Theoretically, this story starts when I grew some boobs and my mom freaked out, started dieting me. I have various strange and painful memories of searching out potato chips in unusued appliances and car trunks, getting up late night when everyone’s asleep to eat meals of canned soup and tater tots, frozen fried chicken, pizza. Other memories are of feeling like I ruined my diet by eating a strawberry, when only celery was on the menu. Diet pills that made me play piano all day, then go jogging late night, after everyone was asleep (hiding from cars, of course). Weight yo-yo’d like crazy, as you might imagine. And so went my teenage years.
Reading a paper on my first job out of school, I saw a recruitment ad for a binge eating study at Stanford. I’d never heard of bingeing, but figured what the hell. It was based on a book for bipolar disorder (never heard of that either) by Marsha Linehan, and we learned such things as emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and other such stuff. It sounds strange, but I’ve known other eating disorder therapists to use a newer book by her, which I would actually seek out and buy if I wasn’t so lazy, or resistant for other reasons, like being sick and tired of the whole issue. Anyway, slowly I learned (much later, but learn it I did) to sit with my emotions, even if they’re uncomfortable, without having to stuff myself, or drink, or fight, or any other compensation. I can just feel bad. This is where I am emotionally now, and I’m trying with moderate success to make my life better so that I don’t feel so bad all the time, maybe even occasionally feel good.
So I lost my excess weight a few years ago, moved in with the boyfriend, kept it off for a year or so, then started gaining it back. When I had gained back about 45 pounds out of a possible 60, I decided that I had more work to do. I had been a binger and dieter and disordered eater for so long, I had no idea how to eat normally, and obviously I wasn’t doing it right.
Anyway, this is disturbing to me, so I’ll write more some other time. I’m still off ciggies and not gaining weight (probably not losing, though). Hope all is well with anybody who reads this.