Since I'm not completely brain dead yet despite years of exposure to Nickelodeon and Disney, I've been doing some deep soul searching and lots of reading in lieu of a good therapist which seems to be unavailable right now. I'm really grateful for one book in particular, "Lying in Weight- The Hidden Epidemic of Eating Disorders in Adult Women" by Trisha Gura.
The author breaks down the reasons why women are vulnerable to eating disorders at different periods in life. I'm discovering that along the way I have completely missed the psychological hurdle of adolescence. Growing up in a codependent, emotionally abusive household I didn't develop the self esteem or the coping mechanisms to deal with stress and anger. In a home where life revolved around where, when, and what we were going to eat next and used food as a reward and love, I learned by example to turn to food to deal with these emotions. For me food = crack.
I find myself trying to raise teens now without the resources to show them by example how to deal issues I never mastered. I guess in a very real way I'm like many of my characters; intelligent but not wise. I have tried my best to emphasize that food isn't a reward. I'm not sure how well I've dealt with the food = love factor because I still tend to express myself that way despite my best efforts. Hopefully it is only one of many ways my kids experience my love for them. I can only hope I haven't perpetuated this gross cycle further.
I know now that I will be morbidly obese until I can learn new ways to filter emotion and deal with situational eating, my two biggest triggers. I can't avoid getting together with people because of my social anxiety and inability to control myself around food forever. It leaves me feeling bitter and isolated. I am going to TOPS again which is a good step forward. I'm finishing off the last 7 sessions of my Living Well classes as well. Last night at class I managed to get a hold of a number for the Behaviorists that work with the program.
I also want to join the Tsaoist Tai Chi Society when school starts and start taking classes at the Westerville dojo. Fortunately, I've learned there is another in Shawnee Hills near where we are looking at apartments when our lease is up in April. One of my TOPS friends actually teaches classes there. I haven't given up on meditation. My mantra is "Eat to Live, don't Live to Eat".