WHAT (JUST!) ONE WEEK OF EATING CLEAN HAS SHOWN ME
Updated: Sep 7
It's been just one week since I decided to face my own addiction - compulsive eating - and I am shocked at the insight and realizations already revealed to me.
First and foremost - the real source of my anger. Of any addict's anger I suspect.
Being married to an alcoholic created an anger within me I would have never, ever suspected or expected possible. It wasn't all at once, of course but a slow deteriorating escalation. If there can be such a thing. Anger escalated within me as my own being deteriorated. I would just feel so, so angry. A visceral anger. A physical anger that pulsed through my body. It scared me, to tell you the truth. I wonder what it was doing to me on a cellular level. And I didn't just grow angry with and at my alcoholic husband.
Disappointment, disgust and despair for my choices, bad choices, actions and lack of actions fueled the anger accumulating within me. Overweight for the last 18+ years, I felt so disappointed in myself every time I saw my reflection in the mirror or a picture of myself someone had taken.
"How?!" I would demand of myself, "did you gain so much weight."
And worse, my mind would taunt,
"Why the hell haven't you been able to anything about it in 18!!! years?!"
Sometimes I would be particularly cruel to myself and calculated if I had I "just" lost three pounds A YEAR, I would be a healthy weight now.
These sorts of conversations raged on in my head as my compulsive eating raged on outside my head.
Oh, I tried.
I tried and I tried and I tried and I...
I hated myself for it
I hated my marriage for it.
I hated everything my life had come to be (or not be) for it.
Or so I thought.
Do you want to know what I really hated? What I was really so angry about? Not the weight or the lack of success to date. Not my marriage's role in my weight. Not even my husband's drinking - as it related to my compulsive eating anyway.
No, what I really hated and what was making me so angry was the continued lying to myself!
What I hated and what was making me so angry was my lack of honest progress toward my goal!
It was the eating "just one" potato chip - that became the whole bag.
It was the "starting Monday" as I pigged out all weekend.
It was the "this time I am really going to...." as I ate copious amounts of crap.
It was the "I'm vegan" as I hide in the refrigerator door in the middle of the night, dipping turkey meat into mayonnaise.
Lying erodes ALL relationships.
Including and especially the one you have with yourself.
Have I lost weight in one week?
Of course not.
Does my reflection look any different? A picture of me any more appealing (to me)?
Nope. (Though I am shutting down those wretched words in my head that I once allowed in regards to my appearance.)
Will it take me a long time to lose 60 pounds?
It certainly will.
So why do I feel so strong? So joyful? So excited about my life?
Because finally I am not lying to myself!
I'm not eating doughnuts while pretending I am not.
I'm not scarfing down French fries while telling myself this time "won't hurt."
I'm not devouring hunks of meat and slices of cheese while proclaiming my self a plant-based diet proponent.
In the middle of the night (or standing in the refrigerator door) we all know the truths we are living by. Even when - especially when those truths are lies. And it will piss you off, frankly. No one likes to be lied to.
It's in part why the alcoholic is so angry.
He KNOWS he has a drinking problem.
He KNOWS he is verbally abusive.
He KNOWS the blame and responsibility for the issues in his relationships and his life lie at the feet of his drinking.
And he knows he is lying to himself.
What do you lie to yourself about?
Whatever it is in your life you have longed to correct, change it for one week. Just seven days.
And just one thing. Don't go all New Year's Eve resolutions and vow to fix everything that needs fixing in your life, all at once. Pick Just. One. Thing that nags and haunts and taunts you (while you lie to yourself about changing it tomorrow. After the weekend. When summer is over. After vacation, etc., etc., etc..)
It may be going for a walk. Or not charging things on your already charged-up credit cards. Or forgoing your usual fast food breakfast. Perhaps simply getting up 30 minutes earlier in the morning so you can leave the house like a reasonable stable individual rather than like a feral weasel.
Whatever it is, pick just one thing and un-do it or don't do it or do it for one week.
You'll be surprised the power you begin to feel within yourself but more importantly, you'll be amazed at the sense of clarity that begins to emerge so quickly. I now (finally!) know: it's never been my husband's drinking or my weight or my eating or my yelling or even my anger that crippled my soul and had me damning my own life.
It's been my inability to stop lying to myself and start making true, honest progress toward the life of my dreams.