As I unpacked the take out we had ordered on Thanksgiving I noticed how I put more food on Matt’s plate. Not so long ago I would’ve wanted more food. I would want to pile my plate high with food just so that I could somehow feel full and satisfied.
It never happened.
On this occasion I made sure he had more food, and I only took what I wanted and needed to be satisfied, which was a lot less than in the past.
A chip fell off the paper, onto the work surface and as I picked it up and bit into it, I was reminded of all the times I would stuff chips into my mouth as Matt or my parents left the room. They’d leave me alone with the food, and it was like this uncontrollable urge took over, an urge to eat as much as possible, then my plate wouldn’t look ‘so bad’ when we sat down to eat.
Then it would look like they had way more food than me, then it would be okay.
It would be okay if it looked like I didn’t eat as much, because then my weight issue wouldn’t be because I over eat.
My weight gain wouldn’t be my fault.
It would be okay because clearly I don’t eat as much as they think I do.
It would be okay because they would be eating more than me, and that’s how it needs to be.
This wasn’t a one time thing either, this would a be a regular occurrence, and as I got older I was more aware of the impact it was having. I became more aware that this was something I shouldn’t be doing, and started to hide it. I’d stuff the food into my mouth as quickly as possible, looking over my shoulder hoping someone wouldn’t see me. It wasn’t just take out either:
I also had a habit of cutting cake on birthdays or at Christmas, and then as I stood staring at the cake, I’d pick at it, cut another thin slice off and eat it in secret. It was as if the piece I’d already cut couldn’t satisfy this need to be full. No matter how big the piece of cake was, it was never enough.
I remember the feeling of being with others on their birthdays, and I’d have this nagging feeling that they’d never give me a slice of cake big enough. It wouldn’t be enough. I couldn’t have seconds, because look at me. I’d feel frustrated that I wasn’t in control.
My birthday being at the end of January meant I’d always negotiate with myself, that I’d just have one piece of birthday cake. After all I deserved it, it was my birthday.
The cake would then sit there, staring at me each time I walked by. I couldn’t throw it away, that’s not nice, someone bought me this cake, so I should eat it…and I’d stand in the kitchen picking at the cake which I had been trying to avoid, until it was gone. Or sometimes I’d have a sudden flood of emotion rush through my body, tell myself I suck and throw the cake in the bin…and I’d push it down so I couldn’t even consider taking it out again.
It’s really no surprise that this process has been a long one, and that I still have to moderate myself around certain foods and social occasions.
What is so interesting is that I am now able to do it instinctively ninety percent of the time. I can’t say one hundred percent, because not only is that bullshit, it would mean I’ve stopped learning, and haven’t found situations which cause me to relapse to that way of thinking.
I have and I will, but it doesn’t suck like it once did.
What I can tell you is that you can come back from this behaviour. Deep down you know its unhealthy, and causing your weight gain, but I also know how trapped you feel. I know that you feel like no one really understands you – because how could they?
I understand. I know how it feels to cry yourself to sleep because you just want to lose weight, laying there in bed hungry, telling yourself tomorrow it will be easier – and then it isn’t.
I know how it feels when you lie in bed, place your hand on your stomach and it feels flat, you can just about feel your ribcage. I know that you wish that you’d wake up and it be true, like some sort of Christmas miracle.
Whilst you might have believed in Santa, and I sure still belive in the spirit of Christmas, no amount of miracles will get you to where you want to be. I also know that deep down you are aware it will require work, and you are petrified of how hard it might be.
Don’t be my friend.
In the beginning it’s a little scary, because it’s new and unknown territory. You are filled with questions:
Will it work?
How long will it take?
Healthy eating and movement will always work if you don’t try to cheat the strategy, if you don’t try to outsmart your body.
You will arrive when arrival is no longer your destination.
You will arrive, when you are eating with your instincts rather than “by the book” when you are listening to your body, rather than counting calories. You will have arrived when you are living a lifestyle that feels mostly effortless, and living in a body you are comfortable in.
I share my very best strategies and insights with these lucky ladies. I teach women how to quit dieting, and discover a body they are comfortable in…forever. No quick fixes. No cookie cutter plans. Just real life strategies!
Your life is for living!
– Melanie x