Well, this is Embarrassing.
It has recently occurred to me that I may have a problem with food. Not like when I was a kid and would go without eating for days because a boyfriend said I had a big butt. Or the time I was so doped up on pills, I had no appetite, lived on almonds, tea and whiskey and withered down to a bony 100 pounds. No, this is quite the opposite, really.
I joke about being a bonafide junk food junky and sugar addict. As a kid growing up, I could eat whatever I wanted. Pizza, cookies ice cream, you name it. Hell, even well into adulthood I could gorge with the best of them!Let me be clear, I do eat healthy but I go off the rails with the bad stuff. Off. The. Rails. Food has become an obsession for me lately. I stuff my pie hole and then regret my decisions terribly once I’m done. Classic binge eater. Also, classic Janice. This is an all to common thread in the tapestry of my life.
Honestly this less about food and more about my body image and being obsessed with a number. Be it on the scale or in my waistband, I have put on some unhealthy weight in the last couple of months and I am losing my shit over it. Blame it on the salon industry I was in for over 2 decades. It is a highly image conscious profession where clients and hairdressers pick themselves apart in front of a mirror day in and day out. For instance, when I was getting Adderall skinny, the first 10 pounds people were so complimentary. And I was 125 pounds to start with! It seemed the more weight I lost, the more accolades I would receive. Until they stopped. Finally, my brutally honest client exclaimed in her Romanian accent “What?!?! Don’t you eat anymore?!?” Here I thought I looked good with gaunt cheeks and a 3 inch thigh gap. Don’t forget being surrounded by magazines with rail thin models and trash rags like US Weekly telling us who’s hot and who’s not. I don’t fancy myself susceptible to propaganda, but those magazines had my number.
Fast forward 2 years and I’m off the pills making me so skinny. It was a harsh reality but my weight went up 35 pounds in a matter of a few months.In retrospect, it felt like 200 pounds more but I was at a healthy weight again. In front of a mirror, everyday watching myself “inflate”. The compliments have totally subsided at this point and I am at a miserable low point. I’m at a low point for a ton of reasons but putting on weight was not making it better, even if it was healthy. Again, the Romanian client chimes in “Oh my, you are getting big!” Apparently I can’t win with her.
Clearly, I place value on a number. What my weight is, what my size is, how many ribs I can see or the gap between my thighs (which has ceased to exist since Crossfit). Sadly, and this is a tough pill to swallow, I place value on what others think of me. Hearing that woman so many years ago and it’s still ringing in my ears today. I feel so overweight and uncomfortable and when I look in the mirror, I pull at the flabby flesh around my midsection and snarl at my reflection. You know, rather than seeing this highly complex human machine that can walk and talk and lift and box jump.
I don’t know how to love myself. Jeeze, even writing that makes me cringe. It’s so not punk rock! Loving myself sounds like something a hippy-dippy, mantra singing, crystal wearing flake would do. Which is totally me. It doesn’t sound angry or hardcore or tough. Which is what I think I am. Let’s just say I am all of those things and I need to learn to love myself unconditionally (gags).
I have a self-deprecating sense of humor which I have been told is quite funny but also a damaging defense mechanism. My internal dialogue is…lets just say not rated for a PG blog. I’m hard on myself plain and simple. It’s like I believe that I am the only person that is going to push me when I am challenged or support me when I’m failing but that is just not true. I have this network of people that want to see me succeed, chase my goals and fight for what is right.
So why am I still playing the role of the lovable loser? Probably because its familiar. I have lived like this my entire life. Also it’s easy. When you’re a lovable loser, no one expects much from you, so you don’t have to work as hard. (Um, hello Cub fans for 99 years!) And it’s habitual. Like coffee, sugar, booze and cigarettes, I don’t feel like I can give this up. Even though I have proved to myself time and time again, that, yes, I can change.
What is my purpose with this blog? Well, I’m hoping that admitting this shitty food-body image-self love thing plants the seed to change. Again, it’s always nice to know I am not the only one who thinks like a train-wreck and snarls at her reflection. And if I can help someone in some insignificant way, than that’s worth it all, right?
PS: Coffee, I can’t quit you.