Peace is better than chocolate

Archive for the tag “eating diorders”

I say second-guessing, you say control freak. Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to.

I have noticed lately that I am spending a whole lot of time and energy second-guessing myself. To illustrate, I have already written and scrapped two other blog posts for this week. This has happened before, so I don’t know if I am doing it again, like a relapse, or if I’m uncovering and dealing with a new, unexplored layer. In other words, have just reached a deeper level fear and anxiety? I don’t mean that like a burden or a problem. I live with a certain amount of fear and anxiety. I’m OK with that. You get what you get and you don’t get upset…Being aware of it like this is an opportunity to do something about it.

Perhaps upping my meditation in the past few months has brought it to my attention. I always think of life lessons as a spiral staircase. I keep coming back to the same spot, but each time on a different level. I have my issues and I revisit them again and again, but each time I am building off of the last time.

How “significant” my choices are is one of my particular lessons. What I have come to believe over the past several years is that any one choice is not so significant. But every choice is connected to, and layered upon, every other choice. So when it comes right down to it, the average of all of my choices equals the life that I have.

All in all, I have a pretty sweet life. But it could be better. And it could be worse. All depending on the choices I make.

But there is something else that I have come to believe as well. And it’s that I have to leave the results of my actions to Life (capital L.) I do the best I can in every situation, and then I have to let the chips fall where they may, because that’s what the chips are going to do anyway. I sometimes get so caught up in the minutia of my day-to-day decisions that I can forget that I’m not in charge of life, the universe, and everything. It’s always life on life’s terms, even when I am being a control freak. And this second-guessing is just me trying to control every outcome. In the moment, I am not thinking about it like that, but ultimately, that’s all it is.

When I was eating compulsively, I also thought that everything I did and said was significant. And to a certain extent it was. Because the majority of my choices were unhealthy, dishonest, fear-based, and frankly, kind of mean. And those kinds of decisions not only affected my life, but they also haunted me. Of course I was second-guessing myself. The truth is, I regretted my choices because they were regrettable. I was an addict. Making poor decisions was like my job.

When I put boundaries around my eating, I changed my choices in a pretty revolutionary way. I became honest, my word meant something, I started to consider others, and to consider myself, and what I wanted for my health and wellbeing, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I made these changes because I had to if I was going to keep my eating under control. And keeping my eating under control was (still is) the most important thing I could do in a day. Addictive eating, especially sugar, was the most “significant” thing I was doing, because I was doing it all the time. It was those choices, layered on each other, day in and day out, that led to my miserable life.

Right now, the choices I am worried about, the things that are taking up room in my head, are if my niece will like her birthday gift, or if my wording was not gentle enough when I told a friend who bailed on an appointment 2 days in a row that I needed her to keep her commitment. These are not issues that need more thought. Truly, the gift is fine. I hope she likes it, but it’s a gift. It’s not something I owe anyone. And if she doesn’t like it, there’s always Christmas. And I was not harsh or mean to my friend. We had a plan, I arranged my schedule. I did not yell, or shame her. I was not passive-aggressive. I simply said, “I need you to keep this commitment because I am making time for it.” That’s a simple boundary. There is nothing to think, re-think, or over-think about.

The answer to this second-guessing is pretty simple, if not easy. It’s to let it go. It’s to stop thinking about it. It’s to trust that everything is turning out as it is supposed to. And I can do that today (probably) because my addiction is being kept at bay by keeping my eating under control. And when my substance is down, I stand a chance of making choices I can be proud of, not to mention finding and keeping my inner peace.

No fear of flying. Or airports.

In some ways it’s interesting what has become “normal” for me. For instance, right now, I am in an airport on my way to fly to the Florida Keys, and I am not worried about what people are thinking about me.There is something about airports, the close proximity, the hundreds of people passing by and passing through. The natural people-watching atmosphere, that always used to heighten my embarrassment of living in a big body. It made me tense and self-conscious. There was a lot of shame involved. 

Now, to be fair, I was always self-conscious and ashamed, it was just more noticeable in airports.

It seems like I have a different life now. In many ways I do. In specific moments I get glimpses of it. Like the other day, when I looked in the mirror, and knew that I never had to be fat again. It was a beautiful moment. I felt free. 

I have the luxury of feeling free every day now. Especially on a day like this, at the airport. I fly relatively regularly. It’s easy and I don’t have to stress about it. I don’t have to worry about fitting in the seat. I don’t have to think about who is looking at me and why. I don’t have to worry about what clothes will cover my butt or camouflage my belly. I wear what will be comfortable. Because I don’t care.

But that is not exactly true either. I do care, every day, about what I eat, about keeping my food boundaries, about staying away from sugar and carbohydrates. And that constant, steady caring, no matter what, allows me to not care about things like what I’m wearing, or if the person next to me will be angry that I am sitting next to them, or if I’m going to spill over into someone else’s seat. 

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I keep boundaries every day. I don’t have cheat days. I don’t make exceptions, or excuses. So a vacation to Florida doesn’t mean anything goes. It doesn’t mean that since I have never had deep fried alligator or conch, that I get to “live a little.” Why would I live a little for a bite or a drink, when I can live a lot.

There are a lot of things that I will never taste. And that’s ok. It lets me sit comfortably on an airplane, on my way to Florida, in whatever clothes are comfortable and easy to get through security, with my bikinis packed.

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