An unbelievably obvious realization

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It was 11:11 p.m. last night when my daughter started crying in her bed downstairs, saying how much her throat hurt. As I slowly came to full consciousness in my own bed, stood up and shuffled downstairs, all I was thinking was how much I wanted to go back to sleep. We had a very typical mother-daughter middle-of-the-night conversation as I sat on the edge of her bed, each of us becoming frustrated because we were powerless to help each other. She was intent on being upset about her sore throat, which is probably a harbinger of a mild cold and not much more, and I was intent on calming her down to no avail.

Yet as I sat there, I suddenly became very aware of my T-shirt clad torso. You see, my working out habits have become nonexistent over the past two months, which is unusual for me, and my eating habits have been incredibly self-destructive. I can go into details later, but what I'm getting at is that I have an extra 20 pounds now on my body that I think about almost every waking moment of the day. Down there in her bedroom I felt the weight languishing around my lower middle, pressing into my upper thighs.

Going back to my bed minutes later, I had the tiniest yet most powerful epiphany on earth. It was basically this voice in my head: "Food is not solving any of your problems."

I lay back down thinking, "It's really not. I'm completely and totally miserable. If food is so important to me, why isn't it helping me out at all?"

Food is NOT the port I can cling to in a storm, and yet I've been holding on to it with a white-knuckle grip for the past six months. And honestly, I'm just reaching the point where I'm so angry about this! Why does it have to be that when things are good, someone is cracking open a bottle of bubbly and serving hors d'oeuvres, or we're going out to a three-course dinner with drinks to celebrate? And moreover, why does it have to be that when things in my life are stressful, I escape with bottles of beer or wine, and all the food I feel I deserve after such a rough day ... such a rough week ... such a rough time in my life.

And what do I end up with? These 20 extra pounds that are keeping me away from my favorite pieces of clothes, keeping my from scheduling a family portrait session because of the shape of my face, keeping me from feeling like the best version of my self.

If you're offended by profanity, here's where you should stop reading. Thanks for reading, by the way.

But here goes: This is such bulls*#%, and I'm so angry about it! If I want the best version of myself, I should be able to look that food, those high-calories drinks, that stressful week in the face and say "GO TO HELL!" I deserve better than this, and so now I'm going to do this:

Dear Food,
I realize I need you to live, so I can't get away from you. But damn it, you have entirely too much control over my life, and now I've become quite pissed off. My life — its ups and downs, its joys and sorrows — cannot be summed up in a bowl of buttered popcorn, or in a pint of my favorite beer. I've hidden behind you for the past six months, and it hasn't helped one bit. In fact, it's created a much worse problem — I'm starting to doubt my own self-worth.

I'm taking the power away from you, and gonna start putting the power into Coming up from me are some really honest blogs that I'm gonna sink my emotions into, because let's face it, sinking my teeth into you all the time just makes me want to keep leaning on you. And to be quite frank, I have a lot of pairs of jeans in my closet and I think they miss me as much as I miss them.

I'd sign this letter "lovingly" or "fondly" or even "begrudgingly", but instead I'm just going to sign it,

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  • CANDEE412
    You go girl
    1861 days ago
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