These past few months have been rather batty. Stuff that is too personal or awkward to write about in real time. Also, stuff that is too personal and bloody tedious to subject you to.
A healthy eating poster at the local primary school
Basically I took myself off to a shrink. After a year or more of saying I should be able to fix this on my own I thought I'd try talking to an objective person about things.
It was very fruitless to begin with, because I was being very half-arsed about it. There were many conflicting voices:
- Shame and Fraudulent: I'm wasting her time, I should be able to fix things on my own.
- Denial: There's nothing wrong with you; harden the f*ck up whinge bag!
- Hopeless: You've cocked up so badly you're beyond help
- Blogging Out Loud: telling "hilarious" stories and not being honest about how crappy things were, in case she didn't believe me and/or thought I was pathetic.
It was three expensive months of not much progress and soooooo much denial. I bawled and/or binged and binged and binged after every session. I was tempted to churn out a few of my "I'm doing great now!" blog posts even when I wasn't, because I felt like I should have been doing better.
But slowly, slowly… light bulbs started going off. The energy saving kind that take awhile to warm up, but still, progress.
Recently I got home from work and went to get changed for a workout. I saw my favourite winter coat in the wardrobe and for some reason decided to try it on. It was so tight that I couldn't get it over my shoulders. I looked in the mirror and the bullshit and denial just fell away. I plonked on the bedroom floor and had a cry for twenty minutes.
Then I thought, Righto, ENOUGH. I got up, put on my gym clothes and did a Cathe weights DVD. I started sniffling again halfway through because I couldn't lift as heavy as I used to, but it still felt like a minor triumph over the "you suck, you're doomed!" voice.
"What has changed?" the shrink asked in our next session. What's changed is that I finally accept that I have work to do. I accept that I need to change the way I think and I accept that this takes hard work. I accept I need to communicate properly with my loved ones and not hide or deny problems.
I accept that I need to build a healthy relationship with food that will sustain me for the rest of my life. I had to buy size 18 jeans recently. I want to get back into my 14s but my approach is different now. It can't be about losing weight so I'll fit into a wedding dress, or have an ending for a book, or look acceptable to promote a book, or to live up to the expectations of certain people. It will never stick until deep down, I want to live a healthy life just for me.
I finally see how damaging the language of shoulds, musts and have tos has been. I see how needlessly worrying about what other people think has steered my actions. I see how hiding my problems has made them worse. Man, it's really embarrassing to realise how you've let things go to pot. Even more embarrassing to see how powerful the LA LA LA EVERYTHING'S FINE denial has been.
But I am writing this with a dopey grin on my face because I feel alive and clear-headed and unburdened. I've just spewed this entry straight from the guts today and feel like a complete WANKER for all the psychobabbly dullness but thought an update was overdue. It's been a very insular, delicate, roller coaster process that leaves you feeling very raw and haggard at times, so hopefully you can understand why the blogging has been sparse. I hope you're well and dandy and thank you, as always, for sticking around!
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