Full disclosure…I think this is the 6th version of this blog post. Just when I think I have it exactly the way I want it, something else happens and I feel like I have to make changes and end up starting all over.
One of my grandmothers used to always say, “Everything happens for a reason. You may not know what that reason is at the time but if you hold on, have a little bit of faith, everything will present itself eventually”. When I was young that didn’t make sense but the older I get the more I realize she actually did know things.
As I’ve said before I have been struggling with my weight for pretty much my entire life. For the last few weeks I have thought about very little else. I have never thought of myself as “lazy”, have no known hormonal issues but cannot pinpoint why I struggle with food and my weight. I think I may have gotten some insight over the past week.
Last weekend, I was curled up on the couch scrolling through the guide on my television, hoping to find something to watch. We have a station that airs shows on “The last hours of…..” and they were profiling a comedian who struggled with addiction and unfortunately passed away young. One of the issues that he faced was an addiction to food. That is the one I want to talk about today.
Food addictions are tough to deal with for many reasons. You don’t have to drink, you don’t have to snort cocaine or shoot heroin but you do have to eat to survive. Food addictions are also impossible to hide. There are many addicts who live “normal” lives and no one would ever know what goes on in their private lives. But when someone has a food addiction, they are often overweight, this of course cannot be hidden.
The causes of food addictions are not always easily identifiable but one of the mental health experts interviewed for this show had a theory that really resonated with me. He felt like some people feel like they don’t have a voice in life. This causes a void in their lives and eventually they will look for something to fill that void and sometimes they turn to food. They more weight they gain the worse they feel which causes them to eat more food. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Hearing this rang some loud bells in my head. I don’t think I have ever really had a voice. I have always tried to keep from making waves, going along with what everyone else wants. It has only been in the last few years that I have begun to realize that I can speak my mind. I have the right to my opinion and if someone doesn’t like what I have to say, that is their problem, not mine.
I can’t seem to get this out of my mind. My childhood wasn’t perfect but I had a great family and knew I was loved. But maybe deep down I felt like I wasn’t good enough and looked for something to make me feel happy. Eating that donut or bag of chips made me happy in the moment but after the weight piled on I felt horrible. Then I would eat more donuts and chips….remember that cycle?
So how do I break that cycle? One change I have made is writing about my struggles in this blog. I want to be honest about both my successes as well as my failures. I am sure other people are going through the same things I am and maybe I can help them by letting them know they are not alone.
I am also joining a fitness group. I am the kind of person who needs accountability. I need to know that someone will notice if I don’t workout on a given day. Other people will see if I fall off the wagon and eat too much and begin to gain whatever weight I have managed to lose.
I am also working on changing the relationship I have with food. I don’t need to eat because I am bored or upset or depressed or angry. I also don’t need to give up my favorite foods completely. I can still eat the chips, just not an entire bag in a single day. I can have a donut, just not one after another after another. I am also working on what true portion sizes look like. The sizes the food industry puts in our faces are far too large for what our bodies need for fuel. They seem to be more concerned with getting us to buy more and more, expanding their pockets and not so much with the expanding of our waistlines.
So back to my grandmother. I think that show was on at that moment because I needed to see it. I had finished my chores for the day and had time to sit and do nothing. I was struggling with some emotional issues and this man’s story has opened my eyes to some things that just might set me on a path to getting healthy. I didn’t realize it at the time but I have faith and I know I am doing the right things. I hope you are also on a good path, we will succeed together.