Going Off The Wagon: Whose Fault Was It? Rethinking Motherhood.

I love my mom and my dad. I think no matter what they have done or didn’t do will never stop me from caring and tolerating them. I have to myself that they did the best they could and both of them had little to work with when I was born. I keep that in mind and therefore I guess I never truly judged or blamed them for anything.

I do know, however, that they were negligent. Being massively trained in Psychology it is impossible for me not to state it or hide it. Their parenting style consisted in giving me food to make me content – and even though they are not aware of it they also hoped that food would fix any of my emotions or mood, because they didn’t know how to deal with them. That’s how they loved and comforted me, they gave me a lot of food, because they couldn’t give me what they didn’t have.

Later on, their parenting style led me to a diagnosis of morbid obesity at the age of 15. My doctor scared me and she made sure I understood that I could die at the age of 30, if I didn’t change. I got really scared. Then the fear got mixed with anger and I began to workout and eat well everyday. My parents didn’t really believe I would make it and since then people’s uncertainty became one of my biggest driving force, which is not entirely healthy, but I will leave that for another time.

I managed to take off 50Kg (110 pounds) from my body between the age of 15 and 17. However, I didn’t manage to take off the anger, the frustration, and the anxiety of not knowing how to deal with my emotions and life decisions. I never really recovered from my eating disorder, because food was the only solution I was ever taught as a child. I didn’t learn any life skills and my parents were never able to offer me life advice. That always hurt me and I don’t think my parents will ever understand that what I needed, and still need, is someone to put their hands over my heart and say that it is ok, that I am ok.

I will turn 30 next Spring and I think I reached far by myself, even without my parents’ guidance. Luckily, or not, I grew up sensitive, instead of numb, but the program I have had inside for years is one that reproduces my parents’ neglect: I’m great at giving to others, but I still have a lot of work to do in matters of giving to myself and passively receiving from others. I’m better now at receiving compliments and I’ve been doing an incredible progress at keeping away from people who have narcissist tendencies and who replicate, somehow, the dynamic I was exposed to during childhood.

This past week I had a relapse though, and the trigger was the fact that my mother did not call me as she said she would. She actually seldom calls; she might have called 3 times maximum over the past 3 years that I have been living abroad.  I have already discussed that with her and I know she has her own version why she doesn’t call. I already told her, or at least I think I have, how the lack of spontaneous contact through a call makes me feel. However, she didn’t call as she said she would. She called one week later and I didn’t get it because I was taking a nap.

I didn’t proceed as I used to: I would call her back immediately. Instead, I waited for her to try again. It has been 4 days ever since and there hasn’t been no call or text. As a grown up maybe I shouldn’t be bothered, but the truth is that I went off the wagon. I turned to food again. In fact, I must have spent at least a week only eating fast food and indulging in ice-cream and biscuits late at night. I cried. I ate some more. I checked my inbox. I ate some more.

Again, I love my mom and dad. However… I really think it is time for me to stop waiting to receive the kind of love I thought I should have received from them. I think it is time to realise that they are who they are and I am who I am. It does indeed hurt. It is probably one of the most painful lessons, because all the other lessons regarding failed and abusive relationships… they all derived from this wound which food can’t heal. I think I’m consciously stepping out today as the loving and caring mother of myself. That includes guiding myself with love and compassion… it implies reassuring myself that I am ok and things can now start to settle down.

My heart is expanding, my womb is turning alive, and my eyes are watery. I feel that I’m tearing down the shield I had built around me, which blocked me from creating and using my own female energy. Maybe that’s part of motherhood, maybe motherhood is not just to make sure that your child is fed and quiet. I’m sure that motherhood is also about nurturing, creating, and supporting your own energy as a human being, so that you can then become an adult who is ok with just being and who knows for sure that everything is meant to flow compassionately, despite life’s ups and downs.

Edit: My mom gave me a call at the end of the day 🙂

3 Reasons Why I Have Been Binging & I Was Not Aware Of

Right. Once again I was doing good, wasn’t I? I even wrote about going beyond the critical day 3 just a few days ago, and today I messed up for real: one litre of ice cream and an entire package of paprika crisps. Afterwards, of course, and as I always do, I desperately looked out for answers, for the trillionth time. 31956129_2086866341593273_4026763119693922304_n (1)

Seriously, I’m becoming sick of myself. I have been on this rollercoaster for decades and every attempt becomes a total fail. I have tried to buy new gym clothes, a sports watch, I downloaded different weight loss apps, I did counselling, I tried anxiety pills, weight loss pills, protein shakes… I already did raw food, vegetarian, protein only… I tried smoothies and immunological diets… I tried to stay accountable through a lifestyle instagram account, I started out an online group… why the hell am I still failing?

Well, apparently I have been dismissing three important things that I never consciously linked back to my binge eating. I am sure these three reasons are the ‘why’ behind my eating compulsion and they all have been secretly mining my recovery since I can remember. These are:

  • anxiety a.k.a. excess of future,
  • too many commitments, activities, and responsibilities,
  • no time to relax and do stuff that energises me (e.g. go to the beach on a Saturday instead of going to work)

All these relate to my earlier post on high performers. I was managing so well my work-life balance earlier this year, but as soon as my mid-year review deadline kicked-in, things went crazy. And now that I passed it with flying colours, my workload hasn’t reduced at all. In fact, it has been increasing exponentially, with 2 conferences to attend, 2 public speaking events, and 2 different workshops I’m co-organising between June and July, plus a thesis to be written and ready to submit by September. How the hell do I always put myself into such a big mess of things?

No wonder I use food to stop and relax; actually it seems to be the only moment in time that I literally stop! While I’m eating, I’m not trying to manage everything on my plate. While I’m eating, I force myself into a temporary state of pleasure and relaxation, just right before guilt and shame come in, and my body feels overwhelmed with the amount of food I ate in seconds.

This is all pathetic and ridiculous. I feel angry at myself and a big impostor. I feel like I should know better and at the same time I think I should stop torturing myself, accept my vulnerability, that I’m not bullet proof, and that no one is going to die if I fail at something that needs to be done. And in the meantime I need to allow myself to not do anything at all for a while – but God dammit, I have a presentation to deliver next Tuesday before my flight to Lisboa, reason why I spend the weekend in the office!

Oddly enough, the guy living in the room next to mine just muttered the following words “Relax your mind”… The question that now needs to be explored further is why do I overwhelm myself with so many ‘to-do things’?