I believe I first began to use food to “self-sooth” somewhere about age 5. I can remember shuttling away to my bedroom with a box of chocolate hostess cupcakes, certain I had just become a master thief complete with a back up plan: if they were discovered missing, I could always blame it on my brother. My 5 year-old self thought the plan was perfect and my sugar high harmless. It becomes no small battle if you pick food as your drug, you can never just “quit it.” And I would argue that while emotional eating may be the only socially acceptable “drug,” it is only truly “acceptable” for the thin. For, in my experience, you are indeed treated differently if you find yourself taking up “too much space.” So, if I could sum up my journey with food I would borrow a former Facebook moniker and simply say, “it’s complicated.” But today, today smells better then double fudge brownies right out of the oven.
This isn’t about the scale, that is merely a marker of what may be working as I continue my journey of learning what MY body needs. Nor is it simply about losing 50 pounds in the last 16 weeks.
Here IS what is represents though:
It is not quitting on me.
It is gaining almost all of the weight back that I once lost after having gastric sleeve surgery.
It is realizing I was wrong on what it would take to get it back off.
It is not staying in the dying spaces and snuggling a blanket of excuses that sound like defeat.
It is not letting the hard season I am in, or the physical pain I endure daily, or my long list of limitations, or my PCOS shackle me down in a space of Hopeless-So-Do-Not-Try Land.
It represents over 8 years of hard work in therapy dealing with my crap.
It stands as a marker of learning more about how to lean on a God of freedom instead of a god of food.
It represents exactly zero perfection.
It represents more freedom.
It is about pressing into being healthy and strong, not a certain size.
It is about making peace with food battles and no longer labeling everything.
It represents a woman who keeps taking the next step, rising up on bloodied knees and bloodied hands after she falls and not quitting on herself.
So if we are choosing our hard, friends, let us choose the hard that leads to life abundant.
Don’t quit. Don’t ever quit on you and showing up for your life.
You are worth it.
Get back up.