The earliest memory I have of having issues with food is having my mom and Grandma drive me to a Weight Watchers meeting at the age of 12 years old. I had no idea why I was there, or what I was doing, but all I knew is when you got on the scale in the front of the room and if you lost weight that week, everyone applauded. Applause felt nice. It was warm. I sat in rows among women 30 and 40 years my senior who had been battling themselves for years, you could see it through their eyes all the way down to their souls. Through those same tired eyes, they kept encouraging me and telling me I was good as if my success meant one day they might be ok too. Little did I know; this was my initiation to join them and think of little else for the next 3 decades.
From ages 12-22 I had a small reprieve from food because alcohol took precedence. Who cares about food when you have the elixir from heaven (tongue in cheek) . After I got sober, at age 21, I turned full bore to food. Food was my best friend, my confidante, it was always there, it never let me down. When those childhood memories started creeping up….. it was there. When I felt ashamed and afraid – food. The good thing about food , it was completely socially acceptable, more so than alcohol. When you are in a food coma, its less obvious than being fall down drunk. You could even attend self help meetings with a sugar high, completely ok ! No one suspected a thing. I could continue presenting to the world that everything was just fine and soothe the inner demons at the same time. Ive heard it been said that the only thing that happens to someone who overeats is “they become fat”. HA. That one makes me laugh and cry from the deepest parts of my being. Because the deepest parts of my being is where the pain is at. It may seem like “fat” is my problem and I “should just put down the fork” but the truth is, food is my only solution… Underneath that fat is a world of pain and confusion.
As the years crept on, the weight did too. Now here is where being a food addict and a human being get tricky. I need food to feel ok in my skin, but Im also self-obsessed and need to “look like Im ok” I had previously tried to experiment with vomiting, but I have never been good at that. I have aspired to be the best bulimic out there, but Im not a real classy puker ~ enter laxatives. These pretty little BFFs were now the key to allowing me to medicate what ails me and stay thin, never mind I sometimes got heart palpitations. I would tell myself Im not really that bad because I would never ever take diet pills. Diet pills terrified me as these turned on my mom and took her down years prior. I totally had this under control. Food and laxatives, laxatives and food. My best friends forever. Us against the world….. for a little while. Over the years I had tried every diet you known to man as well. Drinking only shakes, drinking only juice so much that I would canker sores in my mouth from the acid, eating only vegetables eating only protein, allowing myself to only eat at certain times, never eating in resteraunts, eating only organic foods, counting calories, counting carbs, intuitively eating, the list goes on and on. As I had mentioned earlier, I was in recovery from alcohol and the more I recovered through the years , the more I started to see , little by little, what I was doing to myself and what I was doing exactly was dying inside each bite I took, every macronutrient I counted and each time I stepped on a scale to measure my worth. Each step was a step closer to death… perhaps not a physical death, but a death of my soul for sure.