When I’m stressed out I overeat. When I was younger it was really bad. I’d eat two or three bars/bags of chocolate a day, and I’m talking the large share bags/bars of chocolate not the little ones you get at a newsagents.
It’s a coping method and something I just did. There wasn’t any thought going into it and it’s not been till the last few years where I’ve started connecting the dots and realising its a problem. I try and figure out what pushed me to food, and I find I’m a little grateful I wasn’t going out drinking in those days. Addiction is something that I’ve always feared, so I never really drank too much alcohol and definitely never did any illegal drugs or abuse legal drugs. I didn’t realise that sugar was sneaking in and claiming me, not until many many years later. I used to think ‘at least I’m not an addict’ not realising there was more to addiction than alcohol and what I thought of as drugs.
As I’ve got older its harder to eat as much, and that’s coincided with me realising it’s a problem. And in particular the last eighteen months or so it’s something I’ve been trying to manage better, not very successfully but I’m trying. Writing this post will hopefully help with that as it’s admitting it in such an open forum.
I’m listening to my body a lot more, and that’s something which feels like it’s changing. I used to stuff my face and then wonder why I was feeling rough, totally ignoring the tub of ice cream I’d just eaten. Now I’m realising when I’m full, but also managing to stop myself from eating more. It used to be that I would keep going until the bar/bag was finished. The thought of leaving some for tomorrow either didn’t occur or seemed like an obscene concept.
Since realising just how bad I can binge eat and figuring out how to firstly manage it, and now try and beat it I am feeling better. I know the days when I don’t beat it. I feel heavy and sickly. I’m putting so much rubbish into my system and I need to at least compensate with more water for example (drink two litres of water a day folks!). But I feel like I’m going in the right direction with it. I drink less energy drinks, try and eat less sugary snacks and snacks in general. After my evening meal I feel full now, and if I do have something I’m trying to just have a bit but I’m working on not eating if I feel full.
I’m also thinking about the ‘when’ of eating. Too much sugar in the evenings affects sleep, which when insomnia is something you battle with you don’t really want to give it an ally. I’m trying not to eat after 9pm and with the exception of an occasional hot chocolate I try to just drink water or squash after 9pm as well. I’d like to cut this down to 8pm if I can but for the moment I want to be consistent about having that 9pm shut off.
At times I feel like I’m winning, and then I have a major setback and feel like hell and guilt trip myself for failing so hard, which then strengthens the urge to binge eat. It’s one of those vicious circle things. But I feel like I can get the balance right. Am I likely to give up sugar? no, but I can live my life without it dictating my intake of it. If I consume less sugary snacks I’ll start feeling it both physically and mentally and I’ll hopefully loose a little of the extra weight I’ve gained this last year, I’ll feel better mentally and that’s a win all around.
*** NOT A SELF-LOAFING, TELL ME I LOOK FINE POST (so sorry for all the selfies! 🤣***
Something a little different here today. Normally I’m talking about my writing day, good or bad. But today I want to talk about my body image.
I’m pretty sure once puberty hit (yes folks, despite how I am at times I have gone through puberty), I started hating my body. I think it was only very subtle back then. I didn’t really think about it too much but when I think back I can kind of see the first little seeds of hating it back then. It probably started with my mop of hair, and probably started long before puberty now I’m thinking about it as I type this out. My hair is very thick and kinda just grows out, and now I’m thinning on top, massive forehead and very grey (okay its fucking white!) it’s something that bothers me more than I’d like to admit. Honestly, that’s one of the reasons why I wear hats. Don’t get me wrong, I love wearing hats, but the happy bonus is that I don’t have to worry too much about how my hair looks. I have dyed it in the past, but mainly for others and never felt like it changed how I saw myself. I also got to the point where I’d dye it super black and that looked very unrealistic on me.
I always wanted to grow it out, but never had the self-esteem to do it, and when I’ve tried in the last few years the moment I feel it on the tops of my ears I’m done and it’s time to get it cut. I also know it’ll go out as opposed to dropping elegantly at first.
Wow, this is turning into a bit of a therapy session, no I’m not paying people the cost of therapy to read it 😜
I’m not going to catalogue my entire relationship with my body, no one needs to read all that and much of it I’m not sure would be too helpful now. So I’m going to go for what I think of as my greatest hits!
I’ve just spoken about my hair. Now let’s deal with…. THE FACE!
I have a crooked nose and a jawline I hate! (I’ve already bitched about my forehead) The jawline is a minor reason why I had a beard. With my nose it’s simply because it’s crooked. No other reason. The jawline, I’m not sure why it bothers me so much. It’s just, there. I think maybe it’s because I think I’ve got this big chin, I dunno. It’s just something that bothers me.
With my body, I feel like I’ve always had a little bit of a gut (although at the moment its a a little bit, heaviest I’ve ever been! I have boobies!!!). And I’m a hairy dude.
I feel I’ve got scrawny arms as well, so the fact that the one time I owned a sleeveless t shirt I only wore it at home despite liking wearing it. Aside from fat thighs (I’ll refer you to the line about being the heaviest I’ve ever been), I don’t have many opinions about my legs. Although I’ve always had minor issues with my feet (which might be my fault as I need to spend more of decent footwear).
Okay, now to the real reason I’m writing this post.
A few weeks ago I was having a not quite rock bottom moment. It was an evening when it was very hot here in the UK and I was laying on my bed in just pyjama shorts and I was having a low day in general. I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment, including the meds I was on not really doing what was needed (on new ones now and am feeling much better, wouldn’t be writing this post otherwise!). And I had a sudden repulsion of my body. Laying, watching a movie all I could focus on was my hairy gut (sorry if you’re eating while reading this). I ended up draping my pyjama top over my torso as I messaged a friend who listened to me detailing how much I was repulsed by my own body. Yes, repulsed. I had never felt like that about my body before. It rattled me really hard and I had a few days where I was trying to get my head around it all. In that time I struggled to look in a mirror, I definitely didn’t look at my body.
Where do I get this hatred of my body from? It’s not from my parents. Although I was bullied at school I can’t really remember much being said about my body. I sometimes this some of it is society, but I think it’s honestly just my own insecurities. I went through many years of thinking I had to dress in designer brands and always be well groomed and presented. I think some of that was influenced by a lot of people in the second hand car trade who had the money to buy high end brands but they also had a confidence I didn’t have. So that urge to be this suave, perfectly groomed gentleman was never achievable. Thinking about that I wonder what would have been my path if I’d found my horror family in my mid to late teens.
I’ve posted in the past about my mental health, and I suspect that plays a big part. As does a lack of sleep. I am learning at the moment just how much this affects our mental health. When I’m tired I’m much more susceptible to the negative thoughts creeping in. Now, I’ve worked on not letting those thoughts creep in and I’m still working on it. It is something that I will never stop working on.
I am now stronger mentally than I’ve ever been. Yes, I still have my rough days and the medication does help (although long term I’d like to get off it but that’s a ways off yet), but I’m finding new things each day that help me keep my head straight. I’m recognising when I’m slipping and acting on it quicker. All this is mainly focused on improving my mental health, and it’s working y’all! but it helps so much with my body image.
Today, I’m not repulsed by my body. I am in the early stages of thinking about loosing some weight. One of my coping mechanisms is eating, and I’ve done a lot of that in the last twelve months. And that is where I’m focussing my attention. I also work in a supermarket, which part of my job there is filling shelves with fruit and veg, and some of that shit is heavy! So I’m going to try and up my pace at work and burn a few more calories like that. There’s a few others things I’m thinking about as well, but not quite worked them out yet.
I’ve spent most of this post tearing myself apart, but my body is not all bad. An ex-girlfriend was especially found of my butt (this was pre-weight gain to be honest), and she especially liked me wearing a certain brand of jeans that she said ‘complimented’ my butt. Needless to say, those three pairs of jeans I had from that brand got worn a lot in the two years we were together!
I am particular fond of my eyes. I do believe your eyes are a window to the soul and you can learn a lot from someone by them.
I did enjoy having a beard, and it was pretty epic! I’m not going into the reasons I shaved it off but I like that I did in that looking at my jawline and chin, I’ve been looking at my lips, and they ain’t too bad.
It feels like each day I’m getting more and more comfortable with the body I’m in. I suppose I’ve never really felt that right in it, but now that is changing. I accept my body more, but I’m also thinking about ways to make myself healthier.
I do find it strange that I’ve never been too bothered how I look in photos.
This is the first time in my life where I’m beginning to accept the flesh I’m in, and I’ve got to so. It feels good.
*I have cracked jokes in this post. I don’t mean to offend anyone with them, or anything I’ve said in this post. This is my battle with myself on how I feel about my body and not a comment on anyone else. We all have our demons we’re fighting. Some battles we win, others we loose. If this is something you’re struggling with, please reach out to a friend who you trust or go online and find local mental health organisations. I’ve been pointed to two local ones in my area which have been invaluable.