I’ve been thinking a lot of how I “used” to be. I am saying “used” very loosely. That part of Nicole is still in there…I doubt she’ll ever completely go away… but I’ve been thinking quite a bit of the 264lbs Nicole. The things I used to do…especially with my relationship to food.
I’ve done that hiding in the bathroom…stressing out while scarfing down leftover Taco Bell so that no one would see or know what I was doing. Or eating mounds of food and using the excuse of “I haven’t eaten anything today, I’m starving.” Or those times where I would seriously contemplate which junk food is cheapest so I can get more of it. Little Debbie/Hostess snacks were great for that. Five bucks would give me over 2500 calories worth of Swiss Cake Rolls.
It was something that I didn’t even really think about. Embarrassing really. I still have moments, where I just want to throw my hands up and say screw it. Who really cares if I get fat again? Does it really matter? It’s so hard, maybe I should give up.
They’re almost poisoned thoughts. They are those thoughts that make the urge to sit there and eat a pan of brownies to myself. Or make me want to hit up Wendy’s and get the Double Baconator…fries…shake…and while I’m at it might as well grab a Chicken Sandwhich too.
It takes a lot to get out of that funk…there are some days I don’t even know where I get the “strength” not to do something like that…and honestly, some days I fail.
And really, it’s the days I fail that show me how far I have gotten. Yeah, I still get the self loathing that I did before. But instead of the “You’re fat and disgusting” kind of self loathing, it’s the “why would you have done that, you’ve done so good and look what you’ve done.”
My self loathing is more positive…if that makes any shred of sense. Instead of bashing on my body self esteem issues…I bash on how I strayed away from progress. It’s a nice change. It’s like constructive criticism from myself.
Not only that, but days that I fail puts the past into perspective. When I’m sitting there and I eat myself to overly stuffed, you know that “Ugh, if I take one more bite I’m going to puke” overly stuffed. It’s heartbreaking, I don’t like feeling like that. Where I know that I have eaten too much, and I can feel it. It’s not a good feeling.
It is one of those bittersweet moments. I hate the fact that I have eaten so much, it doesn’t feel good physically or emotionally. But it does make me feel good in comparison to four years ago when I would have to eat twice as much food to get to that point.
Don’t get me wrong, I can still put away some food. Definitely. I’m not trying to claim that my stomach has magically shrunk or anything. I don’t even know if that is physically possible. But I can now tell myself to stop. Four years ago, I couldn’t. Perhaps “wouldn’t” is more appropriate.
I hate talking about it. I would much rather just pretend that it never happened. The thought of how I was four years ago seriously makes me want to hide. I am, shall I say, ashamed of where I was.
Sitting down to eat and plowing through seconds, thirds, and fourths of food… still being hungry but pretending I’m not. Then just getting up in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep hoping there were leftovers in the fridge that I could gulp down. Or perhaps, more embarrassing moments of hiding food in my purse, or hoping no one can somehow look at my stomach and see exactly the amount of food I shoved down my throat. Or using “I’m on my period” as an excuse to eat my weight in chocolate and cake.
I know I’ve learned. Very seldom do I actually want seconds. I don’t remember the last time I had “thirds.” I don’t remember the last time I used the “I haven’t eaten anything all day” excuse. I can tell myself when I have eaten enough, and I it’s pretty rare that I get to that “I’m going to puke” moment. Yeah, it still happens…but not that often. And that is a good feeling. Food hasn’t seen the inside of purse in YEARS. Which is amazing.
I’m doing better. It’s always a good thing to reflect on where you were at one point before continuing on. It’s a nice motivator. When I’m sitting there in front of 2,000 calories of food…palms itching to dive in… and that thought passes “No, you haven’t lost 80 pounds to eat like this.” It actually feels good to be able to get up and throw it away. Yeah, waste of food…definitely. But I would rather waste food in the garbage than waste food down my throat. Or after I’ve already eaten enough and I’m standing over the stove picking at the leftovers (before Josh has a chance to throw it away) it’s a strange (but great) feeling to be able to tell myself “You’ve eaten enough, you’re full and content…no need to keep going.
Is it a lack of modesty to be proud of myself? Honestly, don’t answer that because I don’t really care. I want to be proud of myself. I want to be able to look back and tell myself that I have done awesome and things are changing. I love being able to sit there and look at my plate and be proud of what I am eating…rather than wanting to hide away to eat. I’m getting there…and sure, sometimes I definitely lag behind, but I’m improving. I’m not a super woman, I don’t have superhuman self control. I’m just me. Silly little Nicole, who still fights with junk food, still wants to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner and not consider what I am eating. I still stand in front of the fridge at 3:00am when I get up to use the bathroom…9/10 I close the fridge empty handed (and empty stomach for that matter.)
Perhaps the point is that I’m still “Nicole.” I still have hard times, I still have those moments of weakness…but I’ve come to realize that I haven’t referred to myself as “Fat, disgusting Nicole” in a long-long-long time. And it feels incredible.