When the feeling of worthlessness come up in me I stuff them down and if I can I’ll stuff my face. For a long time whenever I’ve felt sad or angry I would find something delicious to eat. I would spend an hour in the kitchen baking up a storm and I’d gain satisfaction from being able to eat something yummy. Sugar was my crack and it wrecked havoc on my mind and body. The feelings would be regaled to the background waiting to come up through me in a different way. Everything would be alright again. At least for the time that I was eating. Then I would be sad, lonely and distressed again.
When you held yourself as tightly as I have for years, your body literally feels like a prison. Some days I feel like I am trapped under a past that I can longer change but, shadows my every step. I’ve spent a lifetime taking care of other people that I feel guilty about taking care of myself. But, my body demands that I take a closer look. With my arms, back and stomach covered in psoriasis taking care never seemed more important. I believe that my body is a reflection of my thoughts. It’s an empowering belief but, one that makes me want to hide from the responsibility. I’ve never really had anyone to take care of my needs. Sure, I was clean and beautifully dressed but, that was pretty much it. All that matters in my family. As long as you can eat and your hair and clothes are perfect then all is good. Except all is not good. I have floods of emotions that are undealt with. It’s a reflex now. A habit. Something sad or uncomfortable happens to mean and in that moment my body tells me that it’s wrong. However, in my head I am unable to take the steps to defend me or to say that you’re hurting me. I find it hard to explain to someone that what they are doing is upsetting me. I stumble over words and I gloss it over. I feel scared to be angry and yet, I hold so much anger inside me. I’m confused as to what my emotional needs are. It’s a flurry of activity in my heart and I’m angry that I was not taught how to take care of it and needs.
I don’t know what the solution is. My diet is so strict now that there is not much to comfort eat with so in some ways having psoriasis is a blessing as I’m forced to consider why I’m craving this or that. When I first began my psoriasis diet I had hoped that I would be cured pretty quickly. One so that I could sleep and two so that my skin would not be so painful. 6 months down the line my skin is slowly healing and the rest of my body. I realise that if I had been cured within a a few weeks there was a distinct possibility that I would have gone back to my old ways. I no longer have intense cravings for sugar and I need less food. The main benefit is that I cannot comfort eat. I’m not sure if it’s that I’m now in a place that I refuse to comfort eat or it’s just the fact that eating 10 carrots is not as appealing as a large slice of cake. The reason is important but regardless of it, anything that pushes me to consider the emotional links that I have with food is a powerful thing. I’m not ready to deal with some of the things that come up and I know that I need to find a process that deals with releasing memories and past hurts. At the end of the day my behavioural patterns are beliefs that I have power over. Sometimes, it feels as though there are too many shitty things wrong with me and I want to hide under my duvet. Then I remember how far I’ve come. There was a time that I did not know that I eat for comfort and it’s taken a lot a self awareness. I never saw the patterns that ran through my family. Awareness takes time and patience. I want to get to the place where everything is brilliant. This takes work and tears. I’m not sure I have it in me. Changing my thoughts is the easiest and hardest thing to do. Progress, right? Not perfection.
When you hijack yourself it’s really easy to allow other people to hijack you.
I’m an emotional eater so when things go bad or I get stressed and busy it’s hard for not reach for food as my tranquilizer. It’s not so much the eating but rather the preparation of food that calms me down. The longer the better. If you didn’t know me maybe you would think that I put on weight by dining at McDonald’s or KFC but no. It’s larger portions of well cooked full of love home cooked food. Good food makes me feel like everything is OK and that all that the rubbish that I am surrounded by can be drowned out for 20 minutes whilst I eat this beautiful meal. It’s like swallowing love. I tend not to stop at ‘satiated’. ‘Slightly full’ or even ‘uncomfortably full’ seems to be the mark. Especially at supper when I’m at home. I’m rarely over-full at work but in the evenings in the midst of hostility I over eat to compensate for the things that I’m missing.
On Wednesday I did 30 mins Core and hip work at lunchtime and 30 mins interval training on the elliptical on level 7. I should have been proud but instead I was miserable. Yes, I had a horrendous journey getting to the gym. The idea of going to a packed gym where other people could see makes me slightly frightened. Actually, frightens me a lot. The later I got there the more people would be there since it was peak time. By the time I had reached the front door I wanted to turn around and leave. Why bother trying to change this body, right? It’s already scarred and injured. Top it off it’s fat. I finally made it the changing room and my eczema started to itch. I started to scratch. I had to coax myself out of the toilet in the changing room like a little child. I tried to listen to some music as a way of keeping out of my head.
Whilst I was on the elliptical I kept looking around me- ‘What is she dong?’ I asked. ‘Her numbers are so much higher than mine’ I thought. ‘She’s going to fast. Why the hell am I so slow!’ I screamed. When I stepped off the elliptical I wanted to sit on the floor on cry. The best part of my session was stretching and realising that my joints and muscles were looser than last week. By the time I had made it back to the changing room and I realised that I forgot my protein shake. I thought ‘LOSER’. On my bus ride home I tried to pick apart my behaviour. Why did I feel so competitive? Why could I be pleased that I had met my targets for the day? Why did feel the need to do an hour in the gym? Whilst trying to be kind to myself by soothing my doubts there was one part of me that was raging like a spoilt child shouting ‘You want to lose weight? Here we go again. Why bother to set yourself up for failure?’ I went to bed with this shadow and woke up with a sore throat, a headache and the beginnings of a cold.
Yesterday, I did no Core work as I felt like death at lunch but later on in the late afternoon I thought that I might do one of yogayak’s video when I got home. I was sure that there was one for colds or I another one I could do. I felt a little more optimistic and less like a failure for not being able to go to the gym. The minute that I stepped in my front door I had my sister screaming at me about my mum’s medicine not arriving. Needless to say I was already tired but I turned on my heels to buy a phone card and when I called my mum she had already picked up her medicine. Had I sent it to the incorrect address like I had done last time? Without going into the details of my family I couldn’t believe how angry I was. And by the time my mother had made the second phone call to complain about there not being enough medicine I was livid. My blood pressure was through the roof and yoga had flown out of my mind. Looking back today I definitely not the victim- I was playing to other people’s expectations of what I should do and be like.
How does this tie in with me wanting to take better care of myself? Well, I’ve always been the big girl and when I’ve lost weight people have said ‘Oh no! Don’t do that. You don’t need to be like those thin girls. You’re not a teenager’. When my mum is in the country and I’m doing an exercise video in the morning she would come down and say ‘Oh, you’re doing one of your stupid videos’. This would prevent me from exercising in front of her and since she is a early riser and first in the lounge my morning exercising sessions flew out of the window. I trying to slowly move to a place where I don’t care what people think when they see me sweating and out of breath. I’d rather be uncomfortable now rather than dealing with diabetes and high blood pressure in 20 years time. Hopefully, after a few months of being at the gym I’ll be able to walk into a packed packed not give a hoot if someone looks at me and what they think.
I have a question for you: should I sit with my uncomfortable feelings and pick them apart to gain greater understanding at the risk of not exercising? Or should I override them and in the moment exercise despite my misgivings?
- Gluten free porridge with soya milk and almonds
- Poussin and salad x2
- Gluten free diary free egg free blueberry pudding cake with yogurt
- Gluten free porridge with soya milk, cashew nuts and almonds
- Salad with turkey and tofu.
- 2 large Sardines with rice and carrot rice.
- 9 Bar x2
- Blueberries adn the rest of my pudding cake with yogurt
- Gluten free cornflakes with soya milk
- Eat Natural Cereal bar
- Strawberries with soya yogurt