Time for a confession…

… my relationship with food sucks.

I’ve known that for a pretty long time, but I’ve always thought that if I just found the “right” diet, and if I could just keep to that diet for “long enough,” the problems would go away and I’d end up having a normal relationship with food.  In the last few weeks, I’ve had to confront the fact that it simply isn’t true.  Changing the external (what I eat) isn’t going to change the internal (why I eat).  Making the decision to go vegan has helped me in many ways – I feel physically better, my skin has improved, I don’t have to deal with the conflicted feelings that (for me) came with eating animal products, and my grocery bill has gone down pretty dramatically.  But being vegan hasn’t “fixed” my relationship with food – it’s changed what I eat, but not why I eat, and not how much not-hungry-but-I’m-eating-to-deal-with-an-emotion eating I do.

Every time I have changed what I eat, I’ve gotten a few weeks of reprieve from the bad relationship that I have with food, but it always creeps back in.  I’d hoped veganism would put a stop to it, and it did for a while, for longer than anything else I’ve ever tried.  But my food issues – the secret binging, hiding wrappers so no one knows that I’ve eaten 10 veganized s’mores or 5 or 6 servings of (dairy-free) chocolate in a row or half a loaf of vegan banana bread – have reappeared.  And as they came back, I found it harder to blog, harder to maintain a social media presence, harder to run or go to the gym or meditate or go to yoga.  Because what was the point, when I was still destroying myself with too much food?  And I’m 30, and I’ve spent the last ten years of my life becoming an amateur expert in the food industry, in what to eat and why and how much, and all the knowledge in the world hasn’t been enough to stop me from hurting myself, from creating for myself a body that I hate, and it just started to feel hopeless, and I retreated into myself and gave up.
But I’m tired of giving up.  I’m tired of accepting that this – this tortured roller-coaster relationship with food, with my body – is my life for the rest of my life.  So, for the first time in the nearly three years I’ve been seeing her, I told my therapist about it.  And we’re working on a plan, together, that’s going to get me out of this black hole of bad food choices.  And in the meantime, I’m re-committing to doing good stuff for myself – to running, to blogging, to meditating and going to yoga and the gym.  Because I’m done letting my issues win out.  In the last year or so, I’ve overcome so much – more than I can write about (and more than you probably care to read about) to improve my life.  And if I can work out and move past all of that other crap, I can beat this too.  So I’m writing to say that I’m back, and that I’ve realized that this journey – my journey to my marathon, to health and wellness, to a better life – is going to be a lot harder than I thought it would be.  But it’s not the hardest thing I’ve ever done for myself, and succeeding will unquestionably be the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, and I think I’m finally ready.
“We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?”
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