Awareness is a great thing, but doing nothing with it is just knowledge. Yup, I have a lot of head knowledge, and yes it has taken a long while to admit that I am actually smart! Who me??? Who’d a thunk it but… where does that get me? Just aware.
For years I always thought, “Well I am just an “Emotional Eater”. I am sure many feel that way. Food is duly noted for being a comfort. Heck every occasion you think about is always centered around food in one form or another. Society and social gatherings you can’t seem to get away from it. Just going to the check out at the grocery or department store is laden with all the things that temp, not to mention commercials on TV or even posts on facebook; food is everywhere especially the non healthy type.
When I finally got honest with myself, I realized I was more than just an emotional eater. I always knew I had an addictive behavior. I lived in the extremes and could get hooked on just about anything.
In examining my relationship with food through the years, I finally realized I had Binge Eating disorder. What a Revelation that was. For years in thinking myself just an emotional eater I felt there was no help for me because emotional eating wasn’t recognized as an Eating disorder. WOW, I could have gotten help? …but no. I was in total denial at the time to even look at me. Amazing how this disease can cloud your judgement. Even when realizing I had BED, still I did nothing. It was like a proud moniker to blame my size on. Just like when I used to blame my size on, “Well I was born big at 11 lbs 5 1/2 ounces so it’s in my genes.” Yah, another lie I told myself.
After losing over 400 lbs, I am sure many thought I had it all together, but I didn’t. After my vast weight loss then dive into binging and subsequent depression. I was a mess. With the help of many and the various programs I took, I still struggled with my eating.
In seeing a picture of myself In April I knew I needed to do something to get back on track with my eating. You would think, knowing my history of repeated yo yoin that Id clue in but still thinking I can do this, I started…. (again)
Day 1 of healthy eating. By lunchtime all went to hell in a hen basket. OK so tomorrow is another day…
Day 2. Did well for breakfast, good. By noon I was at it again. What the hell is wrong with me? I was hopeless. Like a lunatic doing the same thing over and over I was definitely the definition of insane. What was I going to do?
I came across 15 questions to see if I had a compulsive eating problem, the results were humbling;
Do you have a problem with compulsive eating?
- Do I eat when I’m not hungry, or not eat when my body needs nourishment?
- Do I go on eating binges for no apparent reason, sometimes eating until I’m stuffed or even feel sick?
- Do I have feelings of guilt, shame, or embarrassment about my weight or the way I eat?
- Do I eat sensibly in front of others and then make up for it when I am alone?
- Is my eating affecting my health or the way I live my life
- When my emotions are intense — whether positive or negative — do I find myself reaching for food?
- Do my eating behaviors make me or others unhappy?
- Have I ever used laxatives, vomiting, diuretics, excessive exercise, diet pills, shots or other medical interventions (including surgery) to try to control my weight?
- Do I fast or severely restrict my food intake to control my weight?
- Do I fantasize about how much better life would be if I were a different size or weight?
- Do I need to chew or have something in my mouth all the time: food, gum, mints, candies or beverages?
- Have I ever eaten food that is burned, frozen or spoiled; from containers in the grocery store; or out of the garbage?
- Are there certain foods I can’t stop eating after having the first bite?
- Have I lost weight with a diet or “period of control” only to be followed by bouts of uncontrolled eating and/or weight gain?
- Do I spend too much time thinking about food, arguing with myself about whether or what to eat, planning the next diet or exercise cure, or counting calories?
Have you answered “yes” to several of these questions? If so, it is possible that you have, or are well on your way to having, a compulsive eating or overeating problem.
I had answered “yes” to EVERY question. How humbling it was to see. I definitely has powerless to change. I was an addict. A compulsive overeater and no matter what I did or diet I went on , I resorted back to my old familiar coping mechanism like a robot. I had over 50 years experience doing it. I felt hopeless and in silence of my room I cried.
Acceptance happened. I had come to that point in my journey where i knew I was powerless. There was nothing I could do to stop the food crazies in my head and prevent my hands from stuffing my face. My life was totally unmanageable; with issues of health, finances, household, relationships and years of neglect, it was purely evident and felt. It was hard to admit this. Others in my life didn’t know what went on in my head and the struggles I faced. I hid it as best as I could. Scared if someone knew they would think down on me as many had with my weight over the years. Shame and guilt is something that can consume and destroy when held onto.
Knowing how my brother had 4 years of sobriety through a 12 step program, I knew that was my only hope to rid myself of the food crazies. I am thankful today for my program and HP that I have 43 days abstinent from my trigger foods & compulsive eating.
It is not enough just to be aware and have acceptance for change. I have to take…
ACTION. In the back of my mind I hear a groan. Yes, for years when I came to a point of awareness that my life needed a change, the word “diet” came to the surface. Yes “GROAN”. That is DIE to a T for sure. The thought of restriction used to bring fear to my soul. The thought of going on another diet brought so many emotions to the surface, it actually lead me to stuffing my face even more to squash what I was feeling. Never did I stop to examine exactly what it was I was experiencing. I had learned at a young age that expressing any emotions does not do any good whatsoever. Well, that is what I told myself.
But taking action though my program is not too hard. I am taking the steps I need to be able to change for the better. Having supports in this journey is so needed. I take one day at a time, and things are more manageable. Yes, my issues were with food but food was a symptom not the root. What peace I have as I continue taking action in my program working on me.
Always remember with any weight you carry whether personal or professional; Awareness, Acceptance and Action will make the Changes you need!!
I hope your journey is filled with much learning and change so you too can experience Peace in your Life.
In the next few Ramblins of my Fat Head I will be sharing “Breaking My Silence”, I hope you subscribe below so you don’t miss a ramble 😉