I live my life in black and white.
Right and wrong.
Absolutely and never.
All or nothing.
There is no sometimes or maybes, always a hard yes or a definitive no.
And when it comes to food, that perspective is tenfold. I’m a bad person with no self control when I eat a calorie dense food, and the picture of health when I eat something notably nutritious. There isn’t a “sometimes” or a “well, it depends”. Moderation is not in my vocabulary repertoire. There’s a right and a wrong and that’s it. My brain battles itself before every choice I make. Every piece of food I put in my mouth. Every workout I skip. Everything I do gives me overwhelming joy or causes unbearable pain. Black and white, abstain or indulge.
My mind has been flooded with so many negative emotions in the past few days and I need to open the dam to hopefully feel some kind of mental relief. This round of Whole30 was off to a smooth start, until about Saturday when my body rebelled against meat and since then I have been nauseatingly sick to my stomach from anxiety and depressive thoughts. I’ve really been struggling with cravings and my mindset revolving around food. Of course I started this program with good intentions- to subside my sugar addiction and heal my gut inflammation with whole healthy foods- but unfortunately my brain has gotten the best of me which has resulted in my decision to again abruptly end another Whole30.
I have pushed through the last few days completely dissociated from anything else in my life. My work is suffering, I’ve distanced myself from family & friends and even Ian’s constant support isn’t strong enough to ward off the demons I’m fighting. As good as I felt in the first 6 days, it’s a whole other battle happening in my brain. As my body became smaller and less bloated I said to myself “one cookie won’t hurt, no one will know” and I spent the rest of the hour- or day- thinking about that one cookie, preoccupied by the obsession with the foods I couldn’t have on the program.
My flat stomach had been replaced by a gurgling pit of anxiety, a constant slow churning exasperated by any food at all. The last meal I ate that sat well with me was at least 5-6 days ago, and has since been a whirlwind of negative emotions toward whatever food is on my plate. I knew the honeymoon stage of the Whole30 wouldn’t last long, little did I know my food and social anxiety that comes with it would begin to manifest in my gut.
Yesterday I had my first therapy session since starting the Whole30 and Katie seemed hesitant to give push back after I talked about how great I felt in the beginning and my subsided IBS symptoms. After a few minutes of trying to convince her that abstaining from my drug of choice was a fantastic idea, it started brewing in my head that maybe it was myself I was trying to convince. How was I really doing? How did I really feel about it? What have I been lying to myself about? And was I truly happy making the decision to not eat sugar? After just a few minutes of spewing bullshit, I cracked. Hard. I cried and sobbed at a complete crossroads at what to do with my life. I was a fool to think that I could go from sugar crazed maniac to health goddess and not have it bite me in the ass and rebound harder than ever. This has been so emotionally and mentally taxing on my body that the thought of continuing was exhausting. She literally had to tell me? “You’re the only one making yourself do this diet, and you’re the only one that can tell yourself it’s ok to stop. Let yourself eat.” The rest of the session was spent talking about how much I want to be a completely different shape, the amount of times I pinch and body check myself during the day is embarrassing. I have to get out of this life I’ve built for myself full of body image issues and the pressures to be thin. Although therapy is helping me break free from how I view my body and my eating disorder brain- I really only feel safe and in control for 55 minutes every other week on Tuesdays.
I woke up today and told myself I could end the diet today if I wanted to, but to wait until I got home to have something I really wanted instead of making an impulsive decision. After fighting off cravings for 10 days, I just couldn’t do it for another minute. I completely blacked out, pulled a broken package out of the trash and ate 20 mini cupcakes crouched in the corner of the bakery. I ate them so fast I felt like I could throw up if I really wanted to, but I didn’t. After running to the bathroom to see where they settled on my body, I went back to working as if nothing had happened.
So that’s that. I quit. I quit for my mental sanity, the health of my body and in search of finding some sort of balance in my life between the really high highs and the really low lows. Not really the way I wanted to go out, ya know, full of frosting and regret. I have never felt this bad about my body and so out of control about my skewed perception of food. I have completely neglected fitness and honestly I’m not associating myself with the gym or an insanely fit lifestyle at the moment or possibly for a while. 350 Instagram photos are gone with the wind as well as long captions depicting what I’m eating or doing with my training. No more side by side comparison photos, no progress pictures and I will be trying my hardest to dissociate myself from the industry and the pressures of society to lose weight or eat less to become smaller and whither away. I hope to rekindle the love I once had for working out and build a new better relationship with food, myself, my body image and who I am. I’ve spent years chasing a physique and a mindset that has never been attainable, and I have neglected to try to be at peace with myself at its current shape, whatever that may be. Right now it’s a little puffy and mostly just full of cupcakes. This is not how I want to live my life, fighting with the mirror and a fridge full of food. And I won’t anymore. Hunkering down for a long long journey, and I’m packing lots of snacks.