Saturday, July 31, 2010

To eat or not to eat...

I don't know what I want this blog to be. Sometimes I think I want to share only funny stories from my life. Sometimes I want to be a whistle blower to all the injustice I see around me and other times I want to share what I learn with others.

But what I want the most is to tell the truth. Even though it scares the bejeebers out of me. Because this year has been tough and I feel like I've been dragged through some kind of refiners fire and right now I feel like a big glob of hot bubbling goo.

I've realized I have old wounds I never let heal. Big painful wounds from my childhood and adolescence that I stuffed away and tried to ignore.

Food is my go-to-drug of choice for everything: celebrations, sorrows. It is the end all be all to personal comfort. When it comes to food my memory is freak-show good. Like put me in a side-show impressive. I may not be able to tell you everything I saw on my recent trip to New York, but I can describe in the finest detail what I ate and where I ate it. I can tell you what I talked about while I ate it and what I want to eat when I go back. In fact, I can detail meals from every significant event in my life and most of the insignificant ones too. I am completely obsessed with food.

It's been a constant battle for me. I am either psycho disciplined, managing to lower my weight to 105 lbs (I'm 5'4") and leading my doctor to warn me that my BMI is dangerously low. To eating NINE oatmeal raisin cookies in five minutes flat.(I can still remember how they smell).  When emotional issues get tough, I eat my way out of the sorrow.

I've never measured life by my accomplishments. I measure it by my fat or thinness. Could I wear my favorite sweater to the Christmas party without a slight bulge around my bra line? Yes? Then it was a good year. Did I feel like my size 4 capris were too tight at the 4th of July parade? Yes? Bad year why don't I kill myself now.

Well, now is a bad year. Not because I've gained a ton of weight, I have gained about 10 lbs. and I loath every miserable pound. But because of why I gained the weight. Because of the voices dictating that I am not enough to the point I want to bury myself in a bag of cheetos until I can't hear any of it.

I don't want my life dictated by food and weight and body image anymore. I don't want to shut myself away and numb myself with food! It's seriously messed with my mojo.

As an example, when I was in my first year of college I had the opportunity to travel to California with some fellow friends and audition for a talent scout. But I didn't go. I didn't believe I had a chance, not because of my talent. I was a good enough actress. I just thought I was too fat. Too fat to even try, too fat to even go on a road trip. I weighed 118 lbs.

I could list missed opportunities related to how I felt about myself for days.

A few years ago when I lost 65 lbs I thought I had it all figured out. But the only thing that really changed was my pant size. Instead of bingeing away my hurt, I controlled it by only eating 1100 calories daily (I was running 25 miles + a week and doing yoga, pilates and strength training for hours. and I had no refined sugar for two solid years!)

At the time I measured this as a great success. I had mastered my body and my life. It was time to pursue my dreams and write a novel. Not that I'd written all that much before. I mean, I did write sporadically when an idea would take hold but I was one of those writers who was waiting for the gifted story to come to me in a dream and write it down in a two week frenzy.(Since the weight loss didn't accomplish it.)

Long story short, (too late) I wrote a book but it took two years. I learned a ton and got rejected. Even if it would have sold it wouldn't have changed anything either.

I still hurt. I still have old heartaches and fears. They never went away. And now I know they won't. Not until I open the closet and let them out. Even if I consume all the oatmeal raisin cookies in the world. Which sounds like a better alternative. Frankly, being overstuffed and ill sounds better then letting in the hurt or all of the voices telling me I'm not good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough for a real life. A whole life. A happy life.

Which is where I am now, cleaning out my emotional closet.

I'm scared.

Not by what I'll find in there, I've been cleaning out that emotional closet for about six months now, but the pain that comes with it. So far, it really, really hurts.

Some days it's more than I can handle. Like today when my neighbor called to chastise me for having rude, hooligan children who won't play with her little darlings. It makes me feel raw and desperate for something—anything—to take away the agony of dealing with my past demons and HERconsecutively. So, I made a cheesecake—or two.

I had to run back to the only thing that has never abandoned me, or judged me, or sucker punched my self worth. Because I didn't have the cajones to tell this neighbor that I don't blame my kids one bit for avoiding her children. I wouldn't want to play with her darlings either!

I don't want to live in the future or the past anymore. I don't want to obsess over what I will or will not have for dessert tomorrow. I want to learn to live a real life without drama, or fantasy, or unrealistic expectations. I want to get to know me.

Care to join me?