I ought to make a confession which probably isn’t much of a surprise to some of you…I am an emotional eater! Did you hear me?
I AM AN EMOTIONAL EATER!!! There, I said it and it is out in the open! I believe I have run the gambit throughout my life of every type of eating disorder known to man OR woman. Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, Compulsive overeating; let’s see, did I forget anything? Oh yeah, Restricted eating. Basic bottom line, I am addicted to food. I eat when I’m euphoric, and when I need to celebrate, I consume food when I am bored, anxious, sad, uneasy and nervous. When I am unsure of myself and scared, I exercise compulsively and decrease my calories. After a quarter of a century of treatment, I persist in losing and gaining the same 20 pounds repeatedly. I speak this because the last 5-6 months I have been tip-toeing on the fringe of disordered eating.
At this point in my life, since I said I would be totally honest in my writing, I actually had an A-HA moment just the other day. I truly surprised myself as I take pride in being very astute and perceptive regarding my thoughts and feelings but I totally missed the boat on this one. In November I turned 50 years old…YES, 50 and so like all people who are considered ‘over the hill’ it was necessary to get blood drawn and a complete work-up done. Accordingly, I naively went to have that prepared, without a care in the world, since I AM a healthy individual who exercised. I eat well, okay, most times I eat well given that I do love a gooey, crunchy, chocolaty dessert, and the candy I have a tendency to eat, and ice cream, well I was born with Dairy Queen in my bottle I’m sure. I was absolutely stunned AND appalled by the results: Vitamin D deficient, my thyroid is not effective and my cholesterol, can you believe, it was 289! I was convinced I was going to stroke out prior to the weekend being over. So, after meeting with my nurse practitioner and devising a plan I was to go back and have my blood drained and retested, which I did and well, it was 310! Really? UGH!
My A-HA moment came as I was briskly walking early one morning, which I had stopped because I was instructed to rest to ease newly acquired foot problems and knee problems and had to get orthotics for my shoes to correct this problem, blah, blah, blah… In a split second, the chicken and the egg scenario was roosting through my cranium. The twenty pound weight gain; was it because I had stopped walking, or was it because of the inactive thyroid, or was I stressed out and depressed on the subject of all the above and eating to counteract all of the maladies that had transpired since I turned the BIG 5-0?! Which came first? Regardless, I was using every medical malady to justify my poor eating.
The moment of clarity escorted me to the strong feelings of NOT liking this body I am lugging around; it is not comfortable, my clothes don’t fit well and I’m very self-conscious so as a result, I am taking back control of my life…Regardless of the ‘whys’, it is my job to take care of myself; not only for myself, but for Scott and Nicholas. I love the person I am inside and while I am not obsessed with thinness, I do want to be healthy and I’m not feeling that these days. So today, I TAKE CONTROL! I’m not going to wait until the thyroid is fixed or until my cholesterol goes down or until my feet stop hurting. I am going to eat healthy and cast away the wayward eating, and I’m going to exercise and be damned with waiting for my knees to get better.
I AM MY CAPTAIN and I HAVE THE POWER!