Humble Pie for Thanksgiving
Wow I sure did not want to write this blog this week.
When I started oneafatgirl, I made a promise to write the truth. And to be authentic. Even when it was scary and hard. And humiliating. And I am definitely humiliated today.
I went on a mini-vacation with my boyfriend for Thanksgiving. And it didn’t go so well. And I was the reason it didn’t go so well. My food boundaries and me.
That’s hard for me to write. Especially because I know how I talk about my food boundaries. I perhaps make it seem effortless. It usually feels effortless to me. I’m good at it after over 7 ½ years. Good at parts of it, anyway. And I am afraid that a post like this will scare somebody away from making the tough decision to change their own eating.
But the truth is that it is not my job to convince people who are suffering to choose relief. I put boundaries around my eating by my own choice. I was desperate. I took desperate measures. I still do. No person made me do it, or even could make me do it. And no person is going to stop me. So I’m not going to worry about this post. And who it stops. And who uses it as an excuse to continue to suffer. And for all I know, it will help someone who is suffering find some relief.
Anyway, back to my vacation. And food. The first thing I should point out is that my boyfriend doesn’t think about food. He doesn’t look forward to eating. And he doesn’t plan it. He doesn’t have to. He will literally forget about food until he is starving, look around himself at that exact moment, walk into the closest place, and eat whatever they have to offer.
I on the other hand, love to eat. I look forward to each of my meals, and savor every bite. I have said before that I didn’t stop loving food when I put boundaries around my eating. In fact, I started to love it more, because it was guilt-free. But the boundaries themselves are the most important part. Most of the time my meals are insanely delicious, but as long as each meal is within my eating boundaries, it doesn’t matter if it is delicious or not. If lunch is not so good, dinner is not so far away.
So to go on this mini-vaykay, I packed a whole bunch of food. But not great food. Not #10 meals. Just enough easy, portable food to make sure that if I needed to eat every meal in our hotel, I could always be within my boundaries.
And then it seemed like I was going to have to eat every meal in our hotel room. And I was upset.
Here’s the thing, though. I wasn’t asking for what I wanted. And I wasn’t just taking care of it myself. I was worrying about asking for too much. I was worrying about being a “Good Girl.”
I spent my life alone. And for the last several years, I was poor but independent. I didn’t have much. But if I had something, it was because I earned it.
But now I am in a relationship and I am not independent. And I can have a hard time distinguishing what I deserve. What I contribute. And what that earns me.
In other words, do I deserve to ask to be taken out to a restaurant when my boyfriend isn’t hungry and I have a cooler full of food up in my hotel room? Even if it’s not the food I want?
I did eventually go out to lunch. I got a nice meal. But it wasn’t until I stopped worrying if my boyfriend was having a good time. (And even writing that makes me feel selfish and unworthy…)
And the other thing I need to take responsibility for, is that I have scared my boyfriend into thinking that I can never eat out easily, happily, or comfortably. Because the truth is that I have a lot of anxiety. About everything. I live with a steady stream of low-level anxiety. I don’t think it will ever go away. And the food thing is such a big issue for me that it always makes me a little anxious. But I don’t want him to think we can never go on vacation. Or that we can never go out to eat.
Look. I’m not good at it. I get nervous eating out. Especially now that I live outside of New York City. But I could get better with practice. And I would like to.
My food boundaries are not a burden for me. They are sometimes inconvenient, but they are ultimately only a relief. I am free from the obsession over food and my weight, and the fat body I lived in, and the compulsive eating and exercising and purging and laxative abusing. But I don’t want my food boundaries to be a burden for my boyfriend either. And I don’t know what the next thing to do about that would be. So I guess I’ll just let it be what it is for now, and trust the right answer to come in time…