My battle with food and fat has been lifelong.
As the child of a single parent who rarely worked, food was simply not something we had in the house. I remember wondering at one point why my mother didn’t love us enough to steal bread like I’d heard some other people had done. I remember many meals of nothing more than mustard and bread. I remember throwing together strange mixes of food pantry finds to try and make something satisfying for my sister and I. But on the whole, food was a rarity.
I remember being so hungry I just wanted to die from it. I remember getting a diagnosis of malnutrition once, I was probably thirteen or so, and m family laughed, joking that I was the fattest malnourished person on the planet. And then it was dismissed, as was the Doctor who seemingly knew nothing.
Yet, I remember feeling fat all my life too. Well meaning adults in the family always saying this or that about how the girls looked or what we ate.
This picture was me at 16 and I’ll tell you I felt fat and incredibly uncomfortable in my body.
Once I had my job at Disneyland, I remember the amazement I felt at being able to go to In N Out Burger after work and actually buy myself a cheeseburger. It was a miracle to me. And probably began my addiction to fast food.
By the time I was an adult, between the lack of food and the messages of my being too fat, my head was a complete mess where food, health, and weight were concerned and for the first time ever I had money to eat… so a few years and two pregnancies later, I was officially over 200 pounds.
There were many diets over the years, but as life wore on and I became a stay at home mom, old wounds resurfaced, though I wouldn’t realize for many years that was the problem. My life became a series of loving to cook and prepare food for my family, I even grew some of that food. I loved shopping for it, recipes, presentation, all of it… but I wouldn’t eat any of it myself and if I did I felt incredibly, paralyzingly guilty.
Days would go by and I wouldn’t eat. I discovered that a few sips of Diet Coke kept my mouth from hurting from the lack of use and helped keep me going without food for a couple extra days at times. Eventually, though, I’d break, I couldn’t think or function and I needed to eat, but I wouldn’t eat food at my house, so I had to go out for food, usually fast food, usually way too much of it.
Another decade of this behavior and I weighed over 300 pounds.
The months before I moved to Orlando, going through the implosion, I worked out, a lot, and I lost about 70 pounds.
I haven’t really lost anything since, but then, it wasn’t until I moved to Orlando and was trying to completely change my life that I finally had to confront and deal with my food issues. It was in working through them and receiving healing for them that I realized the message I had internalized as a kid was that I was not worthy of food.So after my kids came, that somehow got twisted in my thinking to if I ate, they wouldn’t be able to. So I couldn’t eat… and I didn’t.
So after my kids came, that somehow got twisted in my thinking to if I ate, they wouldn’t be able to. So I couldn’t eat… and I didn’t.
At the height of this, it was a regular event for my family every few days to have to deal with my emotional breaks from not eating. I’d cry uncontrollably, I was irrational, and I’d refuse any food brought to me unless it came from an outside source.
I had people in my life then who thought I was just trying to manipulate my husband into getting me fast food or taking me out, but in truth, I simply could not eat food from my own house that my kids may have needed to eat. I would get hysterical at the thought of them being hungry the way I had been, and yet what my food issues did to them on an emotional level was just as destructive. I simply couldn’t see it then, because I couldn’t even see what the problem was. All I knew was I couldn’t eat food from my house. It was irrational, illogical, but it was my reality.
Over the past few years, I have entirely healed these wounds and food no longer scares me.
In truth, food intrigues me as I have come to realize that before a year or so ago, I have never enjoyed eating. I’ve hated it. I’ve seen it as weakness. I’ve hated me when I ate. There was so much baggage attached to food that I simply never enjoyed it. I feared it and I hated it.
But this is a new day and though I still have money issues that impact my ability to eat at times, on the whole, I’m longing to start truly experiencing food. I’m looking forward to learning what I truly crave, what’s decadent, what’s exotic, what’s gross. I’m going to have a love affair with food, I’m going to eat guilt free, but because of the healing I’ve done, I also believe I’ll be losing weight and that’s the part that intrigues me most of all.
You see, I believe that it is not my truth for my body to weigh this much.
I believe that my weight is a symptom of a lifetime of wounds and abuse.
I believe that if I can love myself and release the dark energy I had attached to every mouthful of food, that my body can’t help but regulate itself back to its natural state.
I believe that if I continue to be active and engage in activities I love for exercise and strength, if I listen to my body and feed it what it needs when it needs, if I learn the signals and cues of this body and honor them, that even if I indulge in a little culinary decadence when I’m out at Disney, my body will still restore itself to it’s normal.And I’m going to be happy with whatever that normal looks like.
And I’m going to be happy with whatever that normal looks like.
Truth is, I’m at peace with my body for the first time in my life. I don’t need it to change, I don’t hate it, I don’t curse it… I see this vessel as a gift, as a crucial part of the team as it houses my brain and my soul. I intend to start treating it as such and I believe it will respond beautifully to our new reality.
I’m excited about this and so ready to take it on.