T asked me to write up a list of my beliefs. Knowing my anal-retentive perfectionist tendencies, she declared that I could not create a database for my list or write up an optimization formula, or even benchmark it against other people’s belief lists. So I wrote one, and it was okay, but I realized that there’s another side to my beliefs that was staring right back at me as I looked in the fridge tonight and saw nothing I wanted to eat. There are the beliefs that up until recently I thought were normal, but now I realize are so weird that I don’t talk about them with her, with my DH, or with anyone. Things so ugly I cannot express them anywhere, except here.
1. I think that if I eat real sugar, real butter, cream, or anything that I cannot track in MyFitnessPal, then I will get fat. If I don’t track everything I eat, I will get fat. If I eat a food I like, I will eat too much and… yes, you know it, I will get fat.
2. When I go to a store and try on pants or a dress that doesn’t fit my thighs (or open my closet and do the same), I immediately think that my thighs must be fat. That if I ran more and wasn’t so lazy, and if I lost five pounds, I could wear whatever I wanted. That if I never ate ice cream or chocolate again and were better at tracking my every bite, I would fit into those damned pants. I don’t think that perhaps the pants are poorly designed, or that the particular store is a terrible fit for me, or that having a little bit of stretch in fabrics is a good thing. I insist that it’s my fault, I break out the Spanx and buy them anyway, and then I berate myself whenever I wear them.
3. When I get on the scale each morning, if it hasn’t gone down or stayed exactly the same, I believe it’s my fault for eating late, not drinking enough water, having a glass of wine, eating a bite of dessert, or some other “sin.” God forbid I should actually accept that weight can fluctuate just… because. Intellectually I know all of this, but in my heart, I blame myself. The numbers on the scale and on the tape measure are a daily assessment of how strong/weak I am, like an IQ test that I will never pass.
4. I hate to eat. I used to love to eat – I remember that – but somewhere along the line I started to hate eating. I don’t like feeling hungry, which is a sign of my incredible personal weakness. So I look aimlessly at the fridge/pantry/menu wishing I didn’t feel hungry but not wanting to eat. And then either I eat, or I go hungry, but either way I blame myself for the dilemma, because clearly normal people don’t freak out over this sort of thing.
5. I hate to sleep, but I’m exhausted. Intellectually I know that my sleep affects my depression, and that it’s important to sleep and drink a ton of water to lose weight, but I still hate to sleep. I hate to try to sleep and fail, I hate worrying about whether I will sleep or not, and I hate taking the time to sleep. Funny enough though, I adore sleeping in. Essentially I’m a giant toddler who wants to run around until she falls over sound asleep. I can completely understand why Michael Jackson was doing propofal. If I were a gazillionaire, I’d hire my own anesthesiologist to just whack me over the head unconscious every night.
6. I believe that if people really knew who I was, that they’d either pity me or find me disgusting. Or both. That if my husband knew how I truly felt, he’d lock me up or leave me. That if my kids ever figured it out, they’d be scarred for life. That my family could never understand, that I’m so weird that something is seriously wrong with me and I’m not sure I’ll ever be normal.
7. Speaking of kids, I believe that because of Ana and Mia, I have completely ruined all hope for normalcy for my kids, that I’m so obsessive that they will be perfectionists. That they will have ridiculous views about food, thinness, and happiness, and that they will spend the better part of their adult lives in therapy because I’m so f-d up.
8. Lastly, I believe with every fiber of my being that I can be thin and not be anorexic, that I can control my food and not have an eating disorder, and that I will reach a point where I will be normal again, without any need for therapists, dietitians, or meal plans. That once I lose these five pounds, I will stay at my ideal weight forever, and I will never deviate from that point ever again because I will be happy and normal and healthy.
What weird beliefs do you shoulder? I can’t be the only one, right? God, I hope not.