That's the title of the memoir I'm writing about the next eighteen months. Seriously.
In 18 months, I'll be 60 years old. I think of myself as someone who's battled food addiction all her life, but the reality of it is that with a few short-lived exceptions, I'm actually someone who's mostly just given in to her food addictions her whole life. I've thought about battling it, I've belittled myself for not doing so, I've written grandiose plans for the approach that I'm going to start 'tomorrow'. I've journaled and made lists of what I've eaten and studied my triggers and read lots of books. But the honest and ugly truth is that I haven't done much about it until now. There really hasn't been that much battling. Until now. Now, I'm putting on the superhero cape and charging ahead.
Until relatively recently, I've gotten away with ignoring it. I've been fit and strong and healthy overall, and while I've always carried some extra weight, I've at least been blessed with proportions that are relatively flattering. Meanwhile, my eating habits have always, always been appalling. I lie about food, I eat in secret, I shove it in my mouth and barely taste it, I feed all my emotions, I use it as a disguise and a barrier........all the things. I've just kind of been able to still squeeze it into a costume the rest of the world sees as 'mildly overweight' instead of 'really messed up.' But, deep down, I know the truth. I'm a hot mess.
Things changes post-menopause (I got to that particular party kind of late, just about three years ago). Weight shifted - well, actually, it sunk. "Shifted" implies some kind of gentle rearranging, doesn't it? This is different; this is two boobs racing to see which one can hit the floor first, this is a brand new belly 'apron', this is thigh-chafing, and just a general feeling of leadenness.
My metabolism slowed down. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which is a giant load of suck, let me tell you. Bottom line, my bottom line is widening beyond the point where I can ignore it.
I'm not motivated by vanity. I have no need to be any particular size. Sure, thinner would be just peachy. But what I want, what I am working for now, is health, and self-control. I recognize that many factors in life are outside my influence - the RA is a perfect example - but that's all the more reason to control the things I can. I want to be a better role model for my adult kids and for my grandchildren. I want to fix some wrongs in the world in my remaining years and I just feel like I need to get my own act together in order to be more effective.
My family doctor suggested a nutritional counseling class. I said, "Honey, I could write that book. Give me a pen and paper and I write out a 1600, 1700, 1800 calorie daily diet with proportionate carbs, proteins and fats." See, I know that stuff. I just don't do it.
Someone I chatted with online mentioned having more access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Know what I do for a living? I'm a musician, and I'm also, wait for it, an organic farmer running a fruit and vegetable CSA. I pack 50 boxes a week for my member families filled with just-picked berries, melons, leafy greens, etc. I grow them with love and care and pack them up every week. I write a funny newsletter with great recipes. Then I go to McDonald's while I'm on the delivery run. I sit in my farm van, stenciled with the farm name and a healthy-green-crunchy-sounding motto, stuffed with boxes of fantastic produce, and I shove a Big Mac into my face and cry because I don't want it but I can't stop eating it. Sometimes I wipe away the tears and go through the drive through a second time for an extra order of fries. This kind of s*** goes on all day, every day. I've had enough of it.
Well, I'll wrap this up because I needn't write the whole darn memoir here, you know? But I wanted to join the group, I wanted to make a sort of public statement about my intentions in the hope that it keeps me more accountable. I'm having my first hypnotherapy session tomorrow (I've had two preliminary sessions, just talking about issues, and based on the questions the theapist has asked, I'm excited about this journey) in the hopes that it will jump-start the process and help me unearth some hidden triggers. I'll report back every now and then.
But mostly, I wanted to thank all of you for your courage and honesty. I read a lot of posts when I came to this site last night, and I kept thinking "I could have written that one." Over and over again. It is heartening to know that I'm not the only one with this problem. I hope that i can somehow offer some support to all of you here. Cheers, and carry on, warriors.
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