Broken on the Inside
Imagine it’s 3 am and I am sitting naked on the floor stuffing my face with fresh cake. Not a small piece of cake, mind you, the entire sheet cake (the one that feeds 20 people or so). It has writing on it, blue in color and that stains my tongue and teeth but I don’t care, I am fat and who wants me anyway? Wasn’t there a fat blue smurf I think and giggle, and continue stuffing my face. Fat Blue Smurf that is me.
I am eating so fast the cake is flying everywhere, my hair, my face, my dog, the floor and it’s a mess. I am a mess. I didn’t notice my roommate walk in. I didn’t notice her standing there, staring at me for almost 15 minutes. I was deep into my cake and crying. Tears and cake. That was my typical evening of ‘going out with friends”. I go out and come home alone, every time. No one wants to date the fat girl.
My roommate didn’t say a word, she just watched and then went to bed. What could she say? She didn’t understand. She was cute and funny, the guys liked her. I was the girl they had a conversation with to get close to her. Yes, I was THAT chick. The token FAT girl in the bunch.
The next day I fully punish myself for this ‘incident’ and go to the gym for 4 hours for a hardcore workout and I permit myself to have 1 whole apple and lots of water as a way to ‘lose’ all the calories I ate the day prior.
I am ashamed, embarrassed, sad, and lonely. My eating disorder has consumed my lifestyle. I can’t get off the hamster wheel long enough to lose weight, as the emotions of despair, loneliness and fear of dying alone consume me. I am starving and I eat one small caramel. I feel guilty, go for a run.
My roommate convinced me to go a counselor. Someone that can finally help me make some sense of this crazy chaos that is my life. The counselor pulled out her big DSM book and flipped to eating disorder. She asked if I threw up? No. Did I restrict my eating? No, well maybe sometimes. That was it. 20 minutes she told me there was ‘nothing clinically wrong with me’ and maybe go see a weight specialist. I cried on the way home. I stopped and got 4 pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Ate it in the car, with my hands. I never knew how sticky chocolate marshmallow ice cream could be. It was in my hair, on my seats, my clothes and I simply did not care.
I didn’t want to go to a fat doctor. THAT is embarrassing. How do you tell some skinny male doctor that you can’t stop eating because you are sad, or happy, or mad, or celebrating? That you hide food in your closet so you can eat in the middle of the night and no one knows? That you order salad at dinner with friends only to binge later at home?
Reluctantly, I went. And he didn’t even ask me what was wrong. He just wrote me a prescription for a weight loss drug that was heavenly. I felt full of energy. I was happy for the first time in my life. I had energy. BUT most of all I could eat all the cake I wanted, when I wanted and I was losing weight! I went from 160 to 90 lbs and I thought I was smoking hot.
Well, I wasn’t. About 8 months after my amazing miracle weight loss drug, I switched to ephedrine and learned what a speed pill was. I loved it, my body, however did not. I ended up at the doctor with shortness of breath, and irritability and learned that I had blown out my adrenal glands, my thyroid and was tearing the lining in my heart. I had to stop the miracle weigh loss drug, or I was going to die.
Now I had a food addiction and a pill addiction. I was a mess, again.
I went back to the counselor, then to Overeaters Anonymous and even Narcotics Anonymous. Nothing worked. Nothing felt ‘right’ to me. I couldn’t get to the feelings still, and now as the thin girl, no one understood. What is wrong with me? I thought getting thin would fix me. It didn’t I was still broken on the inside.
Then I went to a Yoga class. I learned how to breathe, how to move and most of all how to LOVE my body. All of my body, the stretch marks, the wrinkles, the fat spots, the toenail that grows up instead of out. All of it. I learned Downward Dog Pose and how to release my anger and aggression and Just Be.
I had never known that it was simply OK to feel. I began to trade my Yoga mat for that cake. I would go and do Downward Dog 4x before I opened the fridge. I began to see that my view on the cake shifted after my Yoga, and I no longer wanted or needed the cake to feel better. I increased my time on the Yoga mat and decreased my time in the fridge. My thinking shifted and I felt clear. I felt OK for the first time in my life. I began to use Yoga every time I was stressed, angry or upset. It felt natural, easy.
Then I gave up sugar. All of it. It was hard, mind you, in the first 2 weeks I was a mess. I cried, I threw a tantrum on the floor, I detoxed, but then I felt better than I have ever felt in my life. My head was clear, the feelings of sadness were gone. The feelings of hopelessness were gone. I felt safe. I felt free.
As I began my practice teaching clients about addiction, and eating issues, I began to take the power of the Yoga mat to them. I teach them how to breathe, how to distance themselves from the things that control them and how to learn to be in control and at the same time just Be and Breathe. Women are able to connect on the mat to their inner issues and release the trauma and negative items that hold them stuck.
Just Breathe and Be, No longer Broken on the Inside.
Dr. Cali Estes and the elite team at The Addictions Coach are waiting for you when you are ready to break free from the chains of addiction. Visit us at The Addictions Coach or call 1.800.706.0318