I was lying in bed just now and I started to think more about this habit that I have of putting food in my mouth when it doesn't need to be there. At my last WW meeting we talked a bit about the different kind of hungers. It's pretty clear to me that I have a problem with emotional hunger. I am always trying to feed it. I am very in tune with my body's biological signs of hunger, so it must be the other kind that I am dealing with.
About 14 years ago I was a 5th grade girl who had put herself on a diet. I had always been a big fan of Lifetime movies and I learned some tips and tricks from the eating disorder specials. I found the disordered patterns that the movies illustrated to be appealing and in a very strange way, I admired the girls with the ED's. Needless to say, by the time I started 6th grade I had lost 20 percent of my body weight. That is when I started being watched. They said I was "at risk", but they had no idea what went on behind the bathroom door. My family had no concept of what I ate, as we rarely ate as a family. We were always in front of the TV. I could walk into the kitchen and throw away most of my food during the Final Jeopardy without anyone even noticing. It's easy to tuck excess food under a used paper towel and an aluminum can...whatever's available.
At that age, I got to a weight where I felt comfortable. The "cool kids" were starting to talk to me. I even had my first boyfriend and first kiss that year. But of course as soon as I got comfy and would eat "normally" the weight would pile back on. By 8th grade my weight soared to just over 150. I couldn't handle seeing that number. I actually teared up at the doctor's office and I resolved to get rid of that weight.
That summer I became a hardcore anorexic- no more of that bulimic gluttony- I was ready to practice some real self control...or so that may have been my thought pattern at the time. I hardly ever ate and I often ran as much as 8 miles a day/5 times a week. By the time I entered the 9th grade I weighed 83 pounds. I was very popular for a short amount of time, until my fall from grace when everyone found out the truth of my transformation. After a physical and some blood work, I had a tough reality to face and a decision to make... eat and stop running or die. Get a tube shoved down your throat or die. Luckily for me, there was also a choice C. Get help.
Hearing my mother crying at night through the thin wall that separated our bedrooms had a huge influence, but it was also my late grandmother's dying wish of me. You can't just ignore those kind of pleas. I was being selfish in a way and was at the same time punishing myself; 2 behaviors that are unnecessary. I got all the help I could get. Dietitian. Psychologist. Psychiatrist. Support groups. You name it.
In many ways I got better. By the time I was 15, most of my disordered habits had disappeared. Except for the one I still struggle with today; emotional eating.
All of the mental health services I received never fully dealt with my past. Tonight I was thinking about it and I had an epiphany of sorts. I need to learn to love myself because food will not heal the hurts that have been inflicted upon me. 2008 was an especially hard year, but I will not let it break me. Just because people have not treated me with kindness and respect and have not shown me love, does not mean that I am not worthy. I deserve that from myself because, in the end, the only people I can count on to receive those things are myself and the Big Guy in the Sky.
This process and this blog is so much bigger than just trying to lose weight. I am in the process of learning how to love my body and myself, and it's just a coincidence that it includes the things that I put into it.
Eating 3 helpings at mealtime doesn't = not loving myself
Eating 3 helpings at mealtime = I am not paying attention to myself and what I really need to feel good and be healthy
I should probably get some sleep! Good night.