My waist is down to 27 inches and all I can think about are the extra 3 inches and the 20 lbs need to lose, and FOOD. Before you judge or assume that’s some kind of humble brag, there’s more, something deeper and it’s not pretty.
I long for the food I can’t eat. I dream about it. I create fantasy grocery lists. I touch the things I miss eating when I walk by them in the grocery store.
And you know what? It pisses me off that I can’t even indulge. Since I treated my body like the midway at a cheap carnival for 17 years even a little sugar, a little dairy, a damn fortune cookie puts on at least pound. I ate sugar free candy and dairy over a weekend and gained 4 pounds! Not water weight, actual weight.
I send the following fantasy grocery list to my husband and told my son I feel guilty when I ask him to bring home protien pancake mix.
This behavior is bad. Saying fatter is bad. I know what it means. I know 400-600 calories a day is a huge red flag. I know obsessing over food is an even bigger red flag. The demon bitch is back. The demon bitch that says you ate yesterday, you can skip the next 2 days. The one who carries the tape measure in her purse (yeah, it’s in my purse right now). The one who makes me obsess every minute of every day over what I ate or didn’t eat or the water I didn’t drink. I know why she’s here.
She wants control. She really misses someone, not the food.
I lost control of a situation recently and it’s caused me to spin out in a significantly larger way than I ever expected. I have a hard time sleeping, getting up on the morning, just facing the day. They’re gone and I couldn’t stop it from happening. I couldn’t fix it. I didn’t have enough time with either of them. I fucking miss my dogs.
Our most recent loss was the most painful, so much so I can’t talk or write about it without full on weeping. I wake up and touch both of my dog’s ashes and whisper good morning and I love them and miss them. I watch videos of them a few times a week. I scroll through pictures of them. I disappear into the bathroom and sob until I can get a hold of myself again. I sleep with the toy sheep they shared.
I couldn’t control their passing or my emotions. The only thing I can expertly control is my weight.
If this was 2007/2008 here’s what my day would look like:
- Hit Burger King first thing in the morning, get 2 crossanwiches, hash brown bites, French toast stix, Coffee with 5 sugars and cream, and a large orange juice. Eat in the car, most likely while hiding.
- Smoke 3 cigarettes.
- Hit Maverick and grab an Arizona Iced Tea, Doritos, a king size Twix and a pack of smokes.
- Smoke 3 more cigarettes.
- Eat all of that in the first 2 hours at work.
- Hit Wendy’s for lunch (my best friend can confirm all the food I could put down, she was there). Order 2 Triple Cheeseburgers, Fries, chili, a large Pepsi, and a Frosty. Most of that would be gone before I got back to work (which was 5 minutes away if I wasn’t driving).
- Smoke 3 more cigarettes.
- Hit the freezer a couple hours before I went home, I usual had a hot pocket or Mac and Cheese in there. If not I had chips, trail mix, gummy bears (I’d eat the biggest bag I could find), or a theater size box of Dots in my desk.
- Smoke 3 more cigarettes on my way home.
- Eat a bowl of Reese’s Puffs with half n half (yes, I said half n half not milk), or if I had it, eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s before my husband got home.
- Drink another 40 oz of Pepsi or sweet tea.
- Make a giant scratch lasagne, buttered french bread, and salad with cheese and ranch dressing. We usually didn’t have anything left.
- Smoke another cigarette
- Eat a bag and a half of Pop Secret Homestyle popcorn with extra butter I melted myself and red vines.
- Eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food (I’d stop at the store and buy extra if I knew I was going to eat one before my husband came home).
- Drink wine or a cocktail with my last cigarette.
- Eat a piece of left over pizza if we had it.
I have no idea how many calories that is, but I do know I ate like that for a really long time. I’m a stress and emotion eater and to be 100% honest, I miss the comfort.
Today it’s coffee, no lunch, steak or chicken and salad or a vegetable for dinner. Rarely over 700 daily calories since mid February. One day it was a piece of salami and a pickle, that’s right back to 1992 when I’d eat 2 pepperoni and a bell pepper slice in the span of 3 days. That was peak anorexia.
It has to stop. My dogs are gone. I have to come to terms with the fact that I’ll never have another dog, I’ll never wake up to another happy little corgi face or thumping into the door to wake me up for belly rubs and that’s just the way it is. It’s time to accept this and understand that I’ll never be able to control who comes in and out of my life. Death is part of life, no matter how brutal the decision to contribute to easing the end of life for a little being who can’t tell you what to do or if they love you or if you’re doing the right thing.
It’s hard to find other ways to comfort yourself, to gain some control, to feel safe. It’s a lot of work when those demons start screaming at you, poking you, lighting your mind on fire with self doubt and depression.
The fact is, I have to fight. I can’t continue to go to extremes. Exercise, ok great, but don’t be crazy every day. Let the scale say what it’s gonna say without me standing on it staring at a number that rules my life. Stop with the measuring tape, measure happiness with the love and support given to and received by others. Stop obsessing over the loss of my dogs and focus on the humans that are still here.
Let go. Eat some chocolate…
…just not ALL the chocolate.