Recently I have been aware of this. And in more ways than one.
I support change. If a friend makes changes in their lives, I encourage them one hundred percent, because that is what they need. And I don’t mind being behind them, especially if it makes them a better person and its what they want to do.
But I struggle to accept changes within myself. I don’t understand why I need to make them, but once I embrace them, I will persevere with them until they eventually become a part of my life. One of these recent changes has been my attitude to food.
I always “just ate” because food was there and I was hungry. But with the advent of August’s Junkfood Free Month, I became more conscious of what I was eating, and learning that chewing your food more thoroughly helps with the digestion and extraction of the essential vitamins and minerals the body needs, really put the icing on the cake. While it wasn’t quite so hard to chew my food more thoroughly, actually stopping myself from bingeing on food has been challenging because I never really considered myself as a binge eater. But I am.
I suffer from Binge Eating Disorder – or BED for short. It is an actual eating disorder, only recently recognised. It is like bulimia, except for the purging (spewing) part. Instead, sufferers from BED, feel guilty for the food that they have consumed, and make themselves feel worse, so they eat more. Binge eating also involves eating ‘unconsciously’ – which means that you eat food while doing another activity and there is no real satisfaction taken in eating . For example, I used to be able to eat a large packet of crisps in one sitting, while watching a movie, often reaching into the pack and wondering where all of the crisps have gone.
Pretty mind blowing. And scary, and so eye opening.
With making healthy food choices, I have been able to change my diet, and now, I eat more raw foods, legumes, and less red meat. I still eat it, but not as much as I used to. I eat less sugary foods, and have swapped sugar for honey and peaches on my breakfast in the morning. I have found a muesli bar I like, and I will snack on that if I need to. However, I have to watch I don’t binge on them. In fact, I generally sit down and eat it consciously, chewing it thoroughly before swallowing it, because it still contains high levels of sugar. It was a struggle to make the change though, and I often crave a savoury crisps fix, but I will reach for crackers and avocado or tomatoes now, instead of crisps.
Not only have I made healthy food changes in my life, but I have also made ‘internal’ changes as well, like my thinking processes, and as a result, I am letting or allowing myself, to be myself. Complicated? Yes. For years I have struggled to understand who “I” am. I’ve always been pigeon holed and categorised according to my likes and relationships.
Except I never felt like I fit in any of the holes provided. I’m quirky, cheeky, with a mean sense of humour (in all senses of the word ‘mean’) and it has taken a while to discover her, buried underneath all the crap and shit I have had to put up with over the years. But I am slowly learning what I like, what I want to do, and what I want to be.
Unfortunately some people around me don’t like those changes. And they are people that I really like and respect. People I have spent a lot of time with. And this disappoints me.
I guess the reason they don’t like the changes is because of their insecurities and the fact that they can’t control me anymore. My power is mine and I’m taking it back, making it harder for them to accept that they can’t control what I do anymore. They see my changes as me pulling away from them, leaving them to make themselves feel better, because for years I have had to make them feel a certain way, or do things to make life easier for them.
So what do I do? Stay in that relationship and hope that the person changes? Or move away and hope that they realise what they are missing? I can’t afford to step backwards, I have to keep moving forward. I want them to move with me, but I know that I can’t make them do something that they resist or refuse to do.
I guess, I just keep changing, and keep praying that they will find the changes they need to make within them and accept the changes in me. And give me the strength to move on if I have to.