“We have it in our head that if we fill our stomachs, we’ll fill our hearts.”
― Kate Wicker,
On my revolution I have had to evaluate where my relationship with food came from and why I think and feel the way I do about food. There are definitely two versions of this story. There is the one I created in my head. The one that allowed me to continue on my own path to a destructive health with little interference.
“I just love food, besides I am from the Midwest where the steaks are rare and the potatoes are big. Have you seen the corn?” Or the even darker side of that for me, “I don’t mind being fat. That is me and I am happy being that way.” I judge no one that chooses that life. In fact, I am jealous of the truth in the statement and others abilities to claim it because I just cannot. For me, it was the opposite of the truth. Those words may have easily flowed from my mouth, but never ever were they true. They were a cover up of shame and embarrassment that I could want something so bad and not obtain it.
I use the word “something” in particular because I am not even sure I can completely say what that is. It is to be some pretty adjective that describes skinny? Or is it my ideal weight which varies depending on who you ask? Is it this magical place that somehow makes me feel less longing for what I perceive to be a more perfect version of myself? I am not afraid to say I am not there yet. I don’t what that something I am striving for is other than just finding and being my most authentic self.
But my honest truth is I know what it is like to be hungry. I know how it feels to look at an empty fridge and go to bed with a stomach that feels like it is eating itself. It is painful and scaring. And I am not talking the kind of hungry that made me obese. That was not hunger. That was an insatiable need to never feel truly that hungry again. Operating from the mentality that to over eat is to ensure I will never ever feel that hungry again. So much so that at some point I convinced myself it was need.
In the almost 8 months since I began this journey I have recognized that need and sought out what I truly needed instead of more food. I needed to heal. I needed to tell myself I am not there anymore. I needed to face the scary parts of that hunger and find soothing in owning my pain. Running sometimes does that, or a workout with a Kpuff. Or a long hug and talk with my guy. Or a blog. Or a lifelong dear friend on the other end of the line. They make the pain go away much easier than over eating could.
No one can promise that hunger won’t rise up again. Life is far too messy and complicated for such a promise. But I hope and pray that never again will I fulfill the hunger and scars of that time by eating myself into comfort. Instead, I am trying so hard to find comfort from real and lasting things. Things like people and moments and feelings.
No longer do I see food in the same. I see its necessity to fuel me for the things I love. That doesn’t take steak and potatoes or extra cookies or sneaking through a drive-thru at 10 o’clock at night. My life just doesn’t look like that anymore. I love myself by the food I feed myself. Somedays it may be a small sundae from Dairy Queen. But most days it is just plain old steamed broccoli and a hella good dressing on my uber green salad with a side of chicken.
And I recognize that sounds pretty darn boring, but I don’t need my food to always be fat laden and calorie high to know that the life I have is pretty amazing.