I am a food addict.
It’s difficult being a food addict, because unlike other addictive substances, we kind of need food to survive. You can’t just quit cold turkey. And the lines between healthy eating and unhealthy eating are very blurry. And eating disorders are incredibly misunderstood.
I was trained as a Holistic Health Coach by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I learned a ton about food and healthy lifestyle changes, why people live unhealthy lifestyles, tips and tricks and tools to turn your health and your life around. So I have my shit together, right?
I don’t have my shit together. Do you want to know what I ate this week? You don’t want to know. Let’s just say it involved lots of cookies, popcorn, and a buffet at which I ate probably twice the amount that I needed to (and it was kinda awesome).
I was doing well for a long time, I’ve been in a pretty great food/exercise/healthy balance place, and then something changed. The weather got colder. I started pressuring myself. I started feeling lonely. I started getting stressed out about money. I started getting overwhelmed with all of the things going on in my house. Working right next to the bakery at Whole Foods started to wear me down (no kidding guys, it’s like delicious dessert hell). And my 16-year-old housemate chased me around the house trying to get me to eat chased me around the house trying to get me to eat the chocolate bourbon cupcake that she made (yes, that really happened. Although ironically, I was actually able to resist that time. I did lick the frosting bowl.)
So, basically I weigh seven pounds more than I want to, which sounds ridiculous, but you know what I’m talking about. You know what it feels like when you feel fit, have tons of energy, and aren’t craving food ALL THE TIME to fill the holes in your heart that shouldn’t be there but are. And you know what it feels like when you’re been binging for three days and your body’s a little overloaded, and you know that now would be a good time to step back from the edge before you go over.
You take yourself aside to have a chat. “Hey, what’s going on? Is this food scarcity stuff from your childhood that’s still coming up? Because you have enough money to eat well now, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. You have friends and family and love and hugs and touch, and if you need to take a little more introvert time, you know how to do that, too. So let’s snap out of this autumn funk! Let’s get cracking! Find the inspiration and let’s go!” At least, that’s the chat I had with myself.
So I forgive myself. And find the inspiration (4 Hour Body anyone?). And I begin again. Tomorrow is another day. I know all of the tricks, and I’ve tried most of them. The thing to remember is not that you are powerless, but that you are powerful. You, and only you, have the power to transform your life. I have the power to transform my life. Nobody is force-feeding me or forcing me to exercise. I choose each bite of food that I put in my mouth, I choose to do each push-up, each yoga pose, each mile I run. For that matter, everything I do is a choice. Only I can change my life. I have everything I need.
So I do it. Today I ate too much, but I ate all paleo. Tomorrow, I will eat a little less, I will take some deep breaths instead of automatically reaching for the snacks that show up. I will change my life. One day at a time. One choice at a time. One moment at a time. I can do this.
- My name is Zoe Lassen-Purser. I live in Portland, Oregon. This is a blog about my personal journey.