One of the ways I keep my eating under control is by focusing on my part of a situation. With food it’s about keeping my eyes on my own plate. I don’t worry about what anyone else is eating. With life, it’s about minding my own business. And keeping peace in my own heart and mind. Other people’s behavior and relationships are also none of my concern. I keep my eyes on my own life.
But another way I help myself keep my eating under control is by being authentic, and speaking up for myself. I do not let myself be abused. I do not please others at my own expense.
There are some people at work, both customers and fellow employees, who are really not nice people. (No seriously. Not like normal people having a bad day. Like people who actively try to make others unhappy. Like total jerks.) And it’s hard for me to find a balance between taking care of myself, and being peaceful, regardless of the situation.
The other part of this is finding the best way to keep the Good Girl in me on a short leash. She let people abuse her for a long time. Her worth was in how far she could diminish herself for the happiness and use of others.
Look, the Good Girl, when she is right-sized, and in her proper place, is part of the reason I am so good at my customer service job. When I am not being a martyr, I genuinely like giving people a great experience. I aim to leave people at least satisfied, and hopefully even happier, as a result of their time spent with me.
But just like I wrote in last week’s installment, the Good Girl can have me agree to do things that end up leaving me feeling resentful and frustrated. I can wind up feeling taken advantage of, often forgetting that I allowed myself to be put in the situation in the first place.
I am not going to eat compulsively over these feelings of resentment. But that is a luxury that I cultivate. Resentment is exactly the danger to an addict like me. It is just the thing to convince me that I totally deserve that chocolate cake, damn it!
Last week, I was doing what needed to be done for the store/my department, and neglecting to care for my own self. I forgot that integrity means keeping my word, but it doesn’t have to mean volunteering at the expense of my own peace. I was doing what was requested of me, simply because I was asked. I agreed knowing I didn’t want to. And that was dangerous. I was putting myself and my eating disorders in a dangerous situation.
I know that I need to keep my food boundaries at the center of my life. Keeping my sugar addiction and my eating disorders at bay is the most important thing I do in my life. Part of that is never letting any resentment, judgment, or torment grab a hold of me. It means I have to shake them off quickly. I have to be grateful for what I have. I have to remember that all things pass eventually. And if I am unhappy, I am the one who must change.
In parting, I will leave you with the Serenity Prayer. (If you don’t already know it, I promise it’s a good one. By the way, it’s not just a prayer. It’s a way of life.)
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.