facing fears, fearlessly...

i'm agitated. anxious. terrified. and totally excited.

sunday we went upstate to visit my family. my pap just got out of the hospital for his third heart surgery in the last year and a half. another family member is in the hospital and failing badly. my brother is getting ready to go back to school. a lot of things around me are shaking up. and i'm scared.

my automatic reation to things i'm afraid of is to eat. and eat. and then panic and immediately try and diet. but i've committed myself to taking care of myself and lose weight. hopefully at the same time.

on the way home from altoona we stopped at a chinese buffet for dinner. i was hungry. but i was also terrified. i couldn't control myself. i would eat the whole buffet. then i'd eat the chafing dishes. the crappy plastic chairs. bamboo plants. i'd eat and eat until i'd eaten the world.

but i faced it. i took a plate. browsed the dishes. i chose my favorites. i sat down. i thought about how hungry i was and how good i knew the food would be. how good it looked. i also knew i've got a problem with stuffing myself in this kind of situation. i started to eat quickly, like i was afraid someone would see me eating at a buffet and think i was disgusting. then i started to see other people around me and i thought, god, how disgusting they all are. i stopped tasting the food and started cramming it down as fast as i could.

and then i stopped. i remembered that i was hungry. that there is nothing wrong with feeding your body when it is hungry. that there is nothing wrong with eating food that i like.

i kept flip flopping between confidence and utter fear.

to be honest, i didn't go insane. i didn't eat ten plates of fried rice and lo mein and sweet and sour chicken and egg rolls. but just the thought of accepting that it was ok for me to eat the three fried wontons i got terrified me. but when i looked at what i actually got, there was nothing terribly bad with it. i had white rice, a favorite of mine. i had delicious, crisp, bright green beans. i had a scoop of coconut sauteed shrimp and a scoop of general tsos. everything was tasty and i was satisfied.

i went back for a bit more, even though i wasn't hungry anymore. terror again. i imagined every eye in the restaurant on the fat girl going back for seconds. seconds!? who did i think i was. obviously i didn't need it. good god, how selfish, how disgusting. i imagined the asain waitresses talking about me in a language i can't pretend i can't hear. i walked with my eyes down. i got a plate. got tiny tiny portions, as if i was being judged. that somehow i would trick everyone into thinking i didn't want to pile my plate high.

when i got back to the table and realized i had gotten exactly the amount i wanted. and if i wanted to pile my plate high, i could. but i didn't want to. i wasn't hungry for the amount i got, and i regretted it later when i felt too full for the rest of the night, but it told me something about the way i treat myself and the way i imagine others are thinking of me.

after my chinese buffet freak out, i spent the next few hours in massive anxiety. i needed to go on a diet. STAT. this whole eating what i want is bull. i could lose weight so much faster on weight watchers. i need the structure. i can't be trusted to make my own decisons.

but then...the anxiety went away. i ate what i wanted the next day. i made good choices, because i wanted to, not because i was afraid of gaining weight. i started feeling better. i realized that the structure was what i relied on in the past to take the responsibility off of myself. i needed a second-party disicpline system that required no thought. i realized i could handle this myself. i realized this because i can feel how great i feel inside. it may not be as noticeable on the outside, but i'm taking care of myself. i'm taking care of my body, nourishing it, loving it with the way i treat it. over the past few weeks i've felt so amazing.

but the fear is still there. the fear that i'll fail. that i'll sabotage everything. that i'll stay fat forever. my judgements on myself and my projected judgements from the people around me at the restaurant on sunday were a reflection of my inner anger and fear. it translated itself into a familiar scene and reaction. but instead of letting that be the end of it, i'm facing it. i'm letting myself experience the fear and anger and anxiety and dealing with it without food. sometimes it's easier to deal with after a binge. i'm ok with that too. but i'm acknowledging the binge. i'm storing in my mind the situations and triggers that send me to the fridge, or the store in a blind panic. i'm giving myself the tools to deal with my emotions the next time. i can make a conscious decision do try and heal with food or i can make a decison to take a time-out and deal. and it's empowering. to know i am in control with how i deal with situaitons and emotions that would normally incapacitate me. i am strong. i am amazing.

this ride...its exhilerating. and terrifying. :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi there!
    I just stumbled across you via someone elses blog, and I'm so glad I decided to stop in.:-)
    I don't have time to go back and read from the beginning just now, but I plan too very soon.
    All I want to say for now is it sounds like you are on the right track. Listen to what your body wants and needs, and don't feel guilty for nourishing it. We do need to feed ourselves just to stay alive!
    Support is key, I have found this blogging network to be very supportive, a really great bunch of people.
    And it is a thrilling ride, and it just gets more exciting as you go and figure out step by step and day by day what works for you!
    Keep up the good work, and you will get there. Wherever "there" happens to be for you.