Working on ‘Ideal’

I made a calculated decision this week to “let go” of my binge food. NOT to restrict, but to ALLOW myself to experience the feelings I was having associated with not being 100%. Being injured and thus not being able (in my case) to run to control the potential effects of binging. I also did not try to use any other form of exercise to control the fact that I was not running as much.

I abruptly ended my last blog post, It’s Not Ideal, with this quote. Let me use it as a transition, now. The decision to let go of my binge food was not too much of a challenge the first week that I tried. It was pretty easy, in fact. I did not crave it. I did not miss it. I thought it would be tougher because Byron was gone all week in CA.

The challenge began, when he got back, because he came home with the FLU,  and he was very sick. I did not want to be sick. I did not want the kids to be sick. I wanted a break. He had no energy to help. I was expecting his homecoming with anticipation. I could, then, exhale and not be solely responsible for math, bath, attitudes, gratitudes, sass, spelling. . . .

I drove to Kroger the evening he came back. We needed food for the week. ALL I wanted was ice cream. I went up and down the aisles debating with myself.

You deserve it. 

It’s no big deal.

You don’t need it

Just buy it.

You need something else.

It’s a reward.

Remember? Feelings?

I made it out of Kroger. I made it to my car. My heart was beating fast. Sat in the quiet.

Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing we will ever do.

-Brene Brown

Shame cannot survive being spoken and being met with empathy.

-Brene Brown

“You cannot get rid of shame from your life. You can become resilient.” I would question my counselor over and over again,  when she would say this to me. I would say, “but there has to be a way. . . ” I finally surrendered. I asked her what resilience meant in practicality. She said, “when you find yourself in shame, reach out to a safe friend who can provide empathy.”

I reached out. I texted a friend who knows that I struggle with an Eating Disorder. She also knew that I chose to “let go” of my binge food for a while. I texted her and all I said was, “ALL I want is ice cream. I’m sitting in the parking lot of Kroger.”

As soon as I sent it, I regretted it. I wanted to take it back at first. I also wanted to know what I was feeling that was causing me to want to emotionally check out with a bowl or two of ice cream. I started to cry. I was mad at Byron for being sick. I was mad because I had to spend who knows how much longer taking care of “kids” and “life” until he got better. It was not fair. I cried. I was mad at myself for letting something as ‘silly’ as ice cream control me, beckon me. I let myself cry for a while. I let myself be mad. I let myself be disappointed. I decided to feel empathy for myself. . . erasing the tapes. . .

You should be able to handle this, you are a strong women.

You should stop crying and act like the strong person you are.

You should be able to do anything without his help.

You should be able to put a smile on your face for everyone to see how well you are holding it together. 

You should stop being such a baby about this. 

You should not allow anyone to see this imperfection.

For at least 20+ years of my life, containing the thoughts and knowing how to process them in a positive healthy manner felt like an impossible task. I make an attempt to control and restrict my intake not because I actually wanted to lose weight or because I was fat. I’ve been doing it because I want(ed) to lose the emotions, memories and feelings and this is the only way I knew how. 

I felt resilient by speaking my shame to someone. My heart stopped beating so fast when I sat and thought that it was okay to feel all that I was. The racing feeling of my thoughts disappeared when I acted compassionately toward myself and dropped the “should’s” and let the tears fall.

Perfectionism is a 20-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from being seen and taking flight.

-Brene Brown


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