I’ve started and erased this page a million times. It’s hard to sum up who you are and what this blog is about in a few words! But I’ll try. I love life. I’m a girly girl that loves to sing, dance and be with friends. I am a mother of 6 (yes, six) beautiful children from teens to toddlers. I LOVE being a Mom! I can be in the darkest, grumpiest place and feel joy seep in at the sight of a toddler running into my arms, that new baby smell, a teenager asking about my day or telling me about his, or a happy oblivious child telling me a joke. I am a woman of faith. I believe in a power that is good and greater than me. Greater than all of us. And I believe everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not over yet. I am a woman with Binge Eating Disorder (BED). I’m now nearly 200lbs and a size 1X or 18/20. I have always loved food. But it’s not about that anymore. I can’t stop. The failures have piled up. It’s stealing my life and replacing it with guilt.
But speaking of guilt, that is precisely the reason I’m writing this. You see, my guilt over 35 years of eating “wrong” has grown from unhealthy to “every bite is destroying your life” levels of guilt. I look in the mirror on “bad” days and see only darkness and hopelessness as every diet has failed, every “not a diet, lifestyle” has failed and as a last resort, 10 years in food addiction therapy, failed.
As my weight climbs and climbs I look in the mirror and fall on my knees begging for something to stop the pounds from stealing my life.
Some, no many, people would simply tell me to stop eating. I remember playing a card game with a friend once while a package of Oreo cookies sat on the table in front of us. I lost that game, I think. Honestly I don’t even remember the game because all I could think of were the black and white cookies. I negotiated with myself for more. At first part of me fought back. I didn’t need another. But it didn’t take long before both sides joined forces in trying to figure out how to get more cookies without everyone at the table notices how many I kept taking. Meanwhile, my naturally thin friend played the game happily, with barely a thought for her half eaten Oreo on a napkin. At some point, I stopped the internal battle to ask her,
HOW DO YOU STAY SO SKINNY?!
I couldn’t understand how someone could have Oreo cookies in the house and be at peace, let alone be thin. She simply stated, without any malice, “I don’t eat”. Maybe she had a different eating disorder than me. Maybe her life simply didn’t revolve around food. I have since lost touch with her and will never know. But I do know that the idea of just NOT EATING much, was so crazy sounding that it left me speechless!
Today I am a busy mother of 6 kids. I still have a Binge Eating disorder. I still feel hopeless and baffled by it most of the time. I have over 10 years of faithful 12 stepping the problem. I have found a lot of “recovery”. Emotional healing of old wounds. Maturation of how to truly love my family and not let food take over completely. 10 years of maintaining my weight, within 30 pounds, instead of the steady gain of yesteryear. I thank God often for that program, as I feel it saved my life. I’ve come a long, long way. But I also feel like a failure most of the time. And that feeling is sometimes CRIPPLING.
I’ve just started a program that most people in my life would scoff at. I’m learning about INTUITIVE EATING. I’m learning how to trust my so called broken body. I’m learning I can eat what I want. And enjoy what I eat. I’m learning that many things are right and wrong, but FOOD is not one of them. My Spirituality and Faith is not a weapon to use to get myself skinny. My nutritional knowledge is not a weapon to use to get skinny. I am not a sinner or a failure, when I overeat. Guilt does not belong with Food.
I don’t know if it will “work”. Will I learn to happily live with a package of Oreo cookies in the room? Will a time come when guilt and food don’t fill the same space in my heart? Am I broken? Or can I actually trust myself again? Will I really lose weight with foods I obsess over in the house?!?!
It sounds pretty crazy, really! But I’m feeling pretty crazy, so why not try? And while I’m at it… let’s get my sweet and wonderful family on it too. Let’s see how a family of one BED (Binge Eating Disorder) mother, one normal eater father, and 6 kids with varying levels of unhealthy eating attributes do with INTUITIVE EATING.