. My real secret though, believe it or not, was commitment. One single word, and all though it sounds easy… It’s not. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to accomplish.

For my 29th birthday I decided to gift myself life. I knew it would be a journey, it would not be easy and I was just going to have to accept that.

With that said… and what I mean by multi-dimensional, is that with my commitment I had to commit to not only myself, but my food, and changing the way that I ate food, cooked food and my relationship with food. I also had to be open to my process, and the new path that I would take.

For my 29th birthday I joined a weight loss clinic. I give a lot of credit to a few food consultants that I did work with to loose weight. They helped me loose 70 lbs through diet change and working their program.

This was going well until recently when my commitment to myself seemed to change. Even more recently this past week I had been binge eating so bad that I felt like throwing up on Sunday because of it. My mind was consumed with old ways of thinking, and I hated myself. I hated my body. I hated my addiction. I could probably tell you all that Iv’e consumed in the past 4-5 days, well most of it anyways. It would probably make you sick. I actually threw a cake away in the trash today to prevent myself from eating it all.

Today, or rather tonight I re-committed myself again. At 930 at night I bought groceries. Chicken, fruit, lettuce, and other veggies. One of the reasons why I eat crap is because I’m not prepared. When I allow myself to eat crap, I then spiral fairly easy into a binge, which sometimes lasts for days.

A part of the program with the clinic was practicing new ways of thinking and eating through diet and some homework. They asked lots of questions and had me look at different aspects of my life including different things in my environment, triggers, planning, tracking food, emotional eating, setting goals, self image,  and more.

I really have learned a lot that has helped so much in my process. The one thing though that has really come to light has been staying engaged in my learning about my food addiction and eating disorder to help stay present in my progress. It’s really hard to change 20 years of deeply in-bedded practices, but I’m going to continue to work towards a healthier me. 🙂

Even though it was late at night tonight, I cooked my chicken, prepared my lunch for tomorrow and wrote this blog post. I needed to be prepared tomorrow, as I know that if I’m not prepared… I will eat crap, which will only perpetuate the cycle. If I didn’t prepare, I wouldn’t be following through with my commitment to myself.

 

 

It’s a journey, not a destination.

Hello blog land,

Just to share with you about myself before I dive into this piece and really this blog commitment.

I’m Rachael, a compulsive over eater, food addict, emotional eater and binge eater. I love people, painting, giving, coaching people, teaching, entertaining, cooking, baking, watching movies, hiking, being active, shopping, reading, celebrating, playing games, and more. I find joy in most things these days.

I am a terrible writer. I can guarantee authentic writing from my heart. I can’t guarantee it will always be grammatically correct, or that my spelling is always correct. I will do my best.

I started writing this blog to help me cope and deal with my eating disorder. I’ve self diagnosed myself with a plethora of “not otherwise” specified ideas under this eating disorder. It is not the typical of what you think an eating disorder usually is. When most people think of eating disorders they think of bulimia and anorexia. People talk about them. People who have them are less likely to talk about them.  We hear about, read about them and know more information about them. Though what is rarely talked about is why we have them.

I personally struggle with an eating disorder that isn’t talked about as often. Actually people who are heavier are considered fat, lazy, and well… I bet you can fill in the rest of your assumptions.

I have been heavier most of my life and at this moment, age 30 I have the strongest grasp over myself, my body, my food, my life that I’ve had most of my life. I can share my weight with you later, actually, I will let you continue to assume what I am, or you can just ask. Though, does it really matter how much I weigh? Not really.

I don’t’ want to say I suffer from, rather I’m a surviving from food addiction, emotional eating, over eating, compulsive overeating, binge eating and a few other things that I probably even now am un-aware of. At this time I do not want to get into it that deeply, as that is what my blog will uncover. What I can tell you is that these behaviors are learned, and continue because of beliefs about myself. These beliefs include but are not limited to my self worth, abilities, capabilities, self love, and beauty. These learned behaviors affect my relationships (family, friendships and romantic), and comes out in a plethora of ways.

My intentions of this blog are to address the different things that come up with eating disorders, addiction and my authentic self living through them. I want to include the why and my truth, in a very raw fashion.

With all of that said, I am going to keep my first entry short and sweet. I just wanted to give a brief entry as an intro to let you know who I am and what’s to come. I do have a history with an eating disorder, and food addiction though I do not have professional training from a school or have a license in anything (other than my own drivers license). I am making moves every day to help make this better, and what works for me may not always work for you.

I give this blog as an offering more from my journey’s perspective than solving your problem. What works for me may not work for someone else. ALSO, there has not been and will probably continue to not be only one contributing factor to my growing from this process. It is REAL, it is HARD and I have committed to a journey.

Thank you for being a part of my journey, I am looking forward to growing with you!