Last year I had to face the fact that I am a food addict. The last year has brought into focus that addiction and even in my limited ability to eat now, I am still fighting that addiction. Every day I have to make the choice to eat better, to move more, to not just go have a piece of cake or the bread I am craving. I have to make choices – and while some of it has been easy (as I have physical limitations) – I know I will have to be making these choices for the rest of my life. And that is daunting.
If I am honest, I have some other addictions as well that I need to work on. And they are going to be even more difficult I think.
I am addicted to stress. I thrive on the energy it gives me and I will push myself until I am falling apart. Who else but a stress addict would undergo a drastic life change including surgery, get married and move all in 7 months time?
I am addicted to my work. I think this is partly due to the fact that work validated me for many years as a useful human. When you are fat, that is all many people see so I spent years “proving” my worth to people at work. Even now as the stress of the above is coming to a close, I have started to put that attention into work. And it has to stop. Being driven is ok, this is not.
I am addicted to self-loathing. This is a hard one to understand, but the single biggest struggle I have had with the weight loss, is that everyone sees me differently and I can’t see myself differently. “Proud of you” is something I am not used to hearing from people who don’t know me well and yet I hear it all the time now. And in my head, I can’t let go of the older image of myself I have built. Working on it, but it will take a while.
I am addicted to negative self-talk. I know this sounds like the above, but this habit has been ingrained in me for as long as I can remember. If you say something nice to me or about me, I will spend the next hour or so telling myself how wrong you were and pointing out to myself how I am not that thing or how that thing is not as big a deal as what is wrong with me. For instance, I always heard I had pretty eyes. But in my head I kept saying that pretty eyes didn’t matter when you were fat or that other people had better eyes than mine or they were just being kind to not say the 50 things wrong with me.
I am a work in progress. But there are things I want to be addicted to.
Movement – I don’t think I will ever be addicted to exercise, but I have spent a lifetime avoiding movement and I want to break that. I am not talented as a dancer, but Zumba or some sort of exercise dance may be in my future.
Affirmations – I want to do daily affirmations and I want to be someone who affirms other people.
Being me – I want to be one of those people who is unabashedly me. No pretense – just me. Whatever that is.
Building people up – I want to be an encourager. I do it in my head but have been too timid to do that with other people. I feel like it is time to step it up.
Learning – I have always loved to learn. You would not have known it by my grades in high school, but I love learning new things. Take a class, read a book, whatever – I want to be learning.
My Bible – I have so much to learn still and I think this one needs it own category. God has been so gracious to me and I need to prioritize Him again.