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    SMBERKO   7,162
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A conversation with my firefighter

Sunday, December 22, 2013

There is a part of me that protects me from emotional distress. When feelings of sadness; loneliness; boredom; or desire for attention; desire for recognition come up - she rushes to feed me. She fights the emotional fires with food. She rushes in to protect me - by eating - addictively.

Yesterday - I weighed in at 128.4. This is at least 5 pounds more than I weighed when school started in August. I worked hard all summer to lose those 5 pounds! I walked daily; planned my meals; tried to be mindful of when I was actually hungry; and worked on accepting my life circumstances: a divorced, middle-aged, mother of 2 young adults: not dating, not emotionally connected to my parents and siblings, not securely connected to friends.

Yesterday my internal dialogue went something like this:
"I feel fat, I can feel my thighs touching each other. I should have surgery to get rid of this belly, or laser treatments. They don't work! I need to go on a diet. I need to stop watching TV. I should be taking better care of myself! I am lazy, all alone, depressed! I need to develop some interests, or talents. I don't want to spend the money. When I got on the scale and saw 128.4 I was upset. It was .4 lbs more than the day before! I shouldn't have eaten those cookies. Or indulged on those tortillas. I think I ate 5 of them. plain. They didn't even taste good. Today I won't eat anything at all. I will just drink water. I will lose this weight fast."

This morning - I had the same conversation - except that the weight was 130.0! 1.6 lbs more than yesterday! My firefighter ate 4 cookies last night. And, yesterday, David came home saying that he wanted corn casserole and chili. My firefighter couldn't say no to him. She was so happy that she made both - and ate a lot of both! She could have made food for him and eaten a healthier option , but no - she chowed down on corn casserole and chili right along with him. She ignored the 1200 calories a day limit & then made and ate 360 calories worth of cookies. She just wanted me to feel better. She wanted me to feel connected to my son. She wanted to have something to do.

My firefighter is a teenager. She thinks that food is her best friend. She loves spending time reading recipes, shopping, and baking. She feels connected to her grandmother that way. She automatically agrees to cook and then eats - and takes seconds! She eats unconsciously. She shovels food in her mouth. Especially wheat thins, or cheez-it's! She's been doing that since I lived in Syosset - and didn't know how to make friends in jr. high. She's tried so hard to help me out. But she's not helping. I know she's got some good ideas and I'm grateful that she has some very good skills but I need her to let me take over and take better care of myself.

I'm going to call her Janis. in my minds eye - she has long brown hair and is very plump. In junior high I weighed 150lbs. This firefighter - Janis - has long wild stringy hair like Janis Joplin. She has that addict type of personality. She's an adolescent. Yes, Janis - you are the glutton, the sloth, eating, hiding, stuck to the TV. She is plump. She doesn't want me to feel like such a loser. So she eats -

Janis - I need to get to know you better. I need to take better care of you! I need to show you that I can handle my life's challenges. That I can do a good job and protect myself and that I don't need your help. I know you're confused. I know that you've been trying hard and that you try to shield me from pain. Sadly, you're creating more work for me! I would prefer that you work with me here. Let me feel the feelings. Let me make better choices. Let me express myself in other ways. I would like to love you and expose you to joy - instead of being so disappointed in you. So - I'm going to pay better attention to you when you show up. Hopefully you will let me take charge. I really want to.

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