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Three extra rich, homemade peanut butter cookies, a Cesar salad with extra dressing and a buttered roll gulped down in ten minutes followed by thoughts of what will I eat next. I am what some might describe as an emotional binger. Any feeling or need that exceeds what I am capable of handling will immediately get buried alive with an avalanche of sugar and carbs. Those eruptions whether it be joy or fear don’t stand a chance against my many spoonfuls of suppressants. I am forty-two years old and to date I have not been in control of my life. Letting other people rule my life is more comfortable than committing to any decision for myself. Knowing that I invite and allow people to think for me and make most of my decisions provokes a feeling inside me to find the nearest bakery, deli or fast food establishment and indulge until it hurts. I eat until the vomit has touched the back of my throat and I can taste the acid that should be in my stomach. It coats my throat on the way back down and reminds me that I haven’t made much progress.
 
By looking at me you would never guess that binging was my thing. I am 5’2, petite features and my body is only slightly stocky. I have been blessed with my mother’s metabolism and an intermittent love for exercise. If it were not for that and the times in between the binging I would be about 260 pounds … no lie. The outside appearance doesn’t mean anything when compared to how I felt inside. Having always felt like a fat girl since I was young was the way that I went about my life. I never had quite enough confidence to excel in anything, believe I was good at anything nor pursue anything that I really wanted to do. Whatever anyone else thought and felt was how I landed up feeling and thinking. Growing up it was confusing to me how I could feel differently about the same situation depending on who was discussing it with me. Being so easily confused made me feel inadequate of declaring how I felt about anything. Most of the time I walked around aimlessly waiting for input from someone to validate how I felt at that moment. 
 
Still to this day I dream and prepare for the day when I don’t rely on such vices to get me through those emotional or empty surges. There are times when my constitution is strong, articulate and I know just what I want to say and do. Of course this is only to disappoint myself when the cycle begins again of looking for the right food to drown the moment and get in my own way again. There are no complaints that my life is so bad because it is not. It is more like a complaint that I don’t truly own my life or the blessings in it. They all happened by chance.
 
At 42 it is hard to convince your inner self that change will come and it will start this Monday … as usual. Mondays are great! Monday is everyone’s chance to be the person that they have always dreamed of being. Every Monday I vowed to maintain control of my binging and take charge of my life instead of letting my life just happen to me. This is why on Wednesday I would sit devastated after shoveling an entire bag of BBQ chips and a pepperoni with provolone sandwich down my throat by 10:30am … shortly after my breakfast of oatmeal and fruit. What happened from my oatmeal to now? I could feel my stomach churning to digest the onslaught of unhealthy lard based food and the rest of my body is severely dehydrated due to the sodium intake of the chips. If I can’t manage my diet how the hell can I even begin to manage the rest of my life or others? Ha … the culprit. Self sabotage! Insidious little creature that lives inside of me that loves to get my life going in the right direction and then pounces like an alley cat on a can of Tuna. Self sabotage was always there to make sure I didn’t go too far and make it past the mark where I am self sufficient and independent of needing someone or something else to make my life purposeful. 
 
Pretty much all of my life has been spent accommodating others no matter how much I had to cover up my own feelings and needs. As quickly as possible I would open the closet, push all of the clutter in there aside and whistle like my life didn’t need any attention. Whatever it took to make others feel important so that they would in turn look to me and say, “you are so nice!”  Just a little encouragement was the dangling carrot, or carrot cake I should say, that would always entice to me chase after the same praise. I would think … please tell me I am a good person and nobody else would do these things for you.   All my priorities, my potential and any intuition that ever spoke to me were sent straight down to the bowels of my belly. Although at the time, devoting myself to help others felt wonderful, it always left me deflated in the end. I would still get that sinking, helpless feeling when I am by myself that persuades me to unlock my lower jaw so that I can swallow food whole, slide back down on the couch and succumb to lifelessness.
 
Ultimately this is what I have learned throughout the years. I have had my fair share of therapy, soul searching, philosophical conversations and the bottom of many empty plastic food bags and wrappers. Life will always be exactly what you make of it. At a certain age there is no one else to blame, but your own self and if your life does not feel right then trust your instincts … it’s not. We should never reach a point in our life when we are done growing and it’s never too late to start. Monday is a new beginning, in fact, everyday can be a new beginning. I have spent years beating myself up and promising myself change. I had to learn to forgive myself when it doesn’t happen or if I failed. It is ok to fail and pick yourself up. Rocky Balboa said it best … “It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you pick yourself back up”.  So for anyone who’s in the same rut, forgive yourself … you deserve it!

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