Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Eating to live.

There's a grumbling in my tummy. It's been there for going on two hours now. I'm trying to ignore it but it's suddenly morphed from just a grumbling to a burning and grumbling sensation. It's trying to tell me something.

I'm hungry. Or at least I think I am.

I'm trying to learn how to deal with hunger in a positive way. How is that possible you ask, if you aren't going to eat something?  Most people eat when they feel hungry. I can't. If I eat the minute I feel hungry, I eat until I start to feel sick. It's disgusting. So I'm training my over stretched stomach that it is in fact not going to die if I go three hours without eating. That water is just fine as a filler between meals. I'm trying to help it help it's self. I'm an emotional over eater. I have been for as long as I can remember so this hunger I'm feeling isn't really all hunger. Some of it is boredom. Some of it is guilt.

Yep. It's true.

Food has been my best friend and a horrible enemy of mine for as long as I can remember. It's brought me joy in moments of celebration, comfort in moments of strife. It's helped me get through a boring rainy afternoon when there was nothing I could think to do but sit with a bowl of goldfish and eat.

My emotional over eating has gotten me this far in life. But I feel like I've had enough. I feel like if I don't consciously make changes and have people hold me accountable for them, I'm going to need an entire new wardrobe soon and I'm quickly running out of sizes available in most stores. I need to train myself to eat to live and not live to eat.

I've tried many many times over the years to start watching what I eat and how much. It works. For a while. I lose a few pounds and my clothes fit better and then I slide. Slowly but surely into old, horrible habits. A handful of pretzels here, a slice of cake there. Just a little treat I tell myself. I've earned it. But really, I haven't.

In an minute all the effort I've put in to mentally strengthen myself against food is gone. I rationalize, eat myself into oblivion, feel incredibly guilty and then give up.

Sometimes I don't know what's worse. Living with my addiction or the guilt I feel over backsliding after a stretch of healthy eating habits.

I am back on the wagon. I'm counting calories and making sure I'm eating because I'm hungry and not because I'm feeling something I don't want to deal with. I'm making an effort to hydrate properly and making sure I'm moving around during the day.

As a stay at home mom I fall into ruts of "we've walked the block 8 times this week I'm bored with it already". It shouldn't be an excuse to not get outside and exercise (especially with the lovely weather we've been having) but it becomes one.

The biggest reason for this confession is that it's going to hold me responsible. I can honestly say, I haven't shopped in the non-plus sized section since I was in the 7th grade. 7th grade. That's like what, 10, 11 years old? Yep. I was a size 20w in the 7th grade. No one else had the clothes I was wearing because no one else was that big. I have accepted the fact that I'm a large girl and I've made the best of it but it's never been easy.

It took me a long time to realize that even though I'm fat I am beautiful. Dating in college and high school was hard. College was way harder. Being surrounded by super beautiful girls who always had a pack of boys with them was detrimental to my confidence. The more I hung out with my roommates and realized that none of the boys following them around were flirting with me, the more guilty I felt for being fat, the more I'd eat, the fatter I'd get. It was a vicious cycle. I hated it.

I am forever grateful to my husband for seeing past my size and choosing me for who I am. For seeing me as beautiful despite my size 24 jeans. For reminding me how pretty I am even as those jeans grow tighter.

I am ready to try again. Ready to face the hunger pangs and tell them "No! I'm not hungry. I ate an hour ago. I'm bored" and find something to do. I am ready give up living to eat and learn how to eat to live.


  1. Amen Erin, I've always thought you were beautiful.

  2. You're awesome, Erin! Way to go! You can do it!

    1. Thank you Erin! I am certainly going to put my best foot forward!

  3. I am attempting to have our family be more healthy - eating better and being more active. I'll be an accountability buddy with you, if you want. :)

  4. That's a fantastic goal, that I'm sure you can do! I'm proud of you :) and you're right, no matter your size you're still B-E-A-UTIFUL! And there are a lot of people out here rooting for you because we love you! Good luck!!!

  5. You are, and always have been, a beautiful lady, much like your mother (I can be just a little prejudiced on this) and you can and will achieve your goals. Just keep in mind all those who love and support you and call any of them any time you need encouragement.