Here it is 3 am... I can't sleep. It is not because I am hungry. It is because I am ashamed. Sad. Scared. Exhausted. Emotional. Weak. Embarrassed...
Food has always been a source of shame for me. When I was young, if something went missing from the refrigerator, it was me that took the blame whether I ate it or not. More times than not, it wasn't me. But when it was, I learned to hide it and to sneak it.
When I hit teenage years, I would babysit and then I would spend every penny I earned to go and buy things like hot dogs, top ramen and other junk to gorge myself on as I babysat at the other peoples homes, away from my family that, on occasion, ridiculed over my weight.
Meals growing up were never healthy. If it took longer than 15 minutes to make, my mother didn't make it. Which left lots of cereal, bologna sandwiches, tater tot casseroles and boxed mac & cheese. Every meal had to have that staple of mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, stuffing or things like that. No meal was complete without it. Being fairly poor didn't help the situation much either. I'm not blaming my mother or my early childhood on this but things like that you learn at a young age are harder to unlearn when you are grown. Needless to say, my relationship with food has always been a downhill battle that I always seem to be losing. Tonight, I lost the battle again, big time... and again, that shame. I'll explain why in a little bit.
I've recently learned something about myself and eating. I CAN EAT! and I can eat A LOT!!! I keep going and going and going until I am literally sick. Even then, sometimes I want to keep eating. It is like my turn off button in my head or my stomach or where ever it may be is broken or I never had one. I don't know when I am full. Sometimes I can't make myself stop. It is beyond frustrating.
In the past few weeks, I have been doing better with my portion sizes. I know they are still big but I'm not going back for seconds, thirds or fourths most nights. Which in itself is a step in the right direction for me. I still think about food ALL the time. It is always on my mind, not only because all I want to do is eat but I feel it is part of my wifely/motherly duties to make sure I cook new and exciting meals. I spend a lot of time trying to find healthier alternatives lately but still, it is food... Sigh... food haunts me it seems.
Ok, so this next part I am going to vent. I probably am going to cry as I write it. I am scared to share. I am frightened that some terrible opinions will be formed about me. I am terrified that people will think badly of my husband but I have to get these things off my chest...
Please know that I have been with my husband for 18 1/2 years, married for almost 15 of those. He has never called me a nasty name. Never thrown my weight in my face. I realize already hear in my head what some of you are going to say about these little stories I'm about to share. Please don't think too badly of him, but I would like feedback and advice on how to approach this with him.... I will start with older stories and work my way up to tonight.... So.... (deep breath & bring on the courage)...
My husband sometimes likes to indulge my cravings. I also believe, sometimes I'm more than guilty of manipulating him into getting me what I want in my moments of weakness. This is something I have tried to work on for as long as I can remember. Rather unsuccessfully it seems.
I have a huge weakness for Girl Scout cookies. particularly Samoas. Thank you lord they aren't available year round!!!!
One year, I broke down and talked my husband into buying "us" 6 boxes of those little suckers. We took them home and I ate them all in 2 days max. Then that old guilt hit me and I asked him to never allow that many boxes into our house again. The season ended...
The next year, I didn't even realize the season came around until he mentioned something... I told him I wanted to be good and didn't want the temptation. Only one box if he had to have them. He brought home not one, not two but twenty, yes 20, boxes. I cried. I literally cried. What the hell was he thinking!?!
I was on the phone with my mom when I broke out in tears. She was angry but she told me to ask him to hide them. He did. But the very next day I found myself uncontrollably tearing apart my house looking for them. I knew they were there and I had to find them. Needless to say, all 20 boxes were consumed, largely by me. I wish I could say, consumed over a large period of time, but I would be lying. I'm sure I polished them off in a week max.
My darling husband calls me and tells me that he got a great deal on something and did a good deed in the process. Our local drugstore was having a huge, buy one, get one free candy bar sale and half of the proceeds went to local schools. Oh great! I'm thinking oh he got a few dollars worth... that's cool. Then he breaks it to me... he got $44 worth of candy bars for $20. Yes! He bought 40+ candy bars.... Uggghhhh!
He brings home a bag that has to weigh at least 20 pounds and lets me see them all. Each one calling my name. Taunting me. He then puts them in our bedroom closet. Amazingly enough they last a couple months. But what he was doing, I realized really bugged me... actually, quite frankly it pissed me off. (sorry for the language.)
Every couple of nights he would bring out the bag and hand it to me and tell me I could pick one or two and, once in a while, three. For the longest time it didn't bother me. When he said, 'hey, grab three!" I literally lit up and all giddy like a child getting a treat.
That is when it happened, after a couple of weeks, I realized I was having a daily battle with myself to leave them alone. I knew exactly where they were and I could get them any time I wanted but I was battling myself knowing I shouldn't not only because of my weight but because I'm diabetic. I also realized I felt like he was controlling me and taunting me with those candy bars. Almost a cruel game, but that really isn't his nature.
It took me another week to finally speak up. I told him what he was doing wasn't right. That he was playing mind games with me. His dictating when and how many I could have was wrong. It just wasn't right. He did seem genuinely surprised by this. He did apologize, he explained he was just trying to make them last. I told him it didn't feel that way and I didn't like it. "I'm a friggin adult!" But we both know I don't have self control in matters of crappy food. I told him to never hang junk like that over my head again.
So on to tonight, or rather the last couple days... especially today...
First, I must admit I am steeling myself, trying to hold my composure about sharing this. I just know I have to get this or it will brood inside me. It has the potential to do more damage to all the work I have already put in than it already has if I don't. I am embarrassed and ashamed but I need to let it fly, I am releasing it by sharing with you all....
Also, I must apologize in advance for any cravings I may influence or hunger pangs... really that isn't my intent... step away from the food!
Over the last few days, I have been under the weather. My throat has been hurting, been coughing and I have been drained of all energy. I did alright most of the day yesterday but by the evening my throat was really irritating me. So in passing, half joking, half not, I ask my hubby to go get some ice cream. So he did. He brought home 4 half gallons. A bit excessive don't you think? but I knew better, he always has a hard time choosing just one flavor. I manage to eat just 2 servings (1 cup) instead of my usual 4-6 servings. Ok, I can handle that.
Today, I am still under the weather. My throat doesn't hurt as bad but still not well at all. I start myself off in the morning with some apple walnut oatmeal with a banana and a glass of water. I think I am doing ok, a little high in carbs and calories but it's still a solid breakfast.
By lunch, I had myself 2 cheese enchiladas and think, oh wow, that was good for just 240 calories. Turns out I misread the package and I ate 2 servings worth! So 480 calories... damn it, I get going in my head, I blew it! I know I am exhausted from not sleeping well, my resolve is low, I start thinking I should grab some veggies or fruits to accompany those enchiladas. I grab a handful of strawberries. I down those.
After about an hour I am walking back and forth from my kitchen to my living room. Not fully aware I'm doing it. Probably an internal battle with myself. I'm hungry, is all I can think. I already blew it, is all I can think. I walk back and forth several more times and then I just grab one of those cartons of ice cream and a spoon. Sit down with my book and proceed to eat a little more than half of the carton. OMG! Grrrr.... By now I'm like, whatever... and i continue to eat. I also grab 2 whole wheat English muffins, toast them then lather them with margarine and honey and shove them down. Really?!? What can I do now... nothing. They are already down. Yet, the disgrace does not end there...
Hubby calls a little later in the afternoon. He hears how terrible I sound and asks me if I would like him to pick something up for dinner so I don't have to cook. I have to think about it. Fast food isn't a good idea right about now but the thought of having to cook on top of trying to figure out what to cook was too much for my sick brain to think about, so I give in.
He suggests Wendy's and I was sure, why not. I ask for my usual single patty burger with cheese. I screwed up already right? He comes home and he got me the meal... super sized. Isn't that just... Super? I know he was just being nice. After all, all these years this is what I have always eaten plus some. It's easy for me to forget that I'm trying to make changes, it's even easier for him.
I inhale my french fries like there's no tomorrow. Then I take a bite of my burger and in my illness haze, I think I moaned. Everyone looked at me, so I must have. lol. It totally was hitting the spot. Next thing I know, my hubby says, "Oh I got you these too..." and hands me an order of chicken nuggets and one of their new 99 cent cheesy cheese burgers (a burger with not only a slice of cheese but cheese sauce as well.) Really? But of course, not only do I take them, I take them from him with greedy hands. I inhale those too. I was an eating machine.
I don't normally drink soda anymore, not even diet soda but I downed that as well. A few minutes later. Hubby goes well I bought a few of those cheesy cheeseburgers, want another? I give him a pathetic look but tell him yeah. I eat it. An hour later, he pulls out yet another, says he can't eat it, he's full and it will go to waste. I KNOW I shouldn't. How dare I! But yet again. I eat another one.
And then it all sinks in and I realize that I not only ate four, yes, 4 cheeseburgers, I also ate a 5 piece chicken nugget, a super sized fries and a super sized diet coke.... I'm disgusted with myself. I go on with rest of the night, still lying around not feeling well not only because of illness but also because I just ate enough to feed a family of 5 or 6. Yuck! Really? I just wanted to curl up and forget the whole day. I was so ashamed.
To make matters worse. It's time for bed. Hubby and I crawl in under the blankets. I try to do our nightly chit chat and I feel ignored. He is playing a game on his ipod. This just intensifies my feelings of self loathing and disbelief that I actually consumed that much food in one sitting. I ask him for some TLC, a moment of cuddling and he either is too enthralled in his game and doesn't hear me or he is deliberately ignoring me... So, I start flinging icky statements his way because I was feeling terrible about myself. Things like, "You don't find me attractive anymore." and "If you don't love me anymore, just say so." He is like "What?" but doesn't roll over to hug me or anything. He just turns off his ipod and covers his head and is snoring within the minute.
That is when my tears start. I am bawling. After about 5 minutes or so, he wakes and tries to put his arm around me. I snatch it away and told him "I don't need your pity." Feeling like a little too late buddy. He slowly pulls away and softly sighs and tries to go back to sleep. So that is what is leads me to being here. I lay there. I can't sleep. I'm distraught and disgusted and quite frankly, if I ever intend to sleep at all tonight, I realized I had to get this out.
I know there is no way that my husband could know the inner battle I was fighting with myself tonight. The one, a small part of me thinks, he played a roll in, even though unintentionally.
So here I am, and here you are reading probably one of the most personally tragic things I feel like I could have written about me.... I just let the world know just how much crap I can literally shove down my throat. In all honesty, if I wasn't so upset with myself on how much I ate already, I probably could have eaten more and that horrifies me. I am one of those who tries to make people think I eat like a bird. I still prefer to eat in private if I can help it, my immediate family the exception and even then, when I go back for more, most of the time I pretend I'm putting it away for left overs when I really am just shoving more in. I don't do that so much anymore but that was a norm for me for a long time.
Okay, sigh, deep breath and now it's out... I have a very sad addiction to food. I am trying to learn new ways to break this habit. I AM trying to train my body to not want more than I need. I know I have a long way to go but I really am trying. Today was a slip up, albeit a HUGE slip up. I'm not proud of it and I am going to do everything in my power to keep it from happening again.
So that is where you all come in...
What are some of your tactics to avoid those wretched slip ups?
Also, I need advice on how do I talk to my hubby about enabling me?
I have told him before to just tell me no but it turns out I get very pissy and I do end up feeling like a child and I begrudge him for that. Which isn't fair at all since all he is doing is what I asked of him. I do need him to stop bringing all the 'extras' home though. The one burger meal was bad enough. Super sized a little worse. Three more burgers and nuggets? Come on now.... While it all lies on my shoulders, he did not hold me down and shove it in my mouth, if it wasn't there it wouldn't have been an option. Right? or am I wrong?
Please know, My husband and I don't "fight" like most people fight. We have yelled at each other maybe, just maybe, a handful of times in all these years. I usually talk and he clams up. I want to avoid conflict but I do need him to aid me in my recovery instead of enabling my fall. I also know I owe him an apology for taking my inner turmoil and reflecting it onto him with those icky comments. I know he loves me.
Thank you for being my much needed ear to listen and shoulder to cry on tonight. I think I may just be able to get some sleep after all. Thank you for any suggestions and/or possible solutions to these couple of problems I am currently struggling with.
I am going to beat this nasty addiction to food. I know I was terrible to myself tonight and I regret, not only eating so much but how I treated myself with my thougts. I will get past this and I know I can do this, this was a bump in the road and it is time to move on...
Love you all and good night.
Edited the next morning: This may not be relevant thing to consider to some of you but it is to me. I realized this morning what time of the month it is. I realized that I am probably PMSing. Why does acknowledging this matter? Well I more often than not struggle with my eating during this time. I also am way more sensitive and moody. So, on top of not sleeping well for days (Can't sleep if you can't breathe), not feeling well, emotional upheaval about things going on around here that I'm not going to share now and then add that lovely time of the month that is fast approaching to the mix, No wonder my resolve and determination was depleted. I am giving myself a little slack this time around. Next time, well there won't be a next time, but next time I even think about shoving so much crap in my mouth. I'm gonna put myself in check.
Still would like suggestions on how to approach the DH and how to curb the urges though!
ANOTHER NOTE FROM THIS MORNING: Apparently, more than one of you out there thinks we, or rather I need counseling. I first would like to seriously approach this subject to my husband first, instead of just demanding we go to therapy. I have never really stressed how important it is to me that he stop. Food and eating really isn't something we "talk" about beyond 'what's for dinner?' I personally think that is the first step and if communication fails, then maybe it is time to get someone to help us get our messages across... until then, I was just asking how you all thought I should broach this subject to him without seeming confrontational or seemingly placing blame.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that suggestion. I just don't think we are there quite yet. :)