food

8/29/2015 – Day Fifteen.

I have had a problem with food for as long as I can remember. Longer than I would like to admit. These days I wonder if those fears are my karma for my current situations. I haven’t been the kindest to myself and in this new era of body image, owning who you are, it’s easier said than done. I’ll be completely honest, its hard to transform 28 years thinking in a matter of a short months or years. For every 10 good days, there are 20 not so good days. For everything and in-between, food has been my scapegoat for every way of thinking. Food has a way of bringing the good with the bad. Triggering memories and forgotten expectations. You think about how much you didn’t care in your younger years, and now as an adult this need to be socially conscious about everything you put in front of you. Now a days, I fear food more than I enjoy it. I hold it at an arms length against me. Separating myself from my past and my expectations of my future, not realizing the repercussions of my present. It makes me think about everything I’ve done to distance myself from food, when all I’ve ever wanted to do was enjoy it.

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Recovery is a pain in the ass. Its hard to tell someone that hasn’t been through what you have, how you feel. I have felt really alone in my recovery. Its easy to put up a positive front, to post a photo of myself eating or enjoying food but reality settles in. I will always see myself as 70 lbs over weight. I will always think twice about what I eat. I will always feel guilty about over eating and feel this need to punish myself. It’s hard to tell someone that what I see in the mirror paralyzes my way of thinking. It has been a long time since I have truly enjoyed a meal. A good fucking meal. Something someone put heart and soul into. I am not going to be an asshole, I’ve had great meals but so many of these meals build up on my fears.  Its genuinely hard to enjoy them without feeling squeamish or guilt. Most of the time, I feel guilty about the things I eat. It’s something I have to live with that makes me so indescieve about where or what to eat. How do you tell someone I can’t eat what I love out of fear of the outcome? You can’t. Being in another country helps. I don’t feel guarded. I don’t feel the pressure to be anything. While the fear still plagues me, it doesn’t hurt as much as it does at home. Its weird to be in places with different customs then your own. To adapt yourself into things you have stopped doing at home. Sometimes I forget to eat in the rush of getting to and from places. Often times I overindulge in the things I love but mostly I don’t. Then I feel guilty of eating and I psych myself out. I don’t know. Being far from home I don’t feel as self conscious as I am used too.

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It’s easy to say I am on vacation, I can do what I want. To get in this gluttonous stage and have no self control, but I can’t do that. It’s lonely to eat alone but it’s lonely to have to come to realization that you can’t eat the way you are used too. We settled into a restaurant inside the town square. After looking over at the menu, we decided to take our chances on a little restaurant with it’s rustic pirate vibes. I wasn’t expecting much. Just enough to fill my belly and provide the energy I needed for the rest of the day. I get really anxious when I eat. A part of me still believes I am 70 lbs overweight and another part of me still believes I will make myself sick after eating. For the longest time my meals where based on what was easier to come out at will or what would get me full the fastest. If I ate exactly how I wanted to eat, I would open up the wounds that have been trying to heal. If I don’t eat, its another series of triggers, I can’t contain. I usually order to avoid suspicion and times I don’t like what I order. When you are comfortable you forget the silly instances that make up your anxieties. Sitting on the bench in the resturant, I didn’t look for an easy way out. I wanted to try everything. I wanted to eat everything and for once I didn’t want to feel guilty about what I ate. It felt like we were eating for hours when really it had been minutes, since we had ordered. Mere minutes as the plates started arriving. Each plate sizzling, oozing, and exhuming delicious flavors and tastes. It didn’t end at the first or second plate. It didn’t stop with the drinks, the momentum continued, as we talked about family stories, family traditions, and inner jokes between us all. As each plate reached our table, another plate would disappear.

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It didn’t hurt. This layer of anxiousness shed off my skin and I felt something I hadn’t felt in all the meals, I have consumed over the past years. I felt love. I felt hunger to try everything. Even if I felt guilty, it wasn’t going to hurt me. I had been feeling self-conscious about my outcomes that I never focused on my journey. How alone I felt in my battles and lonely I felt in my war. No matter how many times I heard positivity, I was focused on the negative outcome. Focusing on the mirror that was haunted with two faces. As the plates started dwindling down, as my belly felt full but content, I looked around at the faces I saw before me. This is my journey, my battle but I don’t feel alone. This is love I feel in front of me and after every course, I am going to be okay. Maybe I’ll never get better but at least today, the journey doesn’t seem as bad anymore.

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Food vs. Debt.

The moment you believe you have everything all figured out is the moment you realize you don’t. For the most part I have my debt under control. However, Debt is always that dark cloud that looms over me. Debt is a funny word with horrible consequences. Who would have ever thought that a word so innocent looking could hurt so much. Its like a bad relationship you can’t escape from. No matter where  you turn, your Debt is right behind you. Taunting you, ridiculing you, and overall just proving to you that you can never get over them.

DEBT in all it’s magnificent, no mercy glory.

I personally hate being in debt. Well lets be really honest, who honestly likes being in debt? Any which way I can pinch a few pennies to reclaim my balance in my life, I just about do. While I have drastically cut out a lot of unnecessary spending, I keep finding myself missing a few hundred dollars. Where exactly does my money go to? I have stopped excess shopping. I have stopped purchasing countless clothes, accessories, shoes, and beauty supplies. I have even stopped purchasing books, notebooks, and supplies. Where else could my money be going? Every dollar is accounted for. I have budgeted all of my expenses and narrowed them down to all the necessities. But what on Earth can be taking a few hundred dollars. While I do put some money into savings, where does the rest of my money go? Thats when it really donned on me.

Food.

I have had problems with food for as long as I can remember and I am no stranger to talking about it on this blog. However, while I have my food problems under control, I cannot manage to control my stress eating. A majority of my recent weight gain is all due primary because of stress. When I have anxiety or if my depression hits an all time low, I eat. Somewhere in my crazy mind, eating relaxes me. I love to eat just as much as the next person. On top of that, it has taken me a long time to be okay with eating. The truth of the matter is, I don’t just eat, I binge. If I am having a crappy day, I’ll go to the grocery store and buy countless things, primarily junk food. Most days I can calm the nerves but once my anxiety hits it’s back to the bottom. It doesn’t stop there, it’s the eating out, its the drinking, its the fancy coffee here and there. It’s not just once a week. Most times its 5 times in one week. Then the next week comes and it starts all over again. While my savings shows me that I am saving money, my bank account shows that I cannot control my spending urges when food is involved.

Depending on season, time of day, and even weather, on average I spend about 100 dollars a week on food. This including the sit down meals, fast food, trips to the grocery store for snacks, coffee from coffee shops, etc. This doesn’t including the tips and gas. On average 100 dollars a week is why I cannot have nice things. I am losing money all for the sake of a good time and my sanity. Instead of finding creative ways to curb my anxiety, I turn to the one thing that always comforts me, food. Food to me is this huge comfy security blanket that I count for everything. If I am having a bad day, it makes it all go away. It makes the feelings of self doubt disappear into the feeling of no self control. I can’t control the urges. As much as I think I have everything under control, I find myself like clockwork holding on to the things I shouldn’t have. It’s easy to say that I can stop at any time. That I can easy calm my nerves and find ways to use all this crazy energy for other things. Just when I am at my weakest moments, I can’t seem to bring myself to do it. While I applaud myself for my efforts in saving money, its the little vices I can’t help but do. A $100 dollars a week does eventually add up. It shows that while I have stopped purchasing things I don’t need, I still can’t stop the urge to shop for something.

In a way I have transferred my need for things into my need for food. Just as clothes and accessories were excuses for temporary happiness, now food has become that way. Everything is a work in progress and while I am happy that my love for food has returned, I still can’t help but use food as another crutch. I am not saving money if I am still buying unnecessary things. I am not being healthy if I continue to use food as my stress reliever. Lately I have found myself avoiding grocery stores when I am feeling down. I have to second guess my need to get fast food, and limited my coffee drinks to at least once a week. While I still have my urges to buy snacks, its not as drastic as it was months prior. While I still have problems dealing with anxiety and depression, I have to find creative ways to get this energy out. At least I know where my money is going.

Food 0
Debt $400

UGH.

I’ve got an itch, that I just can’t scratch.

Addiction: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming,  to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

 

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. 21 days to form a habit that will either change the course of your life or break you. Needless to say that if you’ve been reading my posts you know that a majority of my “habits” have indeed broke me. My problem wasn’t in forming the habit, the problem was in believing that I was in control of what I was doing. I truly did believe that. Once you start believing you’re in control of your addictions is when you realize the addiction has taken over your life. That was always my problem. I could lie to everyone about how I was feeling, what I was doing, but I couldn’t lie to myself. In the course of 20 years I’ve managed to form these addictions with out anyone knowing. When I mean anyone, I truly mean everyone. I’ve always been so self consumed in helping everyone else but I never took a focus to any of my own. Maybe that’s why all of this is hard to say. Hard to show people that this was who I was hiding from the world. My addictions did nothing but leave me heartbroken, alone, and completely miserable. One day you snap and just can’t hold it in anymore. The point of these posts isn’t to gain any sort of sympathy. This is just my way of truly being brutally honest with my feelings and showing people that no matter how many times I said I was “OK”, I wasn’t.

It’s weird to say that. I’m an addict. An addict. Addiction is a funny word and everyone is an expert. People expect you to wake up one day needing help. It’s not easy admitting you have a problem. Somewhere inside you believe you have everything under control.  This grand notion of getting help and once you finally admit you have a problem and everything will be okay. Everything you feel will automatically turn off and you’ll be everyone’s perception of “okay”. I wish it were that easy. Just some huge on/off switch that can turn off everything you’re feeling. It doesn’t work that way. Every day is another struggle and only people who have dealt with addiction can truly understand that. My flaw in my genetic makeup is being unable to tell people I am hurting. Somewhere in my mind believing if I told people what I was doing was showing a form of weakness. I knew everything I was doing was wrong for me. Everything was bad and hurting everything inside of me, I just couldn’t stop. I had everything under control, I knew the consequences for my actions but I just couldn’t stop myself. These addictions I had were the only things in my life I had control over.

For most of my life I’ve had a problem with food. It sounds silly to even say that. Of course any one can have problems with food, I just knew my problems were different from most. My weight has always been a problem in my life. As much as I want to say I have never obsessed over my weight, I have. I’m human. I’m female, I’ve always obsessed over my weight. It wasn’t until I started truly obsessing over food was when I realized I had a problem. Food was my escape. Eating was my only way of truly expressing how I felt. The more food I ate, the less I dealt with my emotions. If I wanted to scream out my frustrations, I ate. If I wanted to suppress my sadness, I ate. I was eating my way through every single human emotions because it was better than saying how I truly felt. I was unhappy with my surroundings, my social circle of friends were rotten and instead of changing it, I ate. When my weight ballooned drastically, I became more unhappy with myself. Instead of anyone asking what was wrong; I was mocked, ridiculed and continuously bullied about my weight. When you’re hurting you tend to build a shell around yourself and expect everything to go away. I made up this strong façade and continuously showed people that I didn’t care. It was all just one big huge joke and I again allowed myself to be the punching bag for stupid jokes. I didn’t know any better. I was young, I was stupid, and because  of it I just grew more upset. Everything I was doing was wrong and I was absolutely more miserable than before. When you feel rotten you will do just about anything to make yourself feel anything. I was miserable. Absolutely miserable. All I could do was become more self destructive. When I started cutting, I told myself it was a one time thing. Just to take the pressure off of how I felt. I was dealing with so much bullshit because of work, school, friends and my only escape was to cut. It started just a few small slices on my wrist and progressed to running up and down my forearms. I didn’t hide them. I knew people could see them and no one said anything. People assume because you cut, you want to die. I didn’t want to die, cutting was just the only thing in my life I could control. I didn’t cut every day  just every time I felt pressure or suffocated, I’d cut myself.  So much went on in that time period of my life that I truly believed I wasn’t doing anything wrong. It was my only escape from the harsh realities of my life. Once again I truly believed I was fine.

Around the time that I moved back from my countless attempts of being away from home I started being proactive about my “wellbeing”. I had heard about these miracle diet pills and decided I was going to start being proactive about my weight. You always hear about these success stories of over weight people taking a pill a day and magically all their weight disappears in the manner of weeks. Of course desperate to lose this massive weight gain, I bought every pill you can think of. Hydroxycut? Tried it. Xenical? Done it. Alli? Done it. Green tea extract, Raspberry Ketones, trust me I’ve done it. It wasn’t until I started taking a metabolism booster pill that I started to really notice I was losing weight. Within a few weeks I dropped 10 pounds. I was being active, eating better and before I knew it I lost another 15 pounds. Its amazing how much attention you get once you start losing weight. People were so focused on my weight loss that they didn’t bother asking me how I was feeling. It became just another thing to talk about. This grand weight loss was showing people that I was okay. Once I started getting attention for my weight loss I became obsessed with it. I started counting calories, eating less and if I over ate, I skipped a meal. The pills helped curb the appetite so it was easy to skip meals when I needed to. When I lost my job the second time, it was hard to afford the pills that were helping me lose the weight. Like all great things these miracle pills were anything but a miracle. I was grouchy, light headed, and once I stopped taking the miracle pills I started gaining the weight. Everyone that applauded me for the weight loss were the same people to point out my weight gain. I grew paranoid and started another series of self destruction. Because I couldn’t afford my miracle pills I started taking laxatives to take off the bloat. On top of everything I started all over again with the self mutilation. I was so upset about gaining the weight that I punished myself for letting myself go.  It’s amazing what your mind does when it wants something bad enough. Before I knew it, it was one big obsession.  When I started vomiting my food it was my secret. It was just something I did when I felt I was overeating too much. Before I knew it I stopped needing the miracle pills. Vomiting helped elevate my weight. It didn’t help me lose any weight it just control my body to the weight I had at the moment. When I say it was an obsession, it truly was an obsession. Before I knew it I was leaving places earlier to go home to vomit. Leaving parties early not because I was tired but because I didn’t want anyone to knew I was throwing up my food. I became obsessed with people noticing my weightless that I didn’t care about how I went about it. I stopped cutting because it became too much to handle and it was no longer something that I found comfort in. The days I would eat I would throw up everything. It was this never ending cycle that just continued to get worse.

The saddest part about all of this was I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. Honestly I didn’t want to. I was fine. I was in complete control of everything. No matter what I was doing, I knew every single detail of what I was doing to myself. I did everything in my power to hide what was going on. Nobody knew, honestly to this day up until this moment I never told anyone.  Sure I made a few jokes at the expense of my emotions but nobody knew anything about what was going on. I kept this cycle of self destruction for years until my insides bled and my arms grew sore. It wasn’t anyone’s business but my own. As I was once told “one day people aren’t going to be there for you”, so I kept everything to myself.  When you feel alone, you act alone. So I kept quiet dealing with everything that went on because it was no one’s business but my own. It stayed that way until I knew I needed help. It wasn’t until I found myself in the parking garage of my apartment complex completely broken down that I knew I needed help. I was ruining my relationships with everyone all for the sake of being someone else’s perception of perfection. I was hungry, miserable, and worst of all I felt alone. For years I was in constant fear of food. The food that I once considered comfort from every emotion soon became my enemy. I didn’t know any better than what I was doing, I just knew that the longer I hid my problems the worse it would get. I refused to see the light on so many occasions. I refused to believe that I had a problems, that things I was doing was obsessive and that I was truly hurting myself. Worst of all my relationships with people suffered. It wasn’t until I was alone crying in a parking lot that I knew something had to change. It was then I finally realized that I wasn’t okay. I was lying to everyone and I couldn’t do that anymore.

Recovery is a tricky thing. What they don’t show you is how many times you fall until you can truly heal. For years I struggled with my addictions because they were just that MY addictions. It wasn’t anyone’s business but my own. It wasn’t anyone’s fault but my own. The reality of it all was this cycle continued because no matter how many times people tell you they will be there for you, they will constantly let you down. For years I kept my struggles silent because time again the wrong people allowed me to believe that everything in my life was wrong. So I stayed stuck in this cycle of self destruction because that was my cards that were dealt for me. That was my karma returning for the countless years I was a bad person.

I was wrong.

You know they say that when you finally grow up, you’re able to heal from your old ways. That’s just what I did. I wish I could say that I woke up and everything disappeared. That I could hold meals down and I wasn’t obsessed with this notion of being perfect. Its not easy. It’s hard and some days are harder than most. That’s just the thing, I get up, face the world and know that I am better than all this bullshit. Better than my past, better than my failures and maybe one day I’ll be better than my addictions. Just right now I have to be honest. Honest with people, honest with my peers and honest with myself. It’s only when I’m truly brutally honest that I can finally be ok. It’s been a hard couple of years but I know like all great comeback stories, I have the ability to bounce back from this. I will eventually rise from the ashes and feel okay again. I may not know when but I knew eventually I will feel better, I will feel whole. Every day is just another day to turn my life around. Good or bad, I have to accept that I will never be everyone’s perception of perfection. I just have to be able to be proud of the person I am and who I will become. Only then will I ever truly be happy.

In a way this is me saying, I’m going to be OK.