on eating to fill empty
I’m fat. It’s temporary.
I know why and when the weight gain was triggered (twinkies and tacos). I was nine and my mom finally cut ties with my brothers father. More accurately, he finally ended up in jail. Until that time I was skinny. Malnutrition-like skinny.
He had such control over what we ate that when he went away I ate everything I could get my hands on, until I felt sick. Until my physical fullness numbed my emotional emptiness. Until my powerlessness was erased by the control of intake.
I learned over time that the weight gain silenced the men who used to regularly call me a ‘pretty girl’, give me the ‘look’ and touch me inappropriately. It wasn’t until I met my first and only boyfriend that I really did anything about my weight in earnest. I was seventeen and he was twenty-three.
He was a bodybuilder and taught me a lot about food and exercise. He never taught me to change me. He loved me as I was. However, I was inspired by his health to take care of myself so was open to learn. I drastically changed my diet and took up weight-training. I lost fat, built muscle and for the first time ever, had stores of energy I didn’t even know it was possible to have.
When I left him I continued to take care of myself, for several years. When I met my ex-husband, several years into our marriage began the weight gain. I was reverting to childhood habits. Becoming painfully full to numb my emotional emptiness. Finding a sense of control while feeling helpless.
Now divorced, I’m focused with purposeful intention to fill my cup after existing in a depleted state for so long. I blame no one for my lack of self-care. I am and have always been responsible for me.
I’m beautiful. It’s permanent.
What am I grateful for?
~ I never considered it before writing this, but maybe my ex-boyfriend saved my life twice. Once, by teaching me about how to take care of my body and twice, by protecting my body with his (on fire).
~ The new landscape of my present life and the joy I feel in knowing I am creating it moment by moment, free of toxic negativity. This joy is taking up space in my cup and the habits I’ve taken on to replace it are slowing falling away.
~ The beauty of Mother Time. She reveals the purpose of our suffering and uncovers layers of blubber to show us the muscles we’ve been building all along but perhaps never realized.
~ Spandex and Spanx, until Mother shows up.