I really can not stop eating since my father passed away. I never thought I’d be the kind of person who eats when depressed or anxious. But OH MY GOD AM I THAT KIND OF PERSON!! I just sat down to write this because I polished off a huge bag of kettle corn without even knowing I was doing it, and I don’t do those things. I don’t. I never have. But now I do. I always do.
I recently lost about 9 pounds and felt thinner than I ever had in my whole life. I’ve never been fat, but I’ve always felt fat. That’s one of those truly American neuroses to have. It’s stupid and a waste of time, but I do feel fat about 90% of the time. The other 10% I’m just too busy to think about it. But in this small window of time after I lost the 9 pounds, I felt thin. I really, actually felt thin for the first time ever. Even when I was 5’5” and 98 pounds in high school I didn’t feel anywhere near this thin. I was liking the way I looked in clothes, and I was strutting around the house naked. Okay, strutting might be an overstatement. Naked might be an overstatement, too. But I was walking around the house in boy shorts and tank tops feeling pretty MILF-like. I think I might have even told my husband he was a lucky guy at one point. Yup. I was feeling thin.
But then my father died and I haven’t stopped eating since. Really, anything that’s been put in front of me, I’ve eaten. I put a lot of the weight back on, and now I’m feeling fat again and afraid I don’t know how to get back to where I was before. If you were to ask anyone who knows me, they would tell you that any time I say I’m fat they want to slap me in my face. And I understand that. I’m not fat. But I do feel like a stranger in my own body sometimes, and when my jeans get tight and my stomach seems to be hanging over my pants a little, and I have love handles and my arms aren’t tight… Well, I just kind of hate myself. So, what do I do? Do I figure out how to love myself with a few extra pounds on me? Or do I go back to being strict and take the weight off again?
In the past there wouldn’t have been any debate her, so maybe I’m making some progress. I’m grateful for the comfort that food gave me when I needed it, but now I want to find something comforting that isn’t as damaging to my body or self esteem. I thought it might be a good idea to start taking walks, doing some deep breathing, and trying to drink a glass of water when I think I need a snack. These would be good starts.
But more than that, I think I need to learn to be more forgiving of myself, and more understanding. Why can’t I love me no matter what my jeans feel like? My husband does. My son does. My family and friends sure do. As a matter of fact, I don’t think one of them would give a rip if I was to put on 100 pounds. Well, they might worry about my health, but it wouldn’t make them love me any less. How can I give myself the same consideration? I honestly can’t think of a way. Isn’t that stupid? I certainly don’t want to pass on these self-hating feelings to my son. So how does one begin to stop feeling this way?
I have no answers but I think I might be starting a journey that began at the bottom of a bag of kettle corn. Really good kettle corn. It was delicious… Salty, sweet, crunchy… Where’s that water?