I have a game I play with myself that makes me feel like a giant elephant turd.
I’ve played this game since I was a child.
You see, my dad would criticize me for my weight.
One of my sisters and my mom too – we were the chunky ones.
He would monitor what we were eating during the day and at night we just weren’t allowed to eat.
He and my naturally slender sister would have ice cream or cereal and watch TV after dinner.
So us “cubby girls” (sans mom) developed our own routine too, stealing and hoarding food – rebelliously eating it in our rooms together at night.
And yes, the takeaway here is that I’ve always been a rebellious little shit, but I’m actually really headed straight towards my relationship with food…
And you know, that really popular thing for women to talk about – body image.
I have an interesting relationship with my body, and it’s gotten better over the years, but I’m realising my relationship with food has a lot more to do with the “punishments” I put my body through than even my body does.
I love food
I’m a Taurus and, let me just say, when it comes to enjoying the finer things in life I feel sorry for anyone who isn’t a Taurus.
That’s not to say that we are the best, not at all.
We are stubborn, hardheaded and fucking frustrating (to ourselves as well as others).
The way the simplest things can intoxicate our senses and mesmerize our existance sure is lovely.
Let’s just say, at the very least I’m a hedonistic sympathizer.
Yet, my skewed perception and rocky relationship with eating have all but robbed me of the pleasure of it too…
I’m hungry right now
Yet, it’s morning.
Somehow I’ve trained myself to ignore my hunger in the morning.
I won’t really “need” to eat until like 2pm.
But once I start, it’ll be hard to stop.
At least lunch will be healthy, afternoon snacks and dinner too – I’ll carefully execute control and pick and choose my nutrition all day.
But night always falls…
And so, this is my game
I’m in control early in the day, and I restrict and control my eating just like my dad used to.
Then, as my willpower runs out, I begin to unravel.
At night I find myself eating food I don’t want and don’t like, even when I’m not hungry.
It is the most annoying and frustrating experience.
Especially because it often robs me of the joy I have when I eat.
The food I eat when I am in control becomes systematic, my mind in full micromanagement mode, unable to slow down and appreciate what I am doing.
Then, at night it’s almost primal – thoughtless and chaotic food-lust, like I’m a bloodthirsty predator no one could possibly reign in.
And the real Mayryanna? She feels caught right in the middle.
I just want to eat my berries slowly so I can feel the exact moment the juice bursts inside my mouth.
Yet, I have hope
I have hope because I just realized for the first time that maybe it’s as much about the control and restriction during the day as it is the binging at night.
For real, that’s why I’m writing this.
All this time, 30+ years, and I never thought my confusion could be just as much a fault of the control as it is the chaos.
Despite my best efforts, I may never be able to increase the duration of my willpower, but I can certainly change it’s focus when I have it earlier in the day.
So, if I were to be eating for me (and not just repeating the patterns I developed as a child), what would that look like?
Well, it would look like eating breakfast every day instead of just 10-20% of the time.
Even better, it would be a healthy breakfast to start my day off right, maybe those smoothies I like to make or some oatmeal.
Then, eating healthy snacks like nuts or fruit when I’m hungry throughout the day and having lots of vegetables and plant based protein at lunch and dinner.
Taking my fucking time to eat and enjoy my food while I still have the presence of mind to be mindful.
I imagine it’ll be much less appetizing to binge on unhealthy carb/fat dense processed foods after dinner if I haven’t been fighting to keep myself in an extreme calorie and nutrition deficit all day too, right?
I hereby commit to feeding myself with care and eating with gratitude
So, obviously I won’t be changing an entire lifetime of patterning overnight.
But I am really excited.
I’m excited, for the first time in a long time, to feed myself and to eat without obsession or confusion.
To smell my food before I taste it, every time.
To listen to my body when it’s hungry, and when it’s not hungry.
To build back my own trust, slowly and intentionally.
To heal my relationship with food and stop punishing my body for needing it, wanting it and enjoying it.
To be grateful of the opportunities I have to eat healthy and delicious foods, appreciating every bite fully.
Mostly, I’m excited to be rediscovering what it means to be Mayryanna, one bursting berry at a time.