Friday, April 28, 2017

The Witching Hour

It is upon me again - the witching hour. I have come to dread this time of day. Eight p.m. rolls around and all I want to do is EAT! I'm never hungry at 8:00. I'm not always even particularly bored either. But my mind turns to food and it is all that I think about. I wonder what I have in the kitchen. I grumble because I didn't buy any of the "good stuff" like cookies and ice cream to binge on. I start jonesing for a Coke. As I sit there obsessing, my mouth starts to water and I begin to get agitated. Then I start arguing with myself about whether or not I should get in my car and head out to McDonald's or Dairy Queen for a quick fix. I find it very hard to break free from that obsession without giving in.

I'm really struggling to fight the battle right now. I have only been resisting the urges to eat compulsively  for a week now so the cravings for the caarbs and sugars are still strong. I no longer watch TV at night so that I'm not bombarded with commercials from Taco Bell encouraging me to grab my fourth meal of the day.  I've been trying to redirect my thinking and focus through reading literature that promotes recovery from compulsive overeating and journaling my thoughts and feelings as they come up. I am discovering that I am full of anger, an emotion that I have almost always denied feeling. As I work at trying to stave off the food obsessions, my anger comes bubbling to the surface and I become incredibly uncomfortable almost to the point of setting off a panic attack. I am frustrated with myself for allowing the food to have so much power over me. Rather than being something to nourish my body, it is a giant monster devouring my soul.

Thankfully, I have a good therapist and support system in place to help guide me through these tumultuous waters. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't afraid of making some changes with regards to my relationship with food. Even though I no longer get that sense of immediate gratification that comes from eating a candy bar, it is my ."go-to"  method to deal with all life circumstances. It is familiar and predictable. I know what happens when I eat; there are no surprises. When I resist the urge to eat, any of a number of things could happen and the uncertainty of that is unsettling to me. Am I willing to ride out the dis-ease? Right now I feel like I'm white knuckling it through the witching hour. This will get better, right?

Sunday, April 23, 2017


According to Google on my phone, the definition of avoidance is "the action of keeping away from or not doing something". I have been practicing avoidance lately. I have been avoiding talking to God about my struggles with my eating behaviors. I know that for me, from past experience, when I pray about a situation that weighs heavily on my mind (no pun intended), it helps me to deal with the circumstances I find myself facing. So why have I been hesitant to go to God with this particular problem? Because there is a lot of shame attached to my eating behaviors and I find myself believing that I should have better control over myself. Certainly God has bigger things to worry about than what I am shoveling into my mouth! Or does He?

I believe that God loves me deeply and unconditionally. I believe that God wants what is best for me and wants to see me happy and healthy and enjoying life. Therefore, it stands to reason that He would take an interest in how I am treating my body. When I'm eating compulsively and to excess, I am miserable. I am frustrated with myself. No, I am furious with myself. And that leads me to say some pretty mean and hateful things to myself, things that I would never even dream of saying to another human being. I start making these ridiculous bargains with myself over what I will or will not eat, when I will or will not eat, "borrowing" calories and carbs from one meal's allotment to be used at another's. I become so totally obsessed with the food that I am not only consuming it, it is consuming me.  And so I sit there, chocolate chip cookies in hand, shoving them into my mouth as fast as I can, almost choking myself on them as I try to chew fast enough to keep up with myself. Where is God in this picture?

This was the scene for me earlier this week. As I sat in the car scarfing down the chocolate chip cookies from McDonald's, I was overcome with an intense sadness, for I could hear God weeping. Not because He was disappointed in me, but because it hurt Him to see me hurting so deeply. I have been trying to avoid acknowledging the depth of my pain, falsely believing that that would make it go away. I have been avoiding sharing it with God, falsely believing that if I didn't speak of it in prayer, He would not know. But God sees what is on my heart and in my mind. He knows. And He stands willing to love me and guide me if I will let Him. He does care about what I put into my mouth because He cares about me in my totality. No amount of food is going to make me "whole". The hole inside me has to be filled with something else. Its time for me to stop avoiding God and allow Him to lovingly fill that void inside my heart.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

No Longer Anesthesized

It has been almost two full years since my last posting on this blog. I think its pretty safe to say that I had abandoned my efforts at achieving a healthier me. I gave up on me. And then I continued to try to numb my feelings through compulsive overeating and binging. Why might I do that, you may wonder? I've spent a lot of time asking myself that very same question over the last two years. The answer I keep coming back to is fear.

I am afraid to lose weight. Losing weight would mean that I would be more mobile. I wouldn't get so out of breath with every little task I set out to do. And that means more would be expected of  me. And I don't like that. I've  become rather accustomed to my slovenly ways and have forgotten how good it feels to be able to actually participate in life instead of simply sitting by the sidelines watching the world go by. I no longer know how to interact with the world and the people around me and being a part of scares me. I am an introvert by nature and my weight has suited me well as a means of isolating myself from others. What will I do without my extra crutch? What will I do if I don't have an extra 250 pounds to put between me and you? How will I continue to feel safe around others, without feeling too vulnerable? The thought of intimacy with other human beings (and I'm not referring exclusively to sexual intimacy here) terrifies me and shakes me to the core. What if you really get to know me and you don't like me? I need my fat to protect me!

Only, I'm so very sad and lonely right now. I'm still isolated even within my friendships, at my own doing. I've been trolling the fast food joints like the great white shark in Jaws (and yes, I hear the music playing in the background!), searching for that ever elusive sense of warmth and comfort that simply cannot be found in a strawberry and cream pie or a peanut buster parfait. And yet I keep circling back for more. But now, the food no longer anesthesizes me and I am in excruciating pain, crying inside. Dying inside. I cannot continue down the path I am on. Today, I stand ready to make a change. Please be kind and gentle with me as I tread this uneven path, for I am afraid, but I can't continue to live my life the way I've been living it lately. No more giving up on me.