“Never believe for a second that your weak, within all of us we have a reserve of inner hidden strength,”
― Victoria Addino
For years I have thought of myself as a shy, private person. Sure I am fun and outgoing once you know me, but I am not a person who is going to stand on the street corner shouting and drawing attention to myself. I lately have found myself in a position where I need to be more out going and I need to put myself out there. For years my dream has been to in some way help the public and educate them on being healthy and guide people down that path. But how could I do this when I couldn’t find that path myself. Numerous times I would find myself sitting in the admissions counselors office talking to them about enrolling to get my degree in Public Health. Each time I would talk myself out of it. What did I have to offer? I was lost too. I knew what I needed to be doing, I knew ALL of it but I couldn’t seem to connect the pieces enough to complete the puzzle.
Finally after struggling with many different issues; food, weight, emotions, I found the answer. I don’t need to be perfect to lead, I don’t need to have a simple story and have been a certain weight for a long period of time before I can help. I can lead by example.
I am still not very comfortable broadcasting my struggles, but what I am learning and seeing is that it helps not only myself to step out of my comfort zone, it helps other people who are also struggling. All those nights I sat alone in the kitchen with nothing but the refrigerator light to see by, all those nights I would eat and eat and eat and then cry and cry and cry. For all those times I would have to lie about a missing bag of chips or have to explain to my husband why the food that was saved for later was gone. If me putting myself out there even a little bit can help someone else realize they are not alone. They don’t have to hate themselves for their actions, they can break free of this prison. I am willing to share and put myself out there, if it helps someone right now going through the same thing find a little bit of comfort.
When I was struggling I did it in secret. I would confess to my husband, but at the time he had no idea why I was doing this. Heck, I had no idea why I was doing this. I just knew that I was so completely out of control I actually thought I was crazy because I couldn’t control myself. It wasn’t until many years and a lot of damage to my body later that I realized I wasn’t crazy. What I was going through was an actual problem. Some people can’t stay away from alcohol, some people are hooked on drugs, for me it was food. Food was my safe place, my comfort zone, my friend. Yet at the same time it was my enemy, my opponent, my prison.
Even after I started to understand my issues with food, I still wasn’t equipped to deal with the whole situation. I would say okay, I don’t want to do this anymore. So I would throw away all the bad food. I tried all the things people who don’t understand recommend. Chew gum, drink water, distract yourself, don’t allow yourself to have ANY bad food. If it was as simple as all that I would be a gum chewing, water guzzling, knitting person with no food issues. It isn’t that simple at least not for me. If it is that simple for you, then GOOD for you! Seriously, good for you.
When I became pregnant in 2011 I was relieved. Finally, there was going to be a 9 month period when I wouldn’t be focusing on food. While I was pregnant I told myself a two things.
- I was NOT eating for two. To me this meant that I wasn’t going to have a free-for all and eat 2 times the food no matter what it was. To me that meant I was going to make healthy choices but not worry about calories as long as the food was nutritious.
- I wasn’t going to fixate on my weight. Most of my adult life I have been very attached to the number on the scale. I would weigh myself daily. Even though I knew all about weight fluctuations.
I wouldn’t know until a few months after the birth of my son that some of these things I started during my pregnancy would be key thought processes in me recovering from my eating issues.
In the next few blogs I am going to talk about how I handled my emotions and how it helped me with eating, how I made peace with my past, how I look at food now and other things that might be helpful if you are in this situation.
Find the Beauty Within