I was around 6 when I remember sitting on the toilet staring at my bare thighs and thinking that they were huge. I still keep in touch with the girl I was in first grade with, whom I was envious of, for being so skinny. They pulled us all out into the hallway one by one to weigh us and I remember it was 56 pounds. A couple of weeks later, my family was visiting my Uncle who was a Marine home on leave, he picked me up into the air to toss me and I was full of embarrassment, and screeched as I ran from him that he wouldn't be able to do it because I was 56 pounds.
I guess that was my first recollection of feeling negative about my body.
Chubby. I was chubby all of my life. I'd try to diet and go to Weight Watchers meetings with my mom in 7th grade. My most memorable was a watermelon and cottage cheese only diet. I think I lasted on that for three days. It took me until my mid-twenties to eat cottage cheese again. I would try to dance before bed or jog in place to get skinny. During summers, I'd put a motivation in my head of a girl from my grade that I wanted to look just like while exercising so that when I went back to school in the fall, I'd be skinny.
In high school, I discovered that not eating was a way to control the chaos on the outside in my rocky home life AND get skinny, so this was a double win. I was able to achieve a size zero and get attention from boys-triple win. I kept this up until things got too rocky at home and I ate until I'd packed on around 70 pounds in a year. I've gained and lost those same 70 pounds about 6 times in 10 years. Three were pregnancies, and three were just an inability to find balance.
My last super skinny and fit stunt was about 5 years ago when I discovered clean eating and I spent months on end only eating organic clean and whole foods. It was an obsession for me, and I didn't see how unbalanced it was. I wouldn't give myself any room for foods that were outside my standards. I isolated myself in a realm of organic goodness, obsessed with the physical results I saw. I guess that was the best health I was ever in, but mentally it was one of the poorest.
The idea that I have an eating addiction came to me a few weeks ago, when I binge ate an entire package of oreos when everyone went to bed and hid the empty container in a box so my husband wouldn't see it in the trash can. That was shameful for me and an entire new low. A few days later I got SO excited about being alone and having the chance to eat fast food, that it was almost arousing in some sense. I confessed this to my friend on our girls trip and it was the first time it had left my mouth, I was so embarrassed by the experiences that I didn't want to admit it to anyone. But I knew I had to if I wanted to make a change.
For a couple years, I've watched the show My 600 Lb life on TLC and have been able to sympathize with where they're at, or at least with how they got to where they are. I eat when I'm happy or sad or mad. I tell myself I'll get it together tomorrow, but THIS pressing thing is too stressful today for me to eat right. I'll start Sunday with the fresh week. I ruined it mid afternoon, might as well really make my before pic convincing by rounding it out with a pizza. I am just going to be fat forever so I might as well just eat the cupcake. The kids have leftover stuff on their plates. don't want it going to waste. No, I do want to change and be healthy. I'll start tomorrow. And so this cycle goes, and has gone for my entire life. It gets CRAZY sometimes too-well, this is fine for her to eat and she's super fit, it's fine for me. This is what HER breakfast looks like on Instagram, she had fries with dinner, she gets to eat pizza twice a week, I should be fine.
It really is the most difficult addiction because you don't need cocaine, you don't need whiskey, you don't need tobacco...but you need food to survive. Sometimes I think back about how all of sin entered humanity by the act of EATING and it seems so profound.
Ya know, it's embarrassing. To be really skinny when you are at a cookout one summer and then to be humungous at the same yearly cookout the following summer. I don't know where the block is for me. Emotionally, I know that we eat to nourish ourselves but since we can't separate the physical and spiritual, I am attempting to nourish a part of brokenness in me too. I know in my head food won't do it. But it doesn't stop me from trying.
All of the excuses for eating, I'll take. And I eat like I'm not going to see food again. I work as a waitress, and we get such a good deal on the food there that I'll eat until my stomach hurts. It's some form of escape for me, but from what I guess I cannot ever identify.
Every morning for years I have woken up and said today will be the day! Today will be the day I get my eating act together! But today is never the day, not THE day, not really. I am constantly having to ask myself an entire flowchart: AM I HUNGRY OR AM I BORED. IS WHAT I WANT GOOD FOR ME OR NO. IS THIS THE BEST OPTION I COULD HAVE RIGHT NOW OR NO. COULD I WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT MEAL. AM I JUST THIRSTY. I feel almost like a child who needs coaching through a super trivial experience, except it's all day every single day for me and it's really exhausting.
I had some good success last summer when my last born was 6 weeks old with doing a form of the ketogenic diet called The Wheat Belly Diet. It helped my mood and outlook and weight more than I ever expected, but was difficult for me to continue for more than the few months I did it. My day today was full of excuses for why I made poor choices after lunch, but tomorrow is new and I am going to wake up tomorrow with the same hope I do every morning-that it will be the day I can break this lifelong cycle and beat my addiction.
Maybe I've never really shared before what all is on my plate...no pun intended. But there it is, through a Karbon filter.