I LOVE SUCCESS STORIES! I can’t get enough of those before and afters. But I am always left to wonder: “Where’s the beef?” to quote a famous commercial from my youth. What happened in between? How the heck did they get there? What was it like every day? We can certainly hazard a guess that it wasn’t easy. No before and after ever is.
Well, this page is all about the beef. My beef. Odd choice of words coming from a lifelong vegetarian born to meat-and-potatoes-eating parents. Meat was not my favorite thing on the menu but there it was, every single night. I became an expert at pushing the meat around my plate, digging it out of my mashed potatoes (where my mom had unsuccessfully tried to hide it) and inevitably getting sent to my room for not eating it. I HATED meat. When my parents separated after 17 years of marriage, I was in full-blown teenage mode. With the newly found freedom of no constant parental supervision, and no more mandatory sit-down family dinners, I discovered JUNK FOOD. Heaven on earth! Some people choose drugs, others alcohol, I chose junk food. The more socially acceptable drug. MY drug of choice. The wonderful thing about junk food is that you never actually have to taste it or chew it. What a waste of time that is! Bread, cheese and that oh-so-special sauce do a wonderful job at camouflaging the meaty part. Instant bliss. Not one single emotion could get through this. I couldn’t feel a thing. I had found GOD.
I’d like to tell you that I’m clean and sober now. But. No. Junk food is still my drug of choice when too many strong emotions kick in.
Five years ago, God (the real one – not the one hiding in my cheeseburger) showed up and gave me “powers” I never thought I possessed. Feeling more powerful than Wonder Woman, I punched through sadness, lived through anger and jumped through fear. Then slowly, I got comfortable. Really comfortable. Too comfortable.
Last year, when I decided to go through my own separation after twenty-five years, three kids, one dog, two cats, one dad fighting his own battle with cancer, a change in career and no financial security to speak of, I fell off the proverbial wagon. HARD. My body, not being the young pup it once was, is not happy, let me tell you. Every organ is screaming for me to stop and get myself under control. My meddlesome ego is shouting back saying I need all this crap to get me through.
I feel like I’m almost back to square one. But not quite. I have one big tool chest filled to the brim with everything I’ll ever need to pull me out of this pickle. All I have to do now is spring open the latch. So, God, heads up: I’m cranking up the prayers just a notch.
Peace to all you overeaters out there!
Love everyone. Judge no one.