An abusive relationship—with food

Think of the worst possible thing that your family could suffer.  Now back that fear off by about 10%.  That’s the stress and fear my family has been living under for the past three weeks or so.

What happened to us is far too personal to share on a blog, but suffice it to say my family is still shaken.  We’re muddling through, doing our best to believe that our sense of stability will return.  It’s tough, laden with tears, but we’re trying.  We’re focused on the goal.

All of this stress and–I’m going there–horror has kicked my already unhealthy relationship with food into overdrive.  I have not been to my Weight Watchers meeting since this began and I haven’t been following my points.  My mood has scraped bottom enough that my husband suggested I seek counseling again.  Depression is not conducive to weight loss, especially when your big goal for the day is just lugging yourself out of bed.  I have, for all intents and purposes, stopped trying to lose weight, my weight loss goals seeming so selfish in my family’s time of need.

This week I’m trying even harder.  I am probably going to my meeting this week.  What’s holding me back is that I have to change my meeting time because of this crisis.  I’m not sad because I will do whatever needs to be done to get the four of us through this, but it’s scary for a socially inept person such as myself to take that plunge into the murky waters of friendship.  Now I’m starting that process all over again and that is frightening to me.  It took me six months to start talking to people in my old meeting.  And here I am beginning again.

I know I’m not the first person to have an unhealthy relationship with food.  In times of stress I eat.  In times of major stress I flip the bird to my goals and eat everything bad for me that I can get my hands on.  Good choices don’t just fall by the wayside, they fall off the map entirely, no longer existing, not just being ignored.  I’ve eaten loads of food that was bad for me, and I did it consciously.

Why?  Why do I knowingly beat myself up?

Some of the reason is that I’ve been questioning everything about myself these past three weeks.  Am I a good enough mom?  A good enough wife?  A good enough person?  I have a tendency to be painfully honest and, when I turn that laser focus on myself, I am unusually cruel.   And I just can’t stop beating myself up.  The easiest way to do that is to consume mass quantities of cake, grease and fully leaded pop, trying to make myself feel better.

Another reason that has not escaped me is that I am, in effect, punishing myself for my failings by doing the one thing I know is blatantly bad for me.

Ugh.

Be patient with me, dear reader.  I’m crawling out of a hole right now and I’m doing so with less than just a little oomph behind me.  Luckily, we have a support system in place.  We have a great family, awesome friends and we’re surrounded by love.  We’ll get out of this funk with their help.  In time. writing

 

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About Miranda Gargasz

Miranda Gargasz is a freelance writer. Many of her essays can be found on sites like ScaryMommy, The Christian Science Monitor and The Huffington Post. In 2014, she published Lemonade and Holy Stuff. She is also a contributor to Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee, and Lose the Cape: Never Will I Ever. She is currently working on a book about the realities of weight loss entitled Plus Size Mama, due out in 2016..
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9 Responses to An abusive relationship—with food

  1. Dear, dear Miranda–my thoughts and prayers are with you! I had a scare not unlike yours 20 years ago with my sister. I, too, was shaken. However, I think it would be much worse were I in your shoes. Believe me, you are a good enough mother, wife, friend, blogger, weigh watchers’ meeting attendee. You can do it, sweetie. I have faith in you!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

  2. I hope that everyone is doing okay. I’m sorry that you are going through such a horrible time. It sounds like you might be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, though, so I hope that light keeps getting brighter.

  3. Megan says:

    I’m sorry for whatever your family is going through, I hope things start looking up for you all very soon.

  4. Kristi says:

    Hi Miranda, I just stopped by your blog for the first time and wanted to say that your experience really resonated with me and I can completely empathize. Sometimes, we do have to put things like weight loss aside for a little while and focus on other, more important aspects of our lives, and that is totally okay. I went through a really rough couple of years after an unexpected loss–an abusive relationship with food is a really nice euphemism for what actually transpired! What matters is that you eventually pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward. You can do it 🙂

    • Thank you for stopping by, Kristi. While I’m delighted to have you on board reading my blog, I am sad to hear that you had to go through some rough times. Support from folks like you really helps me along this journey and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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