I’ve been having an affair. It’s sexy. It’s seductive. It makes me feel like I’m on top of the world.
Time stops when I’m with “him”. I feel desired, dangerous, and daring.
But as soon as the heat of the moment has passed – I realize what I’ve done.
I’ve cheated on myself… again…with Food.
I binge and then I crash. Everything I know melts away. Each time I feel more alone than I’ve ever felt before.
The guilt is just too much to bear. I said I’d never go back.
I’ve ended things time… and time… and TIME again.
When will I learn my lesson?
“He” is not the answer.
“He” can’t bring me the kind of happiness I’m after…
“He” is not worth more than my relationship – with myself.
This is what bingeing felt like for me.
My Secret Relationship With Food
Food was my lover, my dirty little secret, my paramour.
And bingeing was my ecstasy.
I was embarrassed of my relationship with Food, so I kept it hidden – behind closed doors where no one could judge me for my cheating ways…
But one day I told someone. I revealed my “pseudo boyfriend” to my mother.
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I told her how much I was hurting. I cried that this time I just couldn’t go back. I admitted that the relationship had become addictive and abusive… and that I was scared that I was losing myself.
The Hidden Pain Behind Binge Eating
My weight gain was obvious, but my 24/7 obsession and failing confidence weren’t as readily available for the eye to see.
(Even on an off day, I can fake out Sherlock Holmes with my 1,000-watt smile.)
But I just couldn’t break free. I couldn’t let go. I’d never felt this way before. I loved the highs…but I could no longer stomach the lows (literally and figuratively).
My body was exhausted and my mind felt hypnotized… but even though my heart was breaking – I thought I was in love.
How could something that felt that good – be so bad?
“In hindsight, I realize that our relationship had everything to do with quantity – and nothing to do with quality.”
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Our intimate ties were knotted with so many emotions that I couldn’t tell where one ended and another began. And something else was lacking… something that all relationships need in order to thrive – respect. I was constantly forgetting to respect myself in “his” presence.
Finally, on my own terms and in my own time, I knew that enough was enough.
So, I used all of my strength and summoned the courage to take a break from “him”.
I went away for a little while (to Green Mountain) to rediscover what I loved about life – away from my relationship.
And little by little I started to see “him” differently.
What Our Relationship Looks Like Today
Over the last few years, we’ve loosened our ties. We’re still together (Food and I)… but it’s different.
It’s no longer an affair that I’m ashamed of…it’s a partnership.
Changing the foundation of our relationship was the hardest thing I ever had to do. Pulling away and putting myself first was no easy feat.
Today, we are kinder to each other. “He” gives me what I need and that’s where it ends.
I don’t depend on “him” for every ounce of happiness in my life. I rely on “him” for nourishment and energy…and sometimes we even have a little fun together.
We go out on dates – out in public, with friends – things we were never able to do before.
We’re actually able to enjoy our time together – guilt-free.
Don’t get me wrong…there are still occasions when I crave for us to be like we used to… I miss those moments of carelessness and bliss. But those moments grow fewer and farther apart with each passing day.
And the relationship we share these days – is so much better…for me.
What we have now isn’t a fiery, unstable lust. What we have now is understanding.
We still go through rough patches here and there, but we no longer go through them alone.
I have a support system that keeps me focused, motivated, comforted, and challenged. These special people keep me feeling full – full of life, instead of Food.
Today, Food still means a lot to me. “He” was my rock for so, so long.
But when your rock stops supporting you and starts weighing you down, it’s time to break free.
Until next time,
How would you describe your relationship with food?