When I was living with my ex-boyfriend, I was starving. I was not able to contribute to the household groceries, so in that situation, I was basically scraping and sampling a little of whatever was in the fridge or pantry, but never taking more than would be noticeable, or the last of anything, because, by rights, it wasn’t my food. In this process, I found myself eating far less than I have in a long, long time. Coupling this with the running I did to combat the anxiety of the situation I was in, and of course, I shed weight like nobody’s business.
The fact is, as good as I felt about how I was looking in the mirror, part of that was my response to the anxiety through control over the shape and size of my body. I drew pleasure in seeing the weight melt away because it was the only thing I had control over. All of the triggers had been tripped – with the chaos around me, coupled with it being suggested that my weight/size was a reason for not finding me attractive any longer – of course I turned upon myself and beat myself down in both size and shape. Why not, right? I’ve done this before, and it worked then…
The fact is, it’s a total control issue for me. When things are out of control, I turn all of that worry and teeth-gnashing in on myself. I stop eating. I start fretting. I take to the pavement and run and run and run. That’s NOT to say that I don’t enjoy the running – I really do. And I really do like the endorphin rush that allows me to shut off everything else and simply focus on my footfalls. Still, there is a difference between being chased and running after something. I think, perhaps, I was being chased by the ball of knots that existed in that old space I inhabited.
Now, as I’m here in this house with a totally new set of expectations and understanding, I’m feeling the weight come back. I’m feeling heavy and tired, finally having the exhaustion that comes after a trauma – my trauma being that time in that old house under those horrible conditions. I’ve been eating, though, and feeling myself get heavier, and though I keep reminding myself that going to the gym and such will help keep it all in check and on the right path, it still sends up red-flags of warning with each time I look at the scale, or have to see myself in the mirror. I know I’m doing the right thing by eating (like actually eating square meals more than once a day), and hitting the weights and such, but I can see myself changing shape and growing in size in places. I can feel myself taking deep breaths and trying to release the anxiety about all of that.
Today, as I wrote in my journal about this, it dawned on me that somewhere near the core of all of this is control. I have major control issues with regards to food – but I think I have an idea for how to manage/cope/retrain myself regarding food. I’m tired of hating myself for eating. I’m tired of judging myself for indulging in something that I enjoy and that brings me pleasure. There has to be a way to marry my enjoyment of food with a path forward to help, and I think, for me, it starts with my connection to the food I consume.
Now that I’m working, I can afford to go to the grocery store and purchase food for myself. I haven’t as of yet because of finances, but with this latest paycheck, now I have a bit of money for groceries. It’s not much, but it might help me to put together a meal plan and diet plan going forward. Organization equals control. Control over what I eat, as I’ve tried in the past, has given me some real satisfaction and calmed some of my nervousness about eating.
I think I may have stumbled on a path forward that might work.
Watch this space.