Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The secrets of a stress eater

How I reached 200 pounds.

Growing up I never really had a weight problem that I could remember. I fluctuated but I was always pretty athletic and lean. I was a competitive swimmer who dabbled in other sports. And loved anything that involved activity or exercise.

Basically I liked showing up my male friends/athletes.

I was a size 10 at my largest. A 4 at my slimmest - depending on my activities and schedule. My relationship with food was a healthy one. I stopped when I was full. I never deprived myself or thought I was fat.

Life was good.

But then things went very very wrong. What you will read has taken me a LONG time to come to terms with. And I must say that for those that urged me to go to therapy, I thank you.

When I graduated college in 2001. I was at a point where I was happy, I was self-confident and I felt the most beautiful than I ever had in my life. I had friends in all social circles - athletes, geeks, jocks, etc. There was never a place on campus I didn't feel I fit in. I even had dated a few well-known guys on campus who always treated with me respect and one in particular who never let me doubt my self-confidence or ability to achieve my dreams.

I had a degree in communications witih a focus on sports journalism. I wasn't afraid to tackle a "man's world." I was excited about life.

But then I moved to start my first job - as a copy editor at a newspaper near another college town that was halfway between my alama mater and my parents home.

Perfect I thought. Only an hour drive either way to see family or friends and a foot in the door for my industry.

But then I moved and started working.

Within a few weeks of working at the paper, I got a bit homesick, but some coworkers my age befriended me and started to introduce me to some other local journalist types.

I became fast friends with one, a sports writer for a dinky publication in the area. He was funny and reminded me of a few of my best guy friends from college.

I felt a bit better knowing some people in the area.

But the more we started to hang out - always in groups, the more I started to be around this guy the more I started to get the feeling that something wasn't quite the same.

My comfort level was starting to mimic that of Shaquille O'Neil in stripper heels and a tutu.

You're not a fan of it, but you can't look away either.

He first started by putting my writing skills down. He would look at my articles from college and pick then to pieces, telling me it was crappy writing and that I was kidding myself.

Then he would poke fun at my body, offering to go jogging with me to get the chub I guess I was developing off.....

And did I mention we WERE'NT dating. But for some odd reason I didn't stop hanging out with him either.

Then it happened. Me being the idiot who always lives by a three-strikes and your out rule - went over to his house one night to hang out and watch movies.

I was under the impression his roomates would be there as well - only they weren't

When I walked in he seemed "off" His eyes were dialted and he seemed like he was on something. I was sitting next to him on the couch, when he basically jumped on me and started groping and trying to kiss me. He called me a tease and knowing I was a virgin tried attacking my values as well. He was determined.

I still have a hard time acknowloding it happened.

Thankfully I managed to get out of the situation before anything worse happened, though when I think back, I'm not sure how I did.

All I remember is getting home and calling my best friend Paul. A friend I've had since we were 13, who was a groomsmen in my eventual wedding to my husband, and someone I knew who would listen to me. I was hysterical.

He immediatly drove up to stay with me, because the guy kept calling me and knew where I lived. T his went on for a week.

It was then that I stopped exercising,I was afraid to leave the house, I started eating for comfort and from stress and the pounds just kept on coming. I withdrew from friends and stopped going out. I eventually decided to get a new job and move back home -though no one new it wasn't so I could write sports, but to just get away.

In my mind I thought I had brought this on myself. That I wasn't smart enough to listen to my gut instincts. And when I discovered he was bad-mouthing me to the small college community where we lived and to my coworkers all I wanted to do was get away.

I didn't think to defend myself. I didn't think to tell anyone what he did. All I knew was I didn't want to be attatcked again - even verbally.

My self-confidence was gone and I started sinking into a depression that until a few months ago, I had become an expert at covering up from those around me. I lost value in myself and found myself in either dating relationships or friendships where I was a giver and never a taker.

I have found that since that incident I turn to food in times of high stress. I tend to hole up in my house and just eat crap. I don't crave it, I don't want it but for some reason I think it will make me feel better.

Today I ate cereal, homemade pizza, chicken nuggets... and it's not even 3 p.m. yet. I'm not hungry but I'm typing here in an effort to acknowledge my problem and keep my from shoving food into my mouth.

I hate myself and the way I look for eating like this, but then I eat like this because I hate myself and the way I look.

I'm like a goldfish swimming in circles, everytime I think I have it figured out I'm back at where I started.


Homemade Zen said...

We are there for you moose!

Kandyce P said...

I am sorry that you had to go through that. You are very strong for putting that out for everyone to see.

Anonymous said...

Awe hon. I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's a viscous cycle and part of breaking it is just knowing it's there. You did nothing wrong in the situation with that ahole.

Teri's Treasures said...

Moose! Thank you for sharing this with the world, you have more guts then most woman I know for doing this. Believe it or not, there are so many people in the world that know how you feel and what you are currently going through! :) We are here for you Moose! why you gotta make me cry?!?!?!

Bubba & Rye said...

I'm sure this was hard for you to share. You are making the first step.

terryann said...

just got to read this... I am so glad you are figure-ing out the whole connection, with food, with trust and with yourself confidence. You are so funny and talented! You know... anyone could have been in your shoes "so to speak", it is how you deal with it that makes all the difference, I see you taking your "power" back and realizing if something like this happens again, you will be strong enough to deal with it! You Go girl!