It’s very tiring starting off with this mindful eating. It feels like I am back on the diet treadmill: I wake up in the mornings thinking about what I can eat that day, the feelings of what is good and bad etc. It feels like my mind is crowded with thoughts of food and yet that is exactly what I want to get away from, the constant analysis of everything I eat, how my clothes fit, whether I am moving in the right direction. I know it’s just a stage but it seems to be lasting a long time!
More positively I do feel that things are getting better: yesterday was a busy day and at lunchtime my daughter wanted something to eat. I checked with myself that I wasn’t hungry but knew that I wouldn’t be able to resist a few chips off her plate so I had that instead of a meal. I really enjoyed it but I didn’t eat beyond my enjoyment. Last night we shared a few chocolates as we spent a lovely evening being silly, laughing at a ridiculous joke. I didn’t want the nagging voice in my head but I felt a bit more normal being able to eat a few sweets without finishing the whole bag. Patience, dear, patience.
Today I am bad tempered. Why am I bad tempered? Because I feel fat. I look at myself in the mirror and don’t like what I see: I don’t see the “good” bits, I just see the fat, the letting-go, the things that make me lesser than. Usually these feelings would make me start on another diet, another restricted eating plan, another trying-on of the jeans with a promise to make them a bit looser, look better, to make myself feel better. So much of my self worth is tied up with how I think I look. I imagine people judging me: people who haven’t seen me for a while thinking about the weight I have gained, feeling sad and ignored, and yet I know so much of this is inside my head.
Through the years I have lost (and gained) a lot of weight: the times I was slim seem to have passed in a flash and I was soon back in those comfortable clothes, long tops, trying to disguise what I see as my failure, hiding the evidence from all those people that I knew were judging me. But did I know it.
Now I am certain I can’t spend the rest of my life punishing myself, restricting what I eat, focussing on how many calories or carbs I have eaten that day, rewarding myself for being “good” and beating myself up for every lapse. A self-imposed life sentence of misery and yet the journey to learning to eat normally, to using food simply as fuel, is tortuous, every turn provides a new challenge, a new uncertainty. I keep going but I doubt myself every step of the way and wonder what those behind me are saying about my body.