Open Your Eyes to What’s Really Happening

All of sudden I felt defeated. I felt kicked down, unworthy. I had just come back from an important lunch with an important person. I was sitting at my desk, my roommate’s presence was annoying me, and thoughts pulsed through my body about how I wasn’t good enough. Over and over, like a broken record, a story played in my head where I was unwanted, not liked, and thought of as not as good as my peers. This anxiety made me feel physically uncomfortable. I wanted to scream. I wanted to throw myself out the window and fly far, far away. And baby, I wanted to eat.

I had it all planned out in intricate, beautiful detail. First, I would walk across the street to the grocery store. I would buy cheap packaged donuts and some snickers bars. Then I would eat those while walking to the bakery about 2 blocks away. I don’t care who would be on the sidewalk watching me, for all they knew I hadn’t eaten in two months. Who cares. And then I would go to the bakery, buy an assortment of baked goods, sit down there, and eat. Then I would walk to the sandwich shop nearby and buy a few sandwiches, take them back to my room and eat.

As I was getting my shoes on and about to head out the door, when a voice in my head said, “Open your eyes to what’s really happening“.

Suddenly, everything shifted. My breathing became deeper and more calm.

What was really happening?

This isn’t about food. And I don’t really want any of it either.

The truth was I felt hurt. Not so much by other people. It is possible that that important person doesn’t like me as much as my peers, it is also possible that my peers don’t like me at all. But nothing that any other person has done to me is what was making me feel pain. It was me.

What was really happening was that I wasn’t being nice to myself. I was being a huge bitch, actually. Every time something went wrong I blamed it on my body not being 6 ft. and 115 pounds. I forgot that I am a person, with a soul and a heart. There have been parts of myself that I have been completely ignoring. My passions, my talents, my desires.

What was really happening was that for a second, I forgot who I was.

And when I asked myself what was really going on, I remembered that:

1) I don’t need other people’s approval of me to validate myself

2) Food is not what I want

3) I am not my body. In fact, I am so much more.

And that my friends, is when I got my ass to the gym. Instead of binging a glorious and wonderful binge (which would have ended in a severe stomach ache, mind fog, irritableness, and depression) I went for a jog. Weird.

You know, I used to think that my eating problem was a curse. That my stomach, my hips, and my arms, were God’s way of saying you can’t have it all. But slowly, subtly, I am starting to think maybe that’s not true after all. Maybe my all of my weird eating habits can reveal to me what I want and who I am (along with other misunderstandings I am dying to know about myself).

And you know what? I believe that for everyone. I really believe that every single person who is overweight, or overeats, who is a chronic dieter, or who constantly binges and then starves, has something really special under those weird and messed up eating habits. I don’t what is under it exactly, but I believe it is a gift. This is a gift.

Television epiphany

As I lay in my bed last night watching old Sex and the City reruns for a consecutive four hours, I got the urge to get up and eat. I was already full from the dinner I had, but I still wanted to search the cabinets for a little something.

I was feeling lonely, depressed, and living vicariously through Carrie Bradshaw. And although her and her girlfriend’s lives are fascinating, nothing that happened in the show could replace the uncomfortable void I felt in my actual life.

This quote by Erma Brombeck, when she wrote “If I had to live my life over” near the end of her life, came to mind:

“I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life”

I asked myself, how often do I escape through television, fashion magazines, and celebrity gossip? How often do I cry and smile at the lives of other people (usually fictional characters by the way!)? And there is only one reason I do this. I do not have the balls to sob, cry, feel, laugh, or smile at my own life. It would be too painful. It would mean I would have to confront things. Like, how I avoid being honest and open with any of my friends. How I constantly resent others in my head for not liking and praising me, the way I think I deserve.  Or How I should be focusing on becoming a better student, friend, daughter, sister, citizen, than trying to lose 25 pounds.

I don’t have the courage to laugh or cry at the pain/weirdness of my own life. I would rather eat oreos and watch a woman’s interesting sexual adventures on TV.

But heres to accepting, feeling, laughing, and a whole lot of crying to our own lives. Because even though it is painful and totally the last thing I want to do, ever, I am starting to think that once I drop the Us Weekly and start making an effort to live my life, maybe, just maybe I will start to heal.

Dieting Sucks

There are so many terrible things about diets. I hate them. Who doesn’t?

But there is some irresistible pull I have towards them.

I’ve noticed that when all hell breaks loose, when I am overwhelmed, rejected, or cannot open my desk drawer due to all of the crap piled in it, I want to diet.The problem, I am sure, is that my body is not aesthetically pleasing. I want to stand naked in front of the mirror and criticize my all of my faults. I want to look at a high fashion magazine and curse the universe for not giving me a body like those models. I want to try on my clothes from a few months ago before I gained an extra 20 pounds.

The situation in my mind is simple: to fix the uncomfortable and painful feelings I often feel, I need to become a size 2. Duh.

So then I diet.

Of course it is not enough to berate just your own body while dieting. One thing I noticed when I began dieting in 8th grade is that suddenly everyone else’s body became apparent to me. Before, I never noticed other people’s love handles. They simply didn’t matter to me. But when you diet, you notice every other woman’s bulge and roll and you constantly make mental note of it whenever she walks into a room. Suddenly the room is filled with people in two categories: those who are thinner and those who are fatter than me.

I am as mean and as critical about other people’s physiques as I am my own and I hate that.

I also become an irrational biotch. When I diet I am selfish, needy, desperate, and total drag to be around.

My conclusion? Dieting sucks. Do I know what to do about it? Nope. I just know that when I cannot do it anymore (I usually just get through two diet-worthy meals before I binge), when I am overwhelmed by school or friends, the first thing I reach for is food. I sneak around, go for walks by myself where I eat at three different restaurants in an hours time. I sit in the bathroom stall and inhale chocolate bars. I sit in my bed to unwind by eating three packages of Oreos while watching an entire season of Gossip Girl in one sitting.

I have read numerous books about diets… some telling me what to eat and when, and others advising I should give up dieting once and for all. I am starting to come to terms with the fact that I don’t know what to do. And I am not so sure that a book or some diet guru will have the answer to all my problems. All I know is that whenever I try to follow those dieting instructions, I fail. There has not been one time where I have felt successful. Even if I did end up losing weight I still had a mound of other problems.

I did however enjoy this article about establishing a healthy relationship with food, without dieting. Check it out: http://www.scribd.com/full/16989363?access_key=key-aezpg2l9djymj775wet

I don’t know what it is like to be successful at dieting or non-dieting. It is hard to commit myself to something that I know, in my heart, I don’t really believe in. Nothing feels right about diets. I know, in the deepest part of my soul, it is wrong. The world shouldn’t be going on diets. That is ridiculous! Perhaps you feel the same way too, you would never tell your girlfriend she should diet. She should ask herself why she overeats. What is wrong underneath.

But when my world is falling apart the first thing I look for are quick fix and weight loss oriented programs. As if when I lose weight everything will finally be the way I want it to be, the way I deserve it to be.

How do you feel about dieting? Has anything ever good come from it? Or are the most successful diets the ones where we feel good about ourselves, allow ourselves to eat 1 serving of what we want, and dig deep into finding the real reason behind our disordered eating?

To a world free of dieters– xoxo

I wish I were Jessica Alba.

Yesterday I had the thought that I wish I could trade bodies with Jessica Alba. I wished I could, at least for one day, wake up in her body. Would that not feel amazing? How relaxed I would feel if I could have her arms, her legs, her abs. Peace at last. 

And then I thought that if I did wake up as her, would my life really be so much different? Wouldn’t I still eat and not know when to stop? Wouldn’t I still have an insatiable appetite for snickers bars? And what about when I had to go through a difficult problem as the beloved Jessica, perhaps Quentin was making a new Sin City film and was unjustly demanding or the New York Times criticized my acting skills in my latest chick flick. Would I not get completely stressed out and wait until my family to be asleep so I could quietly stuff last night’s leftovers into my mouth?

If I had her body but I still had my mind, all of the pain would still be present.The pain about feeling inferior, and disconnected, to others. I would still isolate myself from other people, all the while fantasizing that they loved me. And then I would eat. 

My third thought was that perhaps having the perfect body isn’t the answer. This led me to think that losing weight isn’t really what I want. 

What I want is to stop thinking about food so much. I want to stop feeling disconnected from others, stop trying to impress everyone into falling in love with me. I want others to accept me, praise me, call me popular and other pleasing adjectives behind my back. And goddamn it, I want it now. 

A few mornings ago I woke up after a week of successful dieting (where I had made so much progress, really changing my food habits one and for all!) and all I could think about was the Nestle chocolate bar sitting on the coffee table in the living room. That was all I could think about. It was like it was apart of me, I was attached to it by a string and there was no way I was getting away. I tried to go back to sleep. I thought about my food diary and how writing down a chocolate bar, first thing in the morning no less, would make me feel bad. But, in a moment of thrill and excitement and the thought of the sweet, creamy, chocolatey taste in my mouth, going into my body, and filling my soul, I went for it. And that chocolate bar led to a Ferrero Roche chocolate truffle (sitting on the same table), a handful of leftover, soggy noodles, 2 fried eggs, 2 small packaged waffles, 1 large slice of white bread, 1 slice of American cheese, 1 bowl of chocolatey cereal with milk, 2 cups grape juice, 1 Snickers bar, 1 Dove chocolate bar, 1 raspberry danish, and 2 egg tarts. 

Jessica’s body isn’t what I want. Not really, right? 

All I know is that when I try to get the body of a model or a celebrity, or even that beautiful girl in my class that everyone is in love with and I hate (how can her facebook profile picture be that gorgeous? really?), I end up failing. I end up shoveling soggy noodles into my mouth while standing up, praying that no one wakes up and finds me in the kitchen. 

Hello world! I’m a binger.

I binge.

Just yesterday I woke up, looked out the window, smelled the sweet morning air, and without skipping a beat got my ass as fast as I could to the bakery on the corner of the street. I needed a morning fix. Not paying any attention to the people or the environment around me (I practically ran there) I bought as many baked goods as I could with the money I had in my pocket and I ate.

I am, no doubt, a compulsive eater. A binge eater. An overeater. I don’t know what to call it. And to be honest I don’t what to do about it either. But that is not why I am here. I am here because last week as I had a breakdown and sobbed uncontrollably in the back of the grocery store (no one saw… I don’t think) I realized I need to share my experiences with food. My binges. My emotions. I need to write about them. I need to reach out to others who feel the same.

Perhaps you have a similar experience and I would love to hear from you. In fact, I would love for this to be a place for anyone who has ever felt that they are controlled by food to come and relate. It has always helped me to read about someone being honest and frank about something that makes you want to cringe.

But lets get real, you didn’t think I was going to be THAT honest, did you? This is anonymous. That way I can be truthful and sincere about my experiences. Plus I don’t want like, my roommate to figure out I secretly binge eat. Because I’m sure she doesn’t already know… ha.

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