Do you know what it’s like to be consumed?
I remember when I was [a lot] younger, naive and let’s face it, maybe (more than) just ‘slightly’ arrogant. Dare I say that young people can sometimes be arrogant in their thinking?
When we are younger we often believe we are invincible – that nothing can harm or touch us and so we walk around with the mentality ‘oh, not us.’ Similar to this thought, I often wondered (I shamefully admit) why people were larger or even obese? Please keep in mind I have also been put into both of the above ‘boxes’ (for lack of a better term).
Part of this belief was ignorance for me – I didn’t realize there were medical conditions that could contribute to or even create issues with a persons metabolism. Another, more prominent part was arrogance – I thought “well just stop eating! How can you allow yourself to be so big?! I know, most definitely arrogant!
As I mentioned before, I’m ashamed to admit that I ever thought those things/that way. The thing is, it is only through my life experience in which I have learned that situations are often not as they appear to be. There’s is always much more than meets the eye…
Looking back on my life I now realize that both food obsession and body issues have [simultaneously] always been great struggles for me. Unfortunately (for me) by struggle I mean all-consuming obsessions.
I remember hoarding my Christmas goodies when I was a kid, I remember being overrun by my thoughts of food. When was I next eating? How long until then? What would it be? When would I next eat something I truly loved? Would there be enough? Would I have to workout for hours to burn it off? How could I sneak food and when? The list goes on and on. Also unfortunate was the fact that I began obsessing about my body at a very young age. I was too fat, not pretty enough but mostly that I wasn’t ‘skinny’ enough, people didn’t really like me, and much more negative self-talk.
From a very young age, food (for me) equaled comfort – my parents split when I was young and never truly got along. I was often in the middle of things (though not purposefully on either one of their parts). Being a very sensitive child, I took everything to heart and I mean EVERYTHING!
Enter food – food equaled comfort! The only thing that was completely constant was the comfort, escape, numbing (however you wish to call it) that I could get from food and everything that came along with it.
I realize all of this now of course (hindsight is always 20/20). However back then I didn’t give it much thought. It really wasn’t until I was to marry my first husband and wanting that “perfect” body that the yo-yo dieting began and I consciously realized just how much food was, in fact; a comfort, an escape, a chance to ‘numb’ or ‘check out’. The trouble with any vice is that reality awaits on the other side…
I also learned that with dieting, you are taught the completely wrong approach – focussing on what you can’t or shouldn’t have while feeling deprived and forced to eat things that aren’t your favourite instead of learning how to nourish it so you can thrive. Actually, not just thrive but to feed YOU in a way that shows you love yourself.
Going on a diet meant I had to count my calories and watch everything I put into my body and for me all this did was feed the food obsession that much more. Instead of eating healthily, I would starve myself all day so that I had enough points/calories leftover for the crap that I really wanted.
For the next few years my weight would go up and down much like a yo-yo from one extreme to the other either obese or far too thin, very rarely was there a happy medium for me.
It wasn’t until a few years ago when I was speaking to a counsellor and talking about my abuse of my thyroid meds, laxatives and all the other things I’d tried (along with my food habits) that Overeaters Anonymous was brought up and there was now a name to my [gluttony] actions and behaviours.
That I began the [rocky] road to healing. I am constantly tripping, stumbling, and often times falling flat on my face but I have a greater understanding of what all this is about (and when I’m not sucked back into the food); how to get to a happier, healthier version of me and the steps I need to take consistently to get there. I’m not going to suffer in silence but instead, share what it’s like to live with this oftentimes all-consuming food obsession and the struggles and hopefully successes that come with getting [back] to the recovery stage of compulsive overeating.
Thank you for reading. Xo