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.

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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

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