Monday, February 16, 2004

In the Beginning

I don't know what I should call this -- a wake-up call, hitting bottom, reaching and epiphany -- but I've hit a wall and realize I need to make changes in my life, in the way I do things and the way I think.

This past year has already seen a lot of change -- last March [2003] the stress and events finally came to a head at the newspaper, and I decided it was time to go. Although I miss writing the column, I have no other regrets -- except, of course, not being as close to A*. Although that was definitely a friendship under fire -- we bonded due to the circumstances we were forced into together. While I could hold a lot of anger and resentment towards Y* and Z*, it's not worth my energy. Besides, I'm so glad to be away from it! And I wouldn't have left if their toxic, unacceptable behavior didn't force the issue. [* I removed the names for obvious reasons.]

As fate would have it, I've forged out a new career -- with my mom, I've opened the bed and breakfast, which incorporates so many of my talents and interests -- decorating, cooking, website building, entertaining and tourism.

There are so many benefits to this job -- a flexible schedule, free time for Mabel, monumentally less stress and aggravation. However, without the pressing deadlines and demanding schedule, it's been harder for me to keep disciplined, and this winter I've fallen into the age-old problem of depression -- and overeating.

Now, in the past 18 months I started going to the gym regularly, first in M* and then in B*. For a year I kept it up religiously, and for the past six months it's been sporadic, but still regular. And I did manage to lose 30-40 pounds because of it. But this winter, mainly due to a knee injury and these old patterns, some of the weight has crept back on.

While this has been discouraging, a more important revelation has become more and more apparent. Over the past year I've had this reoccurring but very new thought: "I wish I didn't have to eat anymore," or "I wish I didn't have to think about food." And lately, more and more, I've come to realize that my addiction to food to medicate and comfort me is as real and damaging and out of control as any addiction to drugs or alcohol could be for others.

This is a pretty major revelation for me -- something I've never been quite able to admit. But now, whether it's due to age, increased self-awareness or an end of denial, I've come to accept the fact that there is a problem there, mainly a self-inflicted one, and the only way it's going to change is if I begin changing the way I cope with my feelings and changing behaviors that lead me to overeating and binging.

In some of my weakest moments I've considered -- but only for a few seconds -- gastric bypass surgery. But having myself butchered and putting myself at risk for deadly complications isn't going to fix the real problems; it's my brain that needs to be bypassed, not my stomach!

This has very little to do with fitting in a size 12 or meeting an imposed standard of attractiveness. I am tired of being controlled by food and feeling helpless against it.

Part of me is terrified by all of this; I'm an intelligent person -- now that I've come to this realization, how can I not try to do something about it?


Andrea K said...

OK, hi, this is me from 2007 (wow, this feels like one of those commentaries on the DVDs!).

It was so interesting to look back on this first entry in my big journey. For some reason I was expecting it to be a really depressing pity party, full of self-loathing and bashing. But the tone here is really positive: "I need to make a change, and here's why."

The other thing I notice is that my overall driving force hasn't changed much: more important than the exercise and food portions, it comes down to changing my frame of mind.

I'm actually quite pleased I started out like this -- little did I know in three years I'd be plastering it on the Internet!

Vickie said...

sorry - didn't realize I wasn't reading the first one when I posted on the second.

I figured a little out - left job you hated and started B&B and yes, you have Mabel.

My ED therapist said on Monday - I don't think it is about the food at all for you - do you? I actually don't - I am hung UP on the food - but it actually doesn't have anything to do with the food.

So, our starting goal is to figure out what I FEEL that causes me to eat and then see where we can re-channel that feeling.

Learning to SEE it - will be the hardest part. I think that I will be good at re-channeling - just the seeing and letting myself feel that will be hard.

Right now - my coping mechanism is to get in the tub with just the night light on. So no matter what the cause is (unless the house is on fire I guess) - this is a very safe and relaxing thing to do - quiet - yoga like - I love water and especially WARM/Hot this time of year.

She didn't suggest this to me - I told her it was what I was doing when I found myself cruising the fridge. She said for now - good safe answer.