Wednesday, January 27, 2010
My reason for blogging is that I want to reach out to others who understand what it is to live with compulsive behavior. I say "behavior" because it is not only the compulsive eating that causes me pain, but also the compulsive thinking about my body: how I look, how others think of me, and whether others see me as fat or can I “pass” for "normal". Also, my thinking about food, what I will allow myself to eat, or not eat, is also pretty compulsive, because, it can take up a lot of my energy.
The sad fact is, I don't know myself. I don't have a clear image of myself. I think of myself as much "fatter" than I know I actually am, but I can't shake these feelings of low self-esteem. All I know is, I am often very uncomfortable in my own skin, but this is at its worst when I am indulging in my compulsive behaviors.
On the other hand, when I am eating "sober", being good to myself by fulfilling my needs through healthy outlets, and not indulging in toxic foods like sugar, white flour, or highly processed foods, I am like a different person. Depression lifts, lethargy fades, and hope returns.
I am, currrently, 29 days "clean". For now, at least, I have got the cravings for sugar pretty much behind me; once I give it up, the cravings do subside. But I still struggle with wanting to eat more than I physically need. To help me keep in check, I am counting calories; simple, but it helps me stay accountable for my own behavior, and has helped to reduce my impulse to be dishonest.
Preparing fresh, wholesome food for myself on a daily basis is a challenge, because if I come home from work tired, and I often do, it's difficult to get the motivation, and energy, I need to prepare a healthy meal.
But, I am proud that I have hung in there for a month now; so far, I’m down 5 lbs. However, I am trying to remember that it’s not about the “numbers”, it’s so much more about my health, but especially about my mental health. When I am giving in to my desire to medicate, and numb my feelings with food, I am opening the door to emotional chaos. I don’t want that. I may want the immediate gratification that overeating, or eating “illegal” foods, can give, but it’s an empty sort of fulfillment, and one that comes with more pain than pleasure.
It’s true, sometimes I can be slow to learn, and need to be taught again and again. God knows I have lived through this enough that I should have learned it well, and long ago, but I guess, for now at least, I am holding on to this sanity and cherishing it. Maybe that deep appreciation for this precious state of balance will give me the boost of encouragement needed to see me through. I must be on the right track, because at least now I can see the road signs, before they were lost in the haze.