There is an ugly troll who lives under a bridge; his name is Ed. He’s been there my whole life. He was there when I was emotionally eating/coping as a teenager. He was there when I was NOT eating when I was in the service. He was there when I was married to someone with both bipolar and Type 1 diabetes who was in such a depression he sucked everyone and everything in around him. Ed has always been there; whispering, encouraging/goading me on.
I’ve always been very honest with Sainted Mary about my past which is one of the reasons why we are doing exchanges vice calories. It helps “hide” the math. A cup of raw cucumbers counts the same as a cup of raw broccoli. An ounce of chicken is the same as an ounce of beef. That way I’m not becoming calorie obsessed which would be incredibly horrifically bad for me.
That being said, he’s always there lurking under that bridge waiting for a moment to pounce on me. For the past year I’ve been really really good at ignoring Ed. He’s occasionally peeked up over the edge of the bridge, but I’ve been able to work with Sainted Mary and keep him under the bridge. Until lately.
See, it’s easy to keep Ed under his bridge when life is in control. Ed thrives on chaos. The more chaotic the situation is the bigger and scarier he gets, he stops hiding under his bridge, and he jumps on top of the bridge and demands attention. Lately my life has been uncertain and chaotic; professional and personally. I am in control of nothing except what I stick in the hole under my nose. Ed loves that.
All of this chaos, back and forth, and turmoil has taken it’s toll and made me vulnerable to Ed’s musings. “You’re going to get fat.” “You know tomorrow you’re going to wake up and it’s going to be gone.” “Do you really want to eat that?” “How about we go out for an extra run/workout….” “Exercise is good for you….”
I know rationally that I will not wake up tomorrow and be fat. I know that rationally that I am on a plan put together my Sainted Mary. I know rationally that working out more than the plan as set forth by Sainted Mary means that I need to eat back the calories. But dammit if Ed isn’t just a terrifyingly smooth talker. “It’s our secret.” he says.
I didn’t realize how much I had allowed Ed to take over until I got my weekly roll up from MapMyFitness. I look at it every week and this particular week I was shocked. Wait, I worked out how many times? I don’t remember working out that many times. Then I started thinking with a clear(ish) head about the number of times I put food in my journal that I didn’t actually eat. Or the number of times frustrated/angry/sad I went out for a run to clear my head. Running when programmed=good. Running when no programmed=eat back extra calories. Yeah….about that…..
Today I had to sit down with Sainted Mary and be honest with her. Tell her the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The fact that I was admitting it was a problem is a good step. Rationally I know this. It doesn’t mean that Ed doesn’t still have a voice in my head. It just means that I now hear him much clearer than before and I need to try to keep him under that damn bridge.
After I spoke with Mary I spoke with a dear sweet friend of mine who has been privy to all of the ugly and horrible facts of what is going on in my life. She recommended that I step back away from the personal issues until I deal with Ed. I told her that Ed is there and needs to be confronted regardless. He is a troll that needs to be slayed. Every day that I do what I am suppose to be doing; journaling (accurately) and working out (not excessively) then it is one more day that Ed is being kept under the bridge and kept silent. Maybe some day Ed will decide to go live under some other bridge. Maybe I will eventually be able to put up a fence to keep him from coming up and over. Who knows. In the meantime, I am attempting to take back control from him one day at a time.