You can read the first part here.
You can read the second part here.
[I realize that there is more story than philosophy in the past entries, but the story is crucial to understand how I approach eating…which will come in the next installment.]
Becoming pregnant threw my life in to a tail spin. I had a history of depression but the emotional and hormonal rollercoaster of pregnancy (felt like it) jettisoned any progress I had made since 18.
To deal with my vacillating I binged. Secretly. And, subsequently, I gained weight. Way more weight than I should have.
I felt disgusted with my lack of willpower and with my depression. I felt shame that I could feel so sad, so empty about the prospect of new life. A baby. A baby who had done nothing wrong!
I know now that I should have gotten help, but I felt that I could deal with it. I had been managing my depression and binge eating for years now. I had (have) a good amount of self-awareness and the ability to analyze. I just didn’t want to admit (what I perceived to be) my failure to anyone. It was too crushing to be on the cusp of motherhood and admit that maybe…maybe I didn’t want it.
(And, these are other topics to explore…paganism and motherhood, paganism and depression.)
So I ate. And ate.
C’s birth (hah, I’ll tell you that story someday…) didn’t change much on the depression front. After three days of labor (yes, three) I was so tired that I didn’t feel connected to her at all. It stayed that way for months, until I finally got some rest (and so did she).
But still I ate.
I tried to lose weight. I went on Weight Watchers and lost some, but I could not stop obsessing about food. I fought for every pound, but in the end, I plateaued after just losing five.
In this time, we ate “well”. I’ve always been big on whole foods, minimally processed. We ate a lot of whole grain pasta, meats, veggies. We drank (drink) wine on a regular basis. I’m an avid baker and so there were also sweets in our diet, but in moderation (unless I binged on them).
It never occurred to me that with all of this ‘healthy’ and ‘whole’ food that it could be something I was eating that was throwing me for a loop. I always thought that it was me. Me, my lack of willpower, my tendency toward depression, my fat genes. My fault, always.
So that continued until January. In January I lost it.
I was so, so sick of being overweight and increasingly unhealthy. My depression still lay under the surface, a murky darkness under a smooth pond. I was becoming very anxious. I still over ate. I still struggled with dieting and the pounds just absolutely refused to budge.
So, one Saturday night I found myself at Target, hand stretched out to a bottle of diet pills.
I stopped, fingers a few inches away. A thought entered my mind: If C was five and she found these in my purse…what would she say? What if she was ten? Fifteen?
And I turned around and walked out of Target. From that moment, my quest for health hasn’t been the same since.