About a month ago, I met with the psychiatrist in my Weight Wise program; a lovely woman named Margaret. Determining my mental health (or lack thereof) is a crucial part of deciding whether or not this program is for me.
Margaret was wonderful. She was easy to open up to and asked what I considered to be very relevant questions. I told her my tales of being overweight since I was a kid, how I use food for comfort, the usual things. It was very refreshing to speak to someone about my weight who wasn’t telling me that I need to eat more vegetables. Who understood that my weight issues stem from my BRAIN and not necessarily what I put into my mouth (I should also explain that I have a number of physical issues that contribute to my obesity; not the other way around and it makes it twice as hard to lose weight).
I told her the regular ‘as a kid, I didn’t get (insert emotion here) and therefore I turned to (insert vice here).’ And, that as an adult, I still find great comfort in a bowl of potato chips while reading a book just before I go to bed.
I’ve since seen my case worker, who is also fabulous and she has asked me to track my food/exercise intake so that she can take a look at it the next time I see her. I grudgingly agreed to do so – why grudgingly? Because I’ve been down this road before and it’s not ended well. I become obsessive over every single calorie. It turns into a full time job just remembering to log that extra teaspoon of ketchup. If I go over my calorie count for the day, I consider it a huge failure and I get very upset. Putting it in writing means that I have to commit myself to something and that’s not my strong point. Like an ex boyfriend said to me years ago – “you want a commitment? I can’t even commit to owning a goldfish.”
So, as of last Monday, I’ve been writing down what I’ve eaten. Now, I don’t know what exactly is happening in my head these days, but to be blunt – I’m a pig. I can’t stop eating. I don’t care what I eat, what I drink or how much. I liken it to a Roman feast (sans roasted peacock or stuffed door mouse). Even during my worst times, I wasn’t eating like this.
I guess the big question is why? Why am I feeling so out of control? I’ve also been feeling very angry lately (I’ve actually had the same dream of chewing my mother’s face off several times over the past few weeks – let me tell ya, that certainly needs some analyzing). I’m irritable. I’m belligerent. I’m mad at everyone for no good reason. I’ve even apologized to my body for treating it so badly.
I’m existing blindly, without thinking, without feeling. Because if I stop to think about the challenge ahead of me, I might just fall apart. Or even worse – fail.
I found this in an article sent to me this week: Sense of Failure – Many people can stake their happiness on the achievement of a specific goal, such as achieving exam results, earning a certain amount of money, or progressing a certain distance in their career. If for some reason they do not achieve this goal, they may believe they have failed in some way. This sense of failure can increase the likelihood of experiencing depression (http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk).
Interesting. If there is one thing I hate more than anything else in the world, it is failing at something. My mother had the Homer Simpson parenting manual, which states “If it’s too hard to do, don’t bother.” So, when I did try something and failed, I either got the ‘told you so’ or the ‘it’s not worth it’ speech. That’s sort of been my subconscious motto since I was a kid. I’ve only recently come to understand it.
Basically, I’M what’s holding me back. In as much as I want someone to come and fix this for me, it ain’t gonna happen. I have a lot of people supporting me and want to see me succeed – but I can’t seem to find that support for myself. If a friend is trying to accomplish something, I’m the first one in with my pom-poms and bullhorn cheering them on, but when it comes to cheering myself on, I’m sadly lacking in the pom-pom department.
Hmm. Maybe it’s time to try a different cheer?