THANK YOU ALL for your wonderful feedback and for reading. I find great satisfaction from sharing my CORE here. I know that life online is often sunshine and flowers and if I wasn't anonymous, mine would be, too. Who wants to post the bad stuff about themselves publicly? NOT ME! I give great credit to the people online who put it ALL out there with their name AND face. I have a major confidence crush on all of YOU!
I love sharing my real story because I know it is a story so many of us share. As people, we have dealt with successes and failures. We have yearned for something that didn't work out. We have had our hearts broken. Struggled with our self confidence. Experienced emotional anguish and friends that couldn't give us what we really needed. And then we jumped online and we googled our whoa and we ended up on a message board or blog or website and we didn't feel so alone anymore.
The struggle with my body has been long and dark. I have wanted thin for so long that I forgot why I even wanted it at all. I have always associated health with being skinny and they are not the same. When I was at my thinnest, I abused food, exercise, drugs and alcohol. I was on tons of antidepressants. I yearned to be accepted by men and included by women. I craved love. I feared that the word "fat" would be associated with my name.
I fought with food.
I went through periods where I wouldn't eat more than diet soda and broccoli. I got thin. I binged so regularly that my stomach could easily accommodate an entire medium Chicago deep dish pizza (this is no small feat….I could have probably taken Adam from Man vs. Food at an eating competition!). I got fat. I got on the scale and cried. I got thin. I drove miles to stores where no one would see me, so I could buy larger pants. I got fat. I restricted so much that bridesmaid dresses had to be taken in three full sizes to fit my new starved shaped. I got thin.
I avoided mirrors. I avoided full fat dairy. I avoided plans out with friends. I avoided the bread basket and open bottles of wine. I avoided scales. I avoided a break in my routine. I avoided sleeping in and giving my body a break from the rigorous torture I was making it endure.
And then I was thin again.
Life was supposed to be perfect now, right?
But, where were the men and my friends and why wasn't wearing a smaller size as fun as I thought it would be? The rush of adrenaline watching the scale tick down only lasts for so long….a bite won't hurt, right? My control would waiver. I would spend hours thinking about a bag of gummy bears or a burrito. I would allow myself a nibble of fresh baguette or a tiny taste of tiramisu and I would become a frenzied dog in heat. There wasn't enough I could eat to fill up my broken heart and spirit.
And then I was fat again.
Avoidance mode. The mirrors, the people, the plans and the gym because I was too embarrassed to be seen in public. I have let people down. I have not showed up when I should have. It is so much easier to be "tired, sick or too busy" than hungover from food or without anything in my closet that fits. Would anyone even believe me if I told them that I couldn't come to dinner "because I do not have anything to wear?"
When I realized that my food addiction was so much more than a love of eating and cooking and actually involved deep seeded emotional issues that I needed to work through, I was scared. Could I overcome this? Food has been my friend. I still yearn for the comfort that only unrestricted calorie consumption and Bravo can give me. To glaze over just like a Krispy Creme. But it is no way to live. It is dark, isolating, sad and empty. When I feel the compulsion to shut in, the most important thing I can do is get outside for a walk, or go to the library or call a best friend. I need to break that moment because if I give in, one binge has the power to turn into months and months of self induced destruction by food. I deserve better.
I will never be as thin as I once was by starvation. If my body wants to amaze me and go places that it hasn't in years (as I have seen from my sister and a few best friends after babies and breastfeeding), then I will relish my shape, but no more than I love my body now.
I know I am a broken record, but my goal is to get to a place of total peace with my body. I want to find the optimal weight for my build (still have a little to go, but not a ton). I want to be healthy, strong and free from worrying about my tummy, thighs or arms. I want to get dressed and look in the mirror and be fine with what I see. To not pinch an inch or fantasize about a dress I used to wear or sigh when I put my bronzer over a lovely fleshy cheek and not a sunken cheekbone.
I am getting there. Everyday isn't as good as I would like. I sometimes eat lots of Special K bars out of habit. The rustling of wrappers comforts me still. Once in a while, my want of an ice cream cone outweighs my need and it may even be my third dessert of that day. Sometimes the scale goes up and not down.
But, I am enjoying the give and take. The downward trend overtime. I am tracking everything, even the way over my calorie days like yesterday which included mimosas, potato chips and a bakery cookie. But it also included family, stories from the past, long walks, lots of hugs and a brilliant beach moon. Life happens and I want to learn to live in a world where food and my guilt with food, do not intersect.
The nonstop restricting works, but without good habits, my weight will never stay stable. My goal once I get to the right weight for me is to stay within seven pounds (not including pregnancies hopefully to come, then I will stay within whatever the doctor recommends) for the rest of my life. I won't be the skinniest I ever have been, but I will be the most stable. I want to chose a weight (I am still seeking what may feel right) that is realistic for life.
Stability may not be as exciting, but the Weight Roller Coaster is one ride I am ready to get off of!