“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt
As we enter the holiday season, fear is slowly creeping back into my life. While I know that I am a lot stronger than I was during this time last year, it is the uncertainty of now knowing the outcome that is causing me anxiety. The next month is going to be challenging for me, but it is time to put myself to the test, and see what I am made of. Everything that I have been working towards for the last seven months is all leading up to now.
While a lot of people fear public speaking, jumping out of planes, or maybe even spiders, one of my greatest fears is food. Some might look at me and think, “What the hell is wrong with you. Food? Really, that’s what you are afraid of?”
The answer is yes. Food is something that I am afraid of. While I have been doing a lot better with my eating disorder, the holiday season has always been especially difficult for me. For the last six years, food has been one of the hardest struggles for me to overcome. Imagine teaching yourself to hate something for the last six years, and then trying to have a good relationship with that something again. You can probably see why it would then be a challenge for a while.
Everybody loves the holiday season. Not only is it a good time to be with family, but getting together generally means that there is some pretty good tasting food. Cookie, pies, cakes, potatoes, stuffing. Yeah, sounds really good right now, doesn’t it?
The only issue with that, is that I have basically trained my mind to hate certain foods. Even though deep down I f***ing love them, I would just tell myself that they tasted terrible. Sweets, foods that are high in fat, ect. Basically all of the foods that most people look forward to, I have taught myself to hate.
This holiday season, I am going into it knowing what has happened the last four years where there are endless amounts of food around me; I binge. And when I binge, it generally takes me a few days to get back to feeling good both mentally and physically.
It’s not like I want to eat endless amounts of food. In fact, I hate feeling stuffed to the point where I can’t move. But when I taste delicious foods, something just seems to trigger in my brain. Something triggers, and I just can’t get enough.
Think of it this way. Because I had denied myself of good tasting foods for so long, my brain will think one of two things. The first being that I haven’t had these foods in so long that I need to make up for lost time. Seems silly to you, but it’s a reality to me.
The second thought is that tomorrow, I know I will be back on my strict diet. I know that I won’t be able to enjoy these foods for a while, so I might as well get my fixings in now. Again, seems silly, but welcome to the last four years.
If there is something that I want others to learn from me, it is that food is not the enemy. Everything is good in moderation. A cookie isn’t going to hurt us, a piece of cake will not go straight to our asses, and fatty foods are not necessarily going to make us fat. But these are the things that we are taught, which is why they have become the things that we believe.
I am going into the holiday season with a new mindset. Yes, a mindset that is focused around food. The mindset that I have is to know that I don’t need to stuff my face until I get sick.
I believe that my relationship with food has improved to the point where if I want something, I can enjoy it. I am not too worried about binging until I can’t move, simply because I am not going to deprive myself any longer. That is the the biggest key in overcoming my greatest fear during this holiday season.
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