One of the many reasons why I love blogging is that I am able to share my life and my heart with my readers. It’s funny how I can sometimes go through life thinking that “no one can relate to what I’ve been through” but the reality is, I’m not alone.
Coffee Cake and Cardio has given me a chance to share my story and I am always amazed at how many men and women can relate to my life and my story.
Since December 2012 I’ve spent a lot of time meditating on why I turn to food for comfort. It is a VERY scary can of worms to open up but I am realizing that it is the key to unlocking my past and to changing my future.
I’ve decided to start a new series called “Breaking the Cycle” in an effort to share what has brought me to this place in life and what is helping me to recover. I say recover because I’m really learning that I do have a love and addition to food. Food is a comfort for me, and for many people that doesn’t make any sense, but I hope this series will help people who have had similar struggles and will help those that have not have a better understanding of why it can be so hard for some people to lose weight.
For me, food is what I turn to when I don’t know how to deal with my emotions. When I’m happy, I eat. When I’m sad, I eat. When I’m angry, I eat. When I’m bored, I eat. When I’m tired, I eat. When I’m frustrated, I eat. When I can’t concentrate, I eat. Eating is my release and gives me a rush that helps me to avoid what’s going on in my life.
My earliest memory of compulsive overeating was at the age of 5 when I lived in Germany. I remember sneaking dinner rolls up to my bedroom and hiding them under my bed. It makes me so sad to think that at the age of 5 I felt like I had to hide food from my parents, but something was leading me to do that.
My habit of turning to food for comfort only increased from there. The 3rd grade was really the point in which I became an obese child and was fully obsessed with food. I’d steal money from my parent’s change jar in order to buy chips from the vending machine at school, I’d eat snack after snack after snack after school, and I’d consume food as fast as I could at dinner that way I could get seconds before anyone else. Food made me happy and it comforted me.
The first time I really felt out of control was that same year when I chased down the slushy truck (ice cream truck that sold slushies) and realized I could order any size I wanted to! I ordered the jumbo drink and for the first time I felt embarrassed. My eyes were opened to how much I was eating compared to other kids and began to feel ashamed.
Shame is really what defined my next few years as a child. I was ashamed of how much I ate. I was ashamed that I had a weight problem. I was ashamed that I didn’t fit in with the other kids. I was ashamed that I had to start shopping at Lane Bryant at the age of 11. And I was ashamed that I couldn’t fix my problem. I couldn’t break the cycle.
It was at this point that my life became defined by the diets I was on and by the number on the scale. A road that I never thought my eating would lead me to. To be continued…
I will continue to share my story through the “Breaking the Cycle” series and hope that it will help not only those who have similar struggles but also those who don’t. Losing weight isn’t always black and white. You have to define the grey.