Comprehendo Mi Lingo

I find it rather funny frustrating when trying to explain my weird food issues to someone who’s never had a serious weight problem in their life, someone who doesn’t get it.

Don’t get me wrong, most people I’ve come in contact with are enthusiastic to try to understand where I come from when I say things like “food triggers” and “binge episode” and “skinny day.” But every once in a while, I’ll come across someone who considers any food “issues” rather hilarious (this, as they are happily scarfing down a BK number 5 with large coke and shimmying in their size 2 jeans. Bless you, for winning the metabolism lottery). They don’t comprehend how much power certain foods can have over me, that it’s better for me just to avoid these foods completely because I’m nearly one fork-ful away from blowing it big time; or, that healing from my divorce and all memories of my ex makes me want to inhale cheesecake and all baked goods (my ex’s favorite foods). Some semblance of normality happens when I surround myself with others who’ve lost 20/30/50/75/100 pounds+ as well. Within minutes of hearing their stories of triumph and turmoil, I can see myself in their shoes and suddenly, I have a new friend. They know the sacrifice that comes from turning some dinner parties down, abstaining from a slice of birthday cake in order to stick to today’s goals. They know the sweet exhilaration from having said dedication turning into a new, smaller size of jeans and feeling like you are ruling the world. They also know the association from feeling worthless, not measuring up to their parents’ expectations, of society’s expectations, and even their own. They learn their limits, and within this process, we grow stronger.

My journey is my own. Yes, I have control issues. Food has been everything to me- object to manipulate, to restrict, to study about, a constant companion, fuel for my body, way to commiserate, way to celebrate, and sooth hurt. I’m just learning to disassociate food from anything BUT fuel for my body, a way to properly nourish my hard-working muscles and allowing my body to heal on its own, not healing my emotional wounds from extra spoonfuls of oatmeal, ice cream, or by twirling pasta. This process takes a long time, perhaps a lifetime. I’ll need help and assistance all along my way- from educators, physicians, my family, Michael, and of course you, my friends. Instead of reaching out my bowl or plate to fill these holes I’ve picked up, I should instead be reaching out my arms to others, sympathetic to my needs, willing to be the one thing I do crave- listening ears.

Sure, many people will never truly get my struggles. I really wouldn’t wish this on anyone. But for those willing to listen, I am incredibly grateful.

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3 thoughts on “Comprehendo Mi Lingo

  1. i can totally relate to you. Its a constant battle, and even though it may seem okay on the surface there’s always an internal battle going on….good luck!

  2. The group I’m working with as I lose weight is headed by a nutritionist, but every month or so, we get a visit from a behavioralist. Last time she came, she congratulated us on moving to a life that was no longer centered around food. While I know she meant that to be supportive and positive, as most of us have lost 70+ pounds, all I could think was that no matter what, my life would in many ways STILL be centered around food. Differently, for sure, through what I’ve learned about eating to fuel my physical needs instead of calm my emotional ones, but I’ll never have the luxury of not thinking about food.

    I’ll always be willing to listen, and am so grateful I’ve found others, like you, who can talk about it and hear what I’m saying, too. Sorry we have that shared experience, but glad to know none of us are really alone.

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