Weighty Matters

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What I Feared

on November 19, 2013

In the conversation I had last night with a dear friend, we both talked about resisting weight loss surgery years ago. I remember about five or seven or whenever years ago, my sister-in-law asked me about it and I said that I was afraid to have the surgery.

At the time, and for years, I firmly believed I was afraid of the surgery itself. I feared that something would go wrong. Or so I thought and said.

What I really feared came through loud and clear for me today while I was in the shower. I was afraid to give up my crutch. As destructive as my eating behaviors were/are, as much damage as my super obesity was doing to my health, I feared giving up the behaviors and putting down the quantities of food. I think it’s a real sign of the depth of my disease that I continued to choose that which hurt me in the present and jeopardized my future because I was afraid of trying to live without it. Does that qualify as the devil you know?

It feels like I’m focusing a lot these days on the aspects of my eating disorder and diseased thinking. For me, it keeps coming up which indicates that I’m ready to work on it, pick it apart, understand myself more and move on from it into healthier ways.

Since reading that essay a few nights ago, I’ve reminded myself every morning to make the choice to live in recovery. It isn’t that I haven’t been doing it, but every day I actually say the words out loud to myself. Today I choose recovery. That sentence packs a lot of punch. It sends a message to my old fears that they are not the option. It not only internally strengthens my intention, but it also means that turns it into a public declaration. Ok, I don’t run around telling other people, “Hey, today I choose recovery”, but somehow speaking it aloud makes it more real.

After having the thoughts this morning, I pondered a lot about how I really feel about not using food in the old diseased ways. Choosing recovery takes the drug impact qualities away from food and allows it to be its appropriate role in my life — nourishment. It’s okay to derive reasonable pleasure from the taste as long as I don’t imbue it with lots of other traits that aren’t healthy.

What I’m finding, much to my satisfaction and delight, is that I’m okay with food just being food. I don’t need it to be anything else, so I have no need for fear. I can give up my crutch, shelter, armor and do very well with it, thank you. There isn’t anything that I’m going to face or deal with that requires me to overeat in order to cope. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, I’m strong. I can handle anything.

2 responses to “What I Feared

  1. Skye says:

    This is such a powerful post tonight! You are strong. You can handle anything. You show it every day by taking care of your work, your home, your puppies, your volunteer duties, and now, finally, yourself.

    Making that statement to yourself every morning is a TREMENDOUS thing! It’s such a powerful tool. I can totally see you wielding it like a sword, your desire like a shield, as you make your way through life.

    You inspire me. Now I’m going to look at ways in which I am still holding onto crutches (because I’m fairly certain I am). I agree with you that you must be ready to look at the emotional nuts and bolts of your overeating disease and deal with them. Yay for you!

    And remember: you are not alone. You are surrounded by support.

    • Mary Stella says:

      Realizing that I can choose recovery and stop choosing to fear has been powerful. I need to keep embracing that power.

      Skye, the support we receive from friends near and far is tangible and powerful. I hope you feel it too.

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