Heaven knows I have done it. Since I was eleven years old, I have used food as a weapon. I have hurt myself on purpose with it.
For a long time it was a matter of handling my feelings (mostly guilt and shame) by eating and then purging. It was a behaviour I could throw myself into, get lost in and block out everything else. It was a kind of mania- a high of being in control and completely focused. I was most certainly insane and I was absolutely violent, if only towards myself.
And then later came a very restrictive food plan. To a person with a healthy relationship to food, this plan could work. It’s incredibly nutritious, satisfying, the whole bit. But I approach food with the cunning of a killer. I use it and abuse it. And this time around I merely masked my insanity in the clothing of green juices and big salads. It was a way to cope, a way to prove myself and my self-control.
And I’ve never had a problem with control. I lived for it. It’s how I silenced the voices of guilt and shame as well as those of deep, abiding love. I could shut myself off from it all and take on a kind of punishment. Because while my new eating plan seemed kind, it tortured and taunted me. There was the lure of bread and of sugar and the admonishment from within saying “No!”.
I went along with it for over a year until I crashed and burned. The voices in my head remained angry, accusing and mean. And so this time I said “Screw it! I’ll eat what I want.” Except that a person with food insanity doesn’t know what they want. It was like being cut loose after so long in a cage…all of it self-imposed.
Because all along I have had this idea that it’s about the food, but it’s not. Food has been my weapon of choice, yet all along it has been my mind at command- front and centre wielding its power to decide.
And I have decided wrongly.
With the help of Spirit I can choose again.
I can ask for help and I can listen. I can allow.
And with that I am letting go…again. I am softening. I am willing to see the possibility that this mess is not about eating, not about my size. It is about my willingness to be loved as God loves me.
Because He does. And I’m starting to.