So, I wondered why I didn’t have a boyfriend. Or why I’d go out with a guy and he’d never call again. Could it be that I thought about NOTHING but food and my weight? How boring can a girl be? I had nothing to offer but a thin body.
With my family, I had nothing at all to offer. For years, I refused to go to holiday dinners because i didn’t want to be around fattening food. The last Thanksgiving before my mom died, I did go, because she was so ill. But I made everyone, including her, miserable. I complained that the food had so many calories. Why couldn’t they just make turkey and steamed vegetables for Thanksgiving? I was serious!!! I whined and complained and drank ’til I became even more rude and obstreperous. Thanksgiving was my mom’s favorite holiday, and I made sure to ruin her last one. Of course, after dinner, I ran home, binged wildly and threw up all night. Of course, I blamed my family because they had served triggering foods.
I was incredibly ungrateful. When I finally did have a boyfriend, he wanted to treat me to fancy restaurants. For my birthday one year, he surprised me by taking me to a very famous, very wonderful place. When we arrived, i declared I didn’t want to eat there – too much rich food, but then I felt kind of guilty and agreed to go in. I tried to order salad with dressing on the side and steamed vegetables, but he begged me to try some real food. After dinner, feeling I’d eaten too much, I sent him home. And off I went, bingeing through the bodegas of Manhattan, picking the junkiest food possible . When I hung over the toilet later that night, I realized I was puking up fancy food and hostess twinkies at the same time. But five star or 5 and dime, it’s all the same coming back up.
I was also a nasty skinny person. I hated anyone who was naturally thin or didn’t have an issue with food, and let my anger rip. Nothing mattered but not eating and not gaining weight. I lived an entirely miserable existence.
When I showed up at a 12 Step fellowship ready to look at my food and body issues, I was pretty done and desperate. I couldn’t stand my life. But before the process relieved me of my food obsession, it first showed me how awful and inconsiderate I’d been. (and here I’d thought people were being inconsiderate of me!!!)
When i saw my true self, I was horrified. And that horror gave me the will and the strength and desire to begin the process of change. Later, I’ll talk about how I changed the person I am. Now, I’ll focus on how desperation allowed me to change my relationship with food.
I decided to start with three meals a day. For me, the less often I think about food, the better. Some people eat small meals all throughout the day, but that’s much too much food engagement for me. I keep it simple
I don’t follow a specific meal plan, but do sort of eat the same amounts and/or foods most days. I don’t weigh and measure anything – I figure I’ve been on so many (probably EVERY) diet in my life, I know what a portion is. What I am is honest with myself about portion size. I know I am a compulsive eater by nature and I have to be perfectly 100 % honest with myself about my choices.
No foods are off limits, although I go for a healthy balance most of the time. If a food seems to trigger a reaction in me that makes me crave more of it, I’ll shy away. I don’t eat much white flour, but if it were served to me at someone’s home, I would eat some. Some foods, I don’t eat unless pre-portioned. I would never sit down with a pint of ice cream and tell myself to stop when I’d had enough. The most important part is I know what’s true for me. This is what works. I know people who never eat any sugar or white flour at all, because that’s what works for them. I have friends who weigh and measure every bite, and they are very happy and comfortable. I HAVE TO BE HONEST WITH MYSELF.
I don’t beat myself up if some days I eat more than I think I might have. It’s just food. Tomorrow’s a new day. The less time I spend in myself, the more chance I have of knowing peace and freedom. I try not to discuss what I eat – so self-absorbed AND so boring. No one cares about ME and MY FOOD!!!!
And the truth is, there are an infinite number of things in this universe that are infinitely more important than my body size. When I find myself getting too absorbed in my weight, my food, myself, I do something like head to the local animal shelter and play with kittens, or I call someone who needs a friend, or find some other way to be helpful to someone or something else.
That’s where the healing begin – getting rid of my selfishness and self-involved behaviors and beginning to show up for others. Once I participate in life, I have purpose beyond dieting. Yay.
I’m curious if anyone has any questions or would like me to explain more? Or let me know if you disagree with the process. I’d love to hear!