This was written about 3 1/2 years ago. I no longer struggle like this, but it was very real at the time. It's sad that food has this effect. I would love to know your thoughts in the comments!
Recently I’ve had some time to reflect. I’ve always liked looking at both sides of an issue, but rarely ever get to actually feel both sides of an issue.
For example, I’ve been on antidepressants before, and knew that at that time I didn’t have a choice. I felt like it was the only logical next step in a roller coaster situation that I knew nothing about. Fast forward thirteen years later, and I know more about hashimotos thyroiditis and depression than I ever wanted to know. I haven’t taken antidepressants in twelve years, and am doing everything in my power to avoid it. However, since I had been on them, and also felt like I needed to be on them at the time, I can truly feel both sides of that issue. While I believe you can stay off of antidepressants, and can certainly get off of them if you’re already on them, I do value that they are absolutely life saving in certain specific circumstances. Had I never been on them, I may not have ever been able to have the sympathy that I do have for those people truly in need of some medically assisted mood lifting.
Similarly, now that I have sore ankles, and aching knees, and tight muscles – all from not eating right and not exercising – I am seeing a new side to a different issue. I’ve made judgments. I’m not proud of them. I’ve seen overweight people in a motorized shopping cart and thought, “How lazy.” I never once gave a thought that it may be beyond their own control.
I also have a friend with a sister who has MS. I’ve tried to help in any way that I can by researching for her. We’ve stumbled across a few articles that indicate eliminating artificial sweeteners, and potentially even gluten, can have enormous positive effects on MS symptoms. She tried giving up her beloved Diet Coke for a weekend, only to surrender to its grip before 24 hours was up. Her words were essentially, “I’d rather die than give up my diet coke.”
Who wouldn’t cringe a little when hearing those words? Who in their right mind would ever even say those words? How could you possibly ever put food above your health? Or putting diet coke above a life without a mother for your kids?
But, here I am. Weighing in at a life altering 193, with pains, and critical health issues that could easily lead to my death, or at the very least a less than full life. I have chosen cheetos over my very own life.
I am no different than those people I have judged. I can feel both sides.
If you’re 20 pounds overweight, or 200 pounds overweight, what really is the difference? Where does that line stop? If I can’t stop eating these foods that are slowly killing me, then who’s to say I won’t be the one riding that motorized cart? I’ll be the one holding up the line at the zoo, because I had to lean on the railing and catch my breath after 3 stairs.
Where does that change occur, and how the hell do we stop it? I’m serious. I’ve been working out with a trainer. I have all the skills and recipes it takes to be a healthy eater. I am a great cook. I’ve eaten healthy and organically and maintained a fairly decent weight for most of my life, and yet here I am again. And, there I was today. Like a crack addict. I may as well be a heroin addict with a needle dangling from my arm, the way I ransacked my house looking for a hit. Ooh! A stash of skittles….a mini crackle bar from Halloween…laffy taffy will even do the trick in a pinch. I glanced around corners, making sure my husband wasn’t looking. I shoved that candy bar entirely into my mouth and instantly felt the drug coursing through my body.
First, it’s the frantic search for the drug your body is screaming at you to find. Your brain has convinced you somehow, any way possible, to go looking for it.
Next, it’s the sneaking. Making noises to drown out the sound of wrappers being opened. Or, you hide in a room far from everyone else and down the goods before they know you’re missing. Hiding the wrappers is an art all its own. I’m really good at hiding my traces. It scares me.
Then finally, it’s the glazed over look in the eyes, after the drug has entered the body. You relax. You smile. You feel good. For a moment.
The most hysterical thing? Right after you’ve eaten something…while the drug is still in your blood stream…you say to yourself “That’s it. I’m never. doing. this. again!!”
Cut to two hours later when the drug is leaving your system, and you’re digging in the bottom of the fucking garbage can again, for that little bit of chocolate you thought you were done with.