We used to eat for energy and survival, now we eat for pleasure. How do we work on better habits? Well, one bite at a time. Rebuilding your relationship with food using my Six Simple Rules. Health is the real goal, but when you are being triggered by life's storms, this is what can knock you off your journey. I want to help people stay on the journey.
With consent, here is a story of one of my young clients’ being triggered by life’s storms,and how they found the courage to get on track and continue their journey.
A void of darkness fills the tunnel in front of me. The atmosphere feels calm and empty. I take a step forward as my foot sinks into the ground, bringing me into a booming living room. Music is being played, and I am talking to family and friends. It is 2019, Thanksgiving night. I am dressed in nice clothes, a button-down, and khakis, talking to the attendants of our Thanksgiving dinner. Confidence brews within me as I speak aloud. At this very moment, I am happy, nothing in life mattered, and all I had to do was be a part of it. A doorbell rings.
My parents walk to open it, and I follow to see who is there. It is an Aunt of my sister's best friend, and without even a second of introduction, the first words uttered from her were, "I always forgot you were buff." Huh? Buff? What did she mean by that? I'm thirteen; I do not work out. What did she mean? Suddenly, my attention goes toward my weight. Throughout my childhood, I have been overweight, but this is the first time someone has commented on it, and from this point forward, my mind can only focus on the fact that I am overweight.Once again, as I take my next step, I am transported back to this tunnel as I enter it. It is like a blindfold had been placed around my head as the void begins to fill my entire existence until I am again back in real life, in my room, looking at my body.
Staring at the angles of my body, I tried to make it seem like I was never overweight, but in this attempt, my brain would have a backlash to this as it kept telling me that I am fat, gross, and ugly. Fat, gross, and ugly. Fat, gross, and ugly. Repeatedly, these words wouldenter my brain and cease to leave every time. The blindfold was getting tighter and tighter. After this instance, during Thanksgiving, I would return to school and immediately feel like when anyone would see me, even if it was a glance,all they were thinking about was my weight. In my mind, this idea about who I actually am, is numb, and instead, my identity became that I am fat, gross, and ugly. Social interactions that I had prior became much drier as I was scared to share my personality, in fear that all they were doing was judging. That is why during middle school, all I hoped would be that when people would talk about me, all they would say was that I was nice. My insecurities started to take control over my life, and I thought that the only way to fix them was by going to a nutritionist. This idea of weight started to plague my mind, and I felt that people would treat me differently if I lost weight.
My family's car, a large blue mini-van, pulls up in front of Kim’s house. The large sliding door of the car opens, andI step out. Staring at this house was like staring at a new possible beginning.I take a deep breath, walk up to the door, and knock. About thirty seconds passby, and a woman comes and lets me in. We sit down in her office, containing a desk and two chairs. I sit down in one, and she sits down in the other."So, tell me, why do you want to lose weight?" she says. It is like a dumbbell is being thrown at me. I am dumbfounded, confused why this was asked.
Without hesitation, I respond, "So I can be skinny."
"No other reason?" she asks.
"No. No other reason." Is this a lie? Why do I want to lose weight? It was for other people to treat me differently, but for some reason, the way she phrased this question caught me off guard. Why do I want to lose weight? "I." "I." "I." I ponder, thinking about why I wanted to lose weight so badly. Is it the people around me? Or is it my--no, you want to lose weight so that people won't see you as this ugly behemoth and treat you differently. That's why. That's why I want to lose weight. I continued through this session, listening to the plan I would follow from this time forth, and I was doing it. Every day I was following her rules, and everyday I was weighing myself. Weeks go by. Months pass, and no matter how much weight I lose, I still look in the mirror only to see this fat man with no resemblance to me. Nothing that I do is sufficient. Forever, I will be unloved and unnoticed for my weight. I have lived like this for a long time, and everyday I am back in this tunnel, walking deeper and deeper into this void. I am now refusing to have photos taken of me, and I am hanging out with my friends less. The old me is gone, and my insecurities won. It is not until one day, a year later, the day that I have a conversation with a creature. I am in my bathroom, staring at this creature through my mirror. It is ugly and hideous,and I have no words to say to it.
"Why do you do this yourself?"the creature says. I say nothing, only staring deep at the body of the creature. "You are fourteen. There is no use for this to control your life." My legs start shaking as I start to become nervous. The creature does the same as well. "Trust yourself. Don't ruin your childhood with your thoughts." At this point, I started to get antsier and antsier,trying not to listen to this creature. "Be yourself. Don't care about what other people thi--".
I interrupt suddenly, unable to control my urge to talk. "Don't you think I try too?! Every day, everywhere I walk, people stare at me, judging me for my appearance, and no matter what I do, it does not end. No one sees me for who I am, and I want it to stop! Don't you think I'm trying? I am. I swear." Tears start filling my eyes as Ispeak and utter every word.
"It doesn't matter what people think of you. It matters what you think of yourself." Everything suddenly became slightly brighter. It is like how one's eyes adjust to light after a blindfold has been lifted from their face. I feel odd, lingering on every-last word of the creature's words. Weeks later, a quarantine hits the world, and I am stuckin my room thinking about what he said. Sitting in my desk chair, I wonder,"What do I think of myself?" I think badly about myself, but is it because of the people around me, or is it something in my head forcing me to bethis way? These unfortunate circumstances of this world are allowing me to focus on myself and my image of myself. Suddenly, a realization comes upon me.I am my own enemy, and as quickly as I became my own enemy, I can fix it. No matter what anyone says to me, I will never change a single aspect of myself asI was perfect being the way I was.
I stand up to walk inside my bathroom. I look in the mirror, and I finally saw myself. My old happy self. For the first time in a long time, I smile, and as I take a step to leave, I am back in this tunnel, but instead of the void that I was used to seeing, I see light.
If you are currently struggling with a storm in life and want take back your health and wellness, call me. I am happy to see if we can’t weather this together and break the cycle to find peace. We can’t predict or prevent storms but we can learn to remain unaffected. Your health and wellness journey doesn’t have to be derailed- in fact, it needs to be prioritized.