I didn’t realize I missed smoking cigarettes until I found myself waiting for my husband to leave for work this afternoon. I had a bag of food hiding in the back of the Yukon with taboo things like Reese’s Pieces and Cheeze-Its for me to bury my feelings with once the coast was clear.
But it’s not completely. Nick Jr. is on and I can say with absolute confidence that the coast is definitely preoccupied. At least I hope she is.
I’m 34 going on the fifteen-year-old in my head. I may call myself a recovered bulimic and, more amazingly, may actually believe it more often than not, but the truth is I’m more of a non-practicing bulimic than anything else. That, my friends, pretty much leaves me with nothing else to describe myself as but a binge eater.
Or a binge eater who only thinks about throwing up.
No, wait. I’d be more accurate if I called myself a Binge Eater who Obsessively Works Out, Avoids All Processed Foods and Sugars, and Puts on a Great Show for the Public for Weeks On End Before Secretly Falling Apart Inside of my Head and Diving Head First into a Pool of Self-Loathing and Chocolate in a Misguided Attempt to Make Myself Feel Better….Who Only Thinks About Throwing Up.
That’s exactly it.
Funny how I don’t see that listed as a condition in any medical journals. Also? It would probably look awesome on a T-shirt.
I was fine until I stepped on the scale yesterday at the doctor’s office. I was there to discuss my need for a higher dose of anti-depressants and what I thought was just a bad habit but is actually an OCD condition called dermatillomania because normal is the new boring, and of course I had to step on the scale before it was time to get down to business. I won’t say what the number was because Ill just trigger myself again, but I will tell you that after giving up (until today, that is) all grains, all forms of sugar including maple syrup and honey, all gluten, soy, and dairy (the last one is allergy-related) I’m down one pound and — even more depressingly — am just nine under what I was the day I gave birth 4.5 years ago.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should be smaller and happier and thinner and more confident and smaller. And happier. I’ve been working out (until a few weeks ago) daily, eating only fresh fruits and vegetables and quality meats and juicing so much spinach I may need to get myself a girlfriend named Olive. Instead of listening to the countless media messages that tell me I should be disappearing before my very eyes, my body is instead working hard to prove it is an exception to the rule. There are doctors and unexplained weight gain and and hair loss and tests for various autoimmune diseases and lifestyle changes (that don’t normally include Cheeze-Its) and more waiting and wondering and woe is me.
Sometimes I’m able to convince myself that it’s all about health and not the number on the scale and that health is more important than weight and that I need to concentrate on how good I feel and not how I look when I get off of the elliptical.
And then I see the number that isn’t supposed to matter and am reminded that it does indeed when it’s not moving in the direction in which I had hoped. It matters much more than it should.
Had I not quit smoking, I’d have lit up and celebrated the fact that I wasn’t binging. I would have not distracted my daughter with television so that I could eat the feelings I am not able to process until the new medication takes my brain to a happy(er) place. I would not be just thinking about throwing up.
Instead, I’d be out in the backyard on the patio, the sounds of Nick Jr. carrying through the glass door, as I smoked away my anxieties and smiled smugly about being stronger than my own mind.