All my life, when I would hear about dieting or eating disorders or poor body image , I would hear statements like “it’s often not really about the body, or about food. It’s about needing to feel in control of something.” I never really understood that.
I think I am starting to get it. All week, when I was waiting for MRI results, I noticed that I needed to eat even when I wasn’t physically hungry. I needed to eat to calm my nerves. Which left me feeling like I was losing control. Which made me feel very tempted to tighten control and enforce stricter “rules.”
Then I was told that I couldn’t lift but I could swim. I made a mission for myself: find a place with childcare where I could swim. Suddenly I had something I could control. And I noticed I stopped eating to comfort myself. Just having something I thought I could control felt better. For a day or two.
And so I am touring gyms and YMCAs that have pools. And some of the pools look really nice. And seeing all the people in these fancy gyms in their workout clothes, it hits me: I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to spend lots of time here. I like working out at home. I feel like I don’t belong here, in a place where my budget has me stressed about paying the membership dues. I just don’t want to be here.
And so I probably will sign up someplace, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it today. I feel like I am being forced to do it, and I need to feel like I am choosing to do it. So, another day. Today I bought goggles and a swim cap. That feels like enough.
I came home thinking I would eat these leftover meatballs for lunch, and when I found out my husband forgot to put them away last night and I had to throw them out, I lost my shit. There goes another thing I can’t control.
And I told him that I was really having a hard time keeping it together, and that it would be great if he and kiddo could be out of my sight for a while.
I was hungry when I got home and I feel hungry now. I started to make a lunch but decided to sit down and cry instead. I just can’t bring myself to eat when I know I might be interrupted by the sound of a preschooler’s voice. So I am waiting while they get ready to leave the house. And I will eat in blessed silence, or maybe while watching the season premiere of the Bachelorette, or maybe the season finale of SVU. And for a couple hours I will feel have control over this one aspect of my life.
In the meantime I am feeling the feels and crying the cries. Also I have a buddy, who I can actually tolerate right now:
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