I found the following when reading some stuff on my laptop. I felt very moved by what I had written and felt it would be good to share.
There was a time I was happy with my body when I was younger. I had a healthy appetite, ate quite large portions but there wasn’t a lot of snacking or treats. Then, when I became an adult, left school and started work, I gained weight. I was able to decide what I could eat and how much I could eat at the same time as having a sedentary job so my whole way of living changed. I have always wanted my fair share of food: growing up in a large family I needed my share of love and this is how love was displayed. I don’t think I ever considered how much I actually wanted to eat: I ate quickly so I could have more so I could get more love. That feels really sad.
I always paid more attention to negative comments about my appearance than the positive ones. I never felt I mattered or that I was good enough so it was or had become natural for me to obsess on the things that were missing, the things that weren’t right rather than focus on the good bits and let my mind skip over the bits that might not be “perfect”. It was always, and still is, about what I hadn’t done; I feel I am a “Yes, but…” person and that is the opposite of what I want to be and usually claim to be.
I am tall, I am attractive but I have spent too many years focussed on the number on the dial on the scales. An upward shift of even a pound would overwhelm me, giving me a vision of myself as being out of control, destined to become a huge whale of a woman, pointed at and laughed at by everyone. Being mocked brings back so many painful memories for me.
I have spent so many years dieting, losing and gaining weight, wasting time focussing on everything I ate and then giving up, eating anything I wanted. Recently I have become aware that I can’t spend the rest of my life doing this: it makes me unhappy, it makes me focus on something that should be a minor part of my life, it’s boring, I need to spend that energy focussing on something that matters. Need I go on?
Food is too big a part of my life: I eat when I am bored, tired, when I want to reward myself, when I feel stressed. It’s my go-to tranquillizer, it’s my pathetic self obsession that haunts me when I don’t want it to do any more. I have given up dieting, allowed myself to eat what I want but now I am just eating a lot of junk because I can whereas what I really want is to eat like a normal, healthy person, eating food that makes me feel good mentally and physically, food that tastes great so that I can enjoy some of it without having to eat all of it because I know this is a “treat” and they won’t be on the menu for much longer.
Writing this without too much thought makes me aware of how confusing and overwhelming this all feels. It is only food but in my life it is so much more: it is love, it is companionship, it is distraction, it is reward, it is something to do, something to think about. It is a big, huge monster stalking me, overwhelming, stopping me enjoying my life as much as I should. It is all those negative thoughts and looks from my past, it is all the judgements I feel that have been made about me, it is the way I feel about myself, never feeling good enough, never feeling very interesting, never feeling I mattered so I might as well enjoy the food, and plenty of it. I might as well stuff those feelings down my throat with food, but not too much food so I can maintain the illusion that this weight is somehow nothing to do with me, a mysterious unwanted gift not a thing caused by me. What a sad, confused child I sound.