Currently I am about 15 1/2 stone (I say about as I have no scales at the moment but the belt notch feels about that weight!). At one point I was what they classed as 'morbidly obese' but I am about 2 stone lighter than that now, so I am probably 'very obese'. One day with the grace of God I hope to be just purely overweight. I have no secret longing to be a size 10, I just want to be a healthy weight, a good role model to my kids and living a full life without a crazy obsession with food and weight.
You see that is what my problem is, I am an addict. I do have a very real addiction to food and also to the comfort and release that eating, stuffing my face and stifling my emotions gives. Every day I obsess on food - where my next meal will come from, what will it look like, will it fill me up, how many calories are in it, does it add to my 5 a day etc etc.
It really is not as simple as joining a weight loss club and just losing some weight. People like me who have lost stones and then regained them numerous times in their lives have a problem. A problem which keeps drawing us back to the food. Every time we move away from the day to day feeling of normal life, be it that we have a high or a low we want to celebrate or commiserate with food. So I vow now never to fool myself again and to start a diet, that I just will not keep to.
I expect some people may read this and laugh and wonder what I am on about. Food an addiction? Yes, in exactly the same way as drugs, alcohol, sex, self-harm, shopping, spending, love, soaps on the TV, trash mags or anything else can be. Most of us have some kind of prop in life - mine is food. Some would say it is far less harmful than drugs, at least I won't kill myself - but won't I? What about heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, to name but a few.
It really does take some time to admit to yourself and be ready to say 'Hi my name is Michelle and I am an addict, a compulsive overeater'. I was going to say it is not something I am proud of but actually the fact that I am being brave enough to face up and take this journey does make me proud. For the last 6 weeks or so I have lost the plot, I have rejected most things recommended by the program of addiction recovery that I am following. From this moment on I am back on track and I pray for God to help me, it is through Him that this will work. You do not have to be a Christian like me for this program to work for you, you just need to believe that you are out of control and that there is a stronger being/ higher power in the Universe. For me this is God, for you it might mother nature, Buddha, or your recovery fellowship.
I do get incredibly fed up with the stereotype of a fat lazy person and I want people to see the real me inside, that thin person struggling to get out. Rather than seeing the fat first and the person second. I suppose that is our culture today so much based on image and looks, how can I blame anyone for thinking that I have let myself go and that I am slowly killing myself by being too lazy to get up off my bum and do some exercise.
So here are a few truths which may set the record a bit straighter -
- I do at times eat too much, I have been known to binge but generally my eating is getting better.
- I adore food and just love new tastes and the excitement that comes with knowing I am going out for a nice meal. You see that is the addict in me, food = love and stability and happiness.
- I run around after three kiddies when I am not at work. I have ants in my pants and rarely sit down - always doing something - housework, ironing, gardening, out to shop etc
- I exercise a couple of times per week, I go to the gym or aqua or swim and I enjoy it (once I am there!)
This post was written in reposen to writing workshop number 11. Prompt two asked - What do people always wrongly assume about you?