Sunday, February 15, 2015

Food History Pt. 2

I have secreted myself away with the computer while the baby's sleeping SOMEWHERE ELSE and my husband, son, and brother-in-law play Legos. Wow, it feels good being at the computer. Typing. Writing definitely goes faster with a computer. It was when my first son was around the age the baby is now that I wrote the book I now have available on Amazon Kindle, so I think this might be a turning point for my writing abilities. I'd really like to be giving writing in general more time - I have a whole other novel waiting to be uploaded as soon as I get the cover art taken care of, and I have a sequel to re-draft, and I'm DYING to move along. Today is Sunday, and I've made it a rule not to work on writing I might potentially make money off of (though I AM allowed to write down ideas, because lost inspiration can be painful). So, instead of writing to my illustrator, I'm disciplining myself and spending my time here instead.

The phantom routine is still there. I feel good. I feel light and energetic and just plain GOOD. But sometimes, at night or first thing in the morning, I can still imagine jumping on that scale like a reflex. It would be so easy. It would definitely happen by accident if the scale was still sitting there. I would forget. I would seriously forget and just do it, and then realize my mistake AFTER the numbers popped up.

I FEEL light, and that should be enough. I don't need the scale to tell me I'm doing well. But it would still be very easy to step right back into the old routine. Which is why my resolution is so important - not weighing myself for the long term is the only way to truly break the habit.

I am SO glad I started this blog, because I would have already failed if it hadn't been for my peers, and a lot of people I don't even know, telling me how great it is that I'm doing this. I would lose some respect - if that isn't motivation, I don't know what else is.

My son doesn't see me step on that scale all the time anymore. Instead, I stick him on top of the counter and giggle with him about something silly like eye contact solution and q-tips.

But I was supposed to talk more about my history with food.

When I went on that first diet when I was eleven, I didn't really have a goal. I had the sense that I should lose weight, so I decided to try. I skipped breakfast. I skipped lunch. I came home from school and ate a can of chicken smothered in mustard - and felt like I'd failed. Diet over. I ate whatever I want later for dinner.

The next day I skipped breakfast. I skipped lunch. I was in 6th grade, and on Fridays for 7th hour we had our choice of activities like playing board games in different classrooms. The teachers had figured they could sell a variety of packaged snacks at this time to earn a little money for field trips. I couldn't wait to go home and eat, so I bought a package of oatmeal cookies. Diet REALLY over. I'd eaten COOKIES.

Diets didn't work. I couldn't do it. I moved on. You'd think I would have learned from that first experience.

That summer, I tried a couple times more - more like an experiment (I was bored) than anything else. I went from 10am to 10pm without eating, then would eat something and focus on not stuffing myself. This lasted about a week, and then I got interested in something else and forgot about it.

When I was thirteen I got sick with pneumonia. I was tired, I didn't think about food, and I coughed a lot. I think this lasted about three weeks. I lost about 14 pounds and went from a tight size 6 (which seemed really big at the time) to a loose size 4. I got new clothes and I felt awesome about myself (once I wasn't sick anymore). This was when my thoughts about my weight really solidified. Before that, I had been a little self-conscious. Post-pneumonia, I took pride in how I looked.

The next year, high school started. EVERYTHING was about how I looked - now, I wish I'd taken more time to work on my people skills. That's a place that could use some work even now. Instead, I was a mouse that thought about nothing but the next time I would ALLOW myself to eat. How that started was some sort of scheduled health check-up that took place for everyone in the library. They checked our eyes and a few other things, but the big thing was the scale they had set up at the end of everything. When I was done, I gathered together with some other girls at the doors to wait till everyone else was done. A few of them were buoyant with the excitement that the knowledge of their weight had brought. I was deflated. I had gained back 7 of my pre-pneumonia pounds. Very shortly after that I did another crash diet - I didn't take in anything but water for 48 hours. Technically, that's called a fast. To me, it was a diet. The first of MANY. They all ended the same. I would carefully break the fast, and a few hours later I'd be eating large portions of whatever I wanted.

I'll write more soon, I've got people needing my attention :)

1 comment:

  1. It's crazy how obsession can start so innocently. I don't consider myself to ever have had an eating disorder, but there have certainly been times in my life when I have obsessed over how much I was eating and how I looked. For me, it started in 7th grade when I consciously made the choice to observe the "popular" girls to see how they dressed and what else they did that made them so popular. Comparison is a slippery slope and my self-esteem took a huge hit. Thanks again for sharing your story. I'm always excited to learn more!