It’s another weekend and another chance for me to talk about my addiction to food. I never had a great relationship with food growing up as a kid. I was short, fat and all at a young age. People always reminded me to watch what I ate. The foods my parents cooked back then, everything fried. I’m not blaming them for my being overweight. The things my father said to me, he did so out of love. But nothing seemed to matter. I ate. I gained weight.
In elementary school, I got called many named. Chubby. Fat. Whale on the Beach. I use to cry endlessly about it. Until one day my dad taught me that in order to get past things, I needed to learn to love myself for who I was. It was the only way I could get others to stop teasing me.
But deep inside I never felt beautiful.
Deep inside I could never love myself.
My lack of self-esteem and the way I looked was what led me to a twelve-year abusive relationship with a partner that became violent. I gave up friends. I gave up family, and my closet eating got worse. I would wait until my partner was asleep to sneak into the kitchen and eat. Food became a nasty resource to fill a void I felt deep inside. Negative feelings I had about myself kept me in a spiral that only led downward.
Then I met my husband.
My husband taught me that love is unconditional for those whom we choose to give it to. I was a closet eater but I learned how to make the right choices for myself and how to love myself because I was worth loving, and soon food became something I enjoyed to eat.
Many women I know have gone through different relationships with their bodies and with the food they consume. Some throw food up to make themselves feel better. Some overeat to fill a void. Either way, it’s self-destructive and as a mother, I need to set better examples for my boys.
This weekend I created a mantra for myself regarding food and my relationship with food. It’s sort of a way for me to keep myself on track while still valuing myself.
Food does not have power over me. I have power over food. Food does not dictate what I eat. I choose what I want to eat. Food does not make me feel special, beautiful or whole. I love myself, my husband and my kids. It’s also okay for me to love food. I just need to love food differently. I can love the food I eat. I just can’t eat to feel loved.
In the end, I’m the one who decides what is right or wrong for me. I’m the one in control of what I put into my body. I’m the one in charge of how I feel. That’s all that matters.