Years ago, I started the Isagenix diet. Basically, you drink shakes for your meals, and have one full meal per day (like a salad). I’ve always struggled with yo-yo dieting, and I was determined to make this work.
The problem for me is that these low calorie diets kill me. I’m constantly starving. So one day while on the Isagenix diet, I got so frustrated at being hungry all the time that I yanked a quart of chocolate ice cream out of the freezer and ate the whole thing.
Then I panicked.
I had just broken my diet. I’d consumed a billion calories that were going to stick to my already ample hips like peanut butter to a blanket. I was doomed. DOOMED.
So I went into the bathroom and made myself throw it all up. Sounds gross right? Yeah it was, in a way, but what I wasn’t prepared for was how it would make me feel.
I felt amazing. I felt powerful. I had found a way to cheat food. Hah! I could eat anything I wanted and puke the consequences right into the porcelain throne.
My journey into–and out of–bulimia didn’t last long. Not that I didn’t want it to, but my husband did all he could to put a stop to it right away, which is good for him. I was frustrated about it, even though my fingers were getting blisters from holding them in my throat, my teeth started to hurt and break, and my heart began to act up.
But I quit because I hated the Center for Change, which is where I had to go to counseling. I hated it. I can’t even get into the depths of how much I hated it…
Fast forward years later, and here I am. I’m still overweight, still struggling with food and what not to eat. The problem is, I’m a sugar hoarder and addict. I’ll buy M&M’s at the grocery store, hide them in my room somewhere and pick at them until I’ve consumed far too many calories than is healthy, then get angry at myself for being so incredibly stupid.
Then comes that same old food panic. However, I made a promise to God (all those years ago when I quit being bulimic) that I would never make myself throw up again. This might seem trivial to you, but I don’t think one should break a self-imposed covenant with their Maker. So I haven’t gone down that route again. Not that I haven’t wished I could.
Problem is, something triggered me recently into that same mindset. Where I look at food and freak out, because all I can think is, sugar = fat, pasta = fat, bread = fat, dairy = fat. FOOD = FAT etc. Everything turns into fat in my brain because, let’s face it, I have a problem.
No, I’m not going to therapy.
This past weekend, I went on a writing retreat with some of my best friends. I’d done well throughout the day to make myself eat, even though most of what I bought = FAT in my brain, so it was hard. But still, I had eaten.
Then dinner rolled around and the waitress plonked this ENORMOUS plate of food in front of me, and I almost lost it.
I was very close to having a panic attack right then and there. Some of my friends noticed, “Yeah, you look super intimidated,” and, “It’s okay, you don’t have to eat all of it,” etc.
I didn’t want to make anyone feel awkward by having a public breakdown, so I ate a few bites and then pushed it away. The problem was, the feeling stayed with me through the evening, and I started tallying up all the calories that I had eaten that day, and once we got back to the cabin we were staying at, I had another panic attack. I sat out on the porch as long as possible, trying to button the emotions up, but some of them still leaked out when I went back inside to join the group for our evening games.
In retrospect, I’m glad I was with a group of people that I feel safe and happy with, otherwise it could have been worse.
The problem is, now that I’m back home, this Food-xiety hits me at the weirdest and worst times. I went back to the gym, looked at myself in the mirror and almost started crying again. I ate bread last night, and then wanted to hate myself for it, promising myself that today I would fast all day.
I haven’t. I drank a protein shake this morning before hitting the gym again… and I ate some grapes.
Why am I writing about this? I don’t know. I’m sure if anyone reads this, they won’t really love the delve into my weird brain. It’s not a cry for help either, and I’m 100% serious about that. I’m eating and I’m plenty fluffy to not count as anorexic. Plus, I have enough logic to realize that I’m being completely ridiculous over this.
I think the underlying problem is that I just don’t believe in myself. I don’t believe that I can and will stick to a healthy diet and exercise program without muffing it up with my secret M&M stash (which my husband recently found and I told him that HE has to do all the grocery shopping from now on), and then wanting to beat myself up for being so stupid and eating sugar again.
Then there’s the pain that all this Food-xiety is causing. For someone with Fibromyalgia (at least in my case), more stress equals more pain. So now I’ve been in almost constant pain lately, which makes me seek out some kind of comfort or numbing agent… Food is probably my #1 comfort source. But now it’s also the source of my greatest anxiety, which is beginning to bleed out into my regular day life.
What a conundrum I’ve gotten myself into.