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Left Overs...

Posted by on in Food Addiction
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I just came back from 11 days at the beach. I love the sun and yes I know that it is bad for me. Just let me stay in denial about that. The sun makes me feel good. However, I struggled with the bathing suit issue. As many women know, the bathing suit issue hits hard these days. How I look is becoming a bit more conflictual as I age. I see where the sun has taken its toll. The thighs are a lot less firm and tone than they were 10 years ago. The skin is looking a bit weathered from years of baby oil and no SPF 30 as a kid.
One thing that I cannot pretend that doesn’t exist is that my body is changing. I am 50 years old. What else would it do? I call my body “it” because for many years I treated it like it was something separate from myself. “It” was the enemy for many years. And I treated it as so.
I have started my love hate relationship with food and with my body when I was just about 13. There were very long periods of time when I was thirsty for perfection, thinness, control, and safety. There were very long periods of time when excessive food restriction and obsessive exercise invaded the ability to enjoy such times at the beach.
There were seasons in my life when I did look fit and tone in a bikini. I still try to feel okay in a two piece. For me the death of my youth will come when I resort to a one piece. I am telling the truth. I am just not ready to go there yet. Will I continue to treat my body a.k.a. “it” as the enemy as I age and as I see the changes that are happening? Will I learn to embrace this gift or will I have the leftover mentality that is associated with a history of eating disorders and extreme body mistreatment. I am in the dismantling process.
I will tell you the truth, some days are better than others. And it was so these past 11 days. There were moments when I was alive and thankful and really had a carefree feeling about myself. After all I am doing what I love in my career and have big goals for myself. I am loving being a mom and taking care of my family. I am so looking forward to burning fall candles and feeling the chill in the air while my house is filled with the scent of Crisp Apples or Fall Leaves. I have days where I feel thankful and responsible when I lovingly care for my skin, take my vitamins, exercise for 60 minutes and then move on without horrific guilt and fear that I did not pound myself enough.
There were moments this past week where I was like “hey not so bad for a fifty year old” as I walked on the beach or rode my bike on trails in the woods. There were moments this week when I was feeling free after a couple of s’mores. So what! Big deal! They tasted awesome. I was able to move on to the next thing without fear and wretched remorse because I over ate or ate something on the bad list of foods.
I have left overs. Leftover burning embers from a world where I lived secretly for so long in active addiction with Anorexia and Bulimia. Some days the left over miswired thoughts invade my thinking and feelings. In recovery we call that “stinkin thinkin” and yep – I have those thoughts. I really do not want to fight with “it” but somehow I find myself fighting her. I am in my head battling the good and bad food lists and feel the fear rise; shutting off the gratitude I have for just being me and caring for her – my body.
I am now in the dismantling process. I resolve not to go to war with myself because I ate, lounged in the sun, read a book, ate more than I cared to do, walked as far as I wanted and when my body said “that’s enough” I stopped. You see these are all healthy thoughts in my story of recovery. Yet, the left overs tell me just the opposite. The left overs pulverize and stampede the work I have done and the progress I have made. The zest for growing, living, and loving that I now able to do is sabotaged from the leftovers of a life that I once was prisoner to.
The left overs tell me how dare I wear a bikini. They tell me my body is beat, I jiggle way too much, and I look like an old used up raisin. I will not surrender to those leftovers. I vow not to be a prisoner again. I will not accept the invitation to go there.
And I say “I am Fifty and I am nifty” and there is nothing that will hold me back from living life now. Bikini or not….I am free today. I am blowing out the embers that get ignited from time to time. Today I can do that. My body is not the enemy anymore. My body is me – 100% spiritual, emotional, physical all integrated into one great gift from God. Eleven great days at the beach in a two piece – sober, free, and loving me. I did it and did it with ease.
Tagged in: food addiction

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