Why can’t I stop eating
I’m laying on the bed, watching Youtube videos and eating my way through a box of chocolate sticks. I know perfectly well that I shouldn’t do that. Not only is it pretty bad for losing weight, also my skin hates it. But this doesn’t stop me. I put another stick in my mouth and start to wonder what it is that I can’t stop eating them. Why I can tell myself over and over that I really shouldn’t move that hand to my mouth. But it doesn’t stop moving.
What if I get sick?
Strange enough, a lot of times when I do things like this, I actually start thinking about all the dangers. The thought of getting diabetes really scares me. So does the idea of losing my teeth, getting a heart attack, high blood pressure or bad knees because they can’t carry all the weight. But also the thought of losing Dan is really frightening. When will he stop finding me attractive? When will he start seeing what a looser I am? Ironically enough, these thoughts actually make me eat more. I want to hide, I want to get away, I don’t want to think about this. So I hide, under the blankets, safe and sound with a box of chocolates. Nothing can touch me here.
Rewarding and punishing
For me and many people food is a reward. You don’t even need to have a situation where you actually deserve a reward. Long day? Cleaned something? Did something difficult? Food is always the answer in my mind. Ofcourse, unhealthy food is easy to come by and no one will stop you from buying it. The more unhealthy, the cheaper it is. Why should I spend €4,- on cale chips (to name an example here) when I can have normal, better tasting chips for less than €1,-. Food is accessible on any part of the day, hurray for midnight snacks. And because there’s a tremendous amount of different flavors and foodstuffs, you never get bored from it.
This means that in my mind the word diet, actually means the same as “punishment”. I do something difficult and instead of a reward, I get punished. No other reward gives the same advantages as food does. I can’t get my mind to realize that, on the long term, it actually means freedom. It means not having to worry about other people’s opinions anymore. Having more energy. Looking cute in dresses. Actually achieving something and being able to be proud of myself. But my mind doesn’t want long term rewards. You can call it changing your lifestyle as much as you want. Fact is, the minute I limit myself in my “rewards”, it feels like being punished.
It doesn’t really help either that I’m low on money and this actually really stresses me out. When I moved in this house there wasn’t really another option. It was 2 weeks before christmas, ex-boyfriend canceled the rent of our house together, and there I was. I needed to find a house within a month. This house was a little too expensive but really the only option. This means that I can’t complain. I have a nice house and enough money to (with a bit of creativity) put food on the table. In normal months this is. However, any unexpected bills are difficult. And eating healthy or unhealthy actually doesn’t matter much in price. If any, I’d say healthy living is actually even more expensive. Because you need money for breakfast, lunch, dinner and (preferably) something healthy in between.
If I want to reward myself with something other than food, it’s hard to come up with ideas. Books, games and other hobby things are expensive. Going out to do something fun is expensive. I don’t want to sound spoiled, but I don’t see walking in the forest as a reward. Spending some time on hobbies, no matter how fun, is for me a normal thing and not a reward. So how can I convince myself that I’m not punishing myself by not getting a reward?
While thinking about all these things, I realize I expect things from life. I see people all around me that seem happy, so why can’t I? However, I don’t know how to achieve this. I don’t know how to reach goals. The thought of failing scares me so bad that I don’t even want to try. I want to be perfect, I want others to be proud of me. To be honest, what others think and how they judge me, is more important than my own opinion. And so I eat those chocolates, because no one sees it so no one will think badly of me and I can feel free of judgement for a little while.
And at the end of the day I lay awake, thinking about all the things that I want to do but I don’t know how. Thinking of all the mistakes I made that day and what a failure I am. Thinking of how bad I feel with myself, how much I hate myself. Making plans for the next day, all the things I want to do better. But knowing that the next day, I’ll end up at exactly this position because that feels most safe. Hiding while eating something unhealthy to comfort myself.