The Flatmate tried to give up smoking this week, and people she is a heavy smoker. The reasons are personal, but I did worry to begin with that they were the wrong ones. It’s a freakin’ miracle that she managed from Sunday until today, but it finally got too much, despite sprays and patches and motivational speakers and the wagon has been well and truly fallen off.
I’m hardly going to appoint myself her nicotine addiction sponsor, but I did try to encourage her to stick with it. I tried everything the books tell you, but she was determined and so she smoked.
You know what? I’m proud of her that she even tried, and not in an entirely objective way but because it strikes at the very core of something that’s sort of been running and ruining my life for far too long now.
I have a problem with food, if admitting it is the first step then it doesn’t seem to be getting me very far yet. No, it’s not a problem – this is an addiction. I use food for comfort; I wilfully eat things I shouldn’t when there is a healthier alternative. The money I spend on food is a big part of the reason I have not enough social life, the reason for so much strain in my personal relationships. I hide it, I sneak around like a fecking junkie – the secret stash of chocolate, the guzzling of too much fizz, the takeout portions that are absolutely too much for me and yet I just keep going.
The interventions have been attempted but I am a cynical and manipulative person who makes so many promises to get better and then reneges as soon as a back is turned. I look forward to being in the house alone because I can eat what I want without judgement.
See, I do care what people think of me. Too much, perhaps, but it’s the reason why I only drink Diet Coke in public situations because I can’t bear to think that randoms are thinking “no wonder she’s so fat, drinking regular Coke!” – as if people really notice those around them that much. I care that people look at me and can dismiss me as fat, lazy, undisciplined and unattractive. Those things are far from libellous, in fact they’re completely true. I could remedy them, but it takes so much time and effort I’ve been reluctant to make the commitment.
Well this is the turning point. On Saturday morning I go for my first food counselling session (as distinct from the regular counselling which also starts soon). It’s not a case of me replacing love with food, because I am loved, but it’s more an escape and avoidance mechanism. A rigorous nutritional plan will be applied a.s.a.p. and there WILL be regular exercise as soon as my energy levels start returning. It doesn’t have to be the London Marathon, just swimming three times a week and maybe a spinning class or two to alternate that with.
The biggest obstacle has been my own petty shame, not wanting to admit in ‘public’ that which is so painfully obvious from looking at me. I want to take up less space, I want to feel good in my own body, I want to not kill myself through stupid and irresponsible behaviour. Overeating has not made me happy, but it’s stopped me dealing with so many things that have been ignored for too long.
It won’t be easy, and I will most likely get cranky and/or depressed about it, but I’m promising myself now that I will come out the other side.
(Also, I thought I had written this up on livejournal when I first realised it, but scrolling back to last year shows no such thing.) Scrolling far enough shows that I have known this since the beginning of August last year and done nothing. Digusting.