Monday, April 19, 2004

Progress, not perfection

Monday afternoon. Well, yesterday was successful in a limited kind of way. I managed to get five or six loads of laundry done as well as cleaning two rooms (downstairs bathroom and kitchen) completely, so I'm putting that down as a productive day. Yes, there were several other things on the list, but I just didn't feel like doing them, so I did not.

I think I've made a few breakthroughs about my eating.

I've come to an acceptance of the fact that I am powerless over food. This was not an easy realization for me because I like to cling to the fantasy that I have control over everything, that, if only I tried hard enough, I could make everything in my life absolutely perfect. That is simply not true. Food is something I do not have control over, although I am sometimes able to stick to a food plan for months at a time, eventually my willpower will not be enough and I will turn to food for companionship, comfort, whatever once again. My life has become a never-ending cycle of binge-remorse-anger (at myself)-strict eating plan-binge and is completely unmanageable. I need help and I'm going to get it.

I've also identified one of the things that keeps me using food to medicate myself - I'm afraid that, if I don't have food to eat, I won't have anything at all to do. I know, this sounds ridiculous to most of you, but there are some of you out there that are nodding your heads and recognize that fear, too. Eating isn't just a normal function of life for me, it's entertainment, it's friendship (false friendship, but still), it's a constant that's always been there for me, and, to give it up, I'm going to have to find lots of other activities to fill my time.

Finally, I've realized that having friends feels a lot better than eating does. I know that friendship and eating are not mutually exclusive for most, but, as I described on Saturday, I have some social anxiety because of my weight and my looks, so the more that I eat, the less likely I am to be able to make friends. I isolate myself with my eating and then my isolation makes me want to eat. Lookeee there, it's another vicious cycle!

I'm not going to try to be perfect or solve all of my problems overnight, I just want to try, just for today, to put other things in front of food in my life and see what happens. If I don't do it today, then I'll pick myself up and try again tomorrow. The way I look at it, as long as I keep trying and getting stronger with each attempt, that's not failure, that's growth.

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