Most of us don’t.
And by talking about it, I don’t mean: Do you go around saying things like “I am looking for something gluten free on this menu for no reason” or “I am just eating this apple now so I don’t eat other food” or “I can’t eat those tortilla chips because who knows if they fry other things in the same vat.” Some people in diet mode actually voice their beliefs out loud to people. It happens. And it is annoying. But no, that is not what I am talking about.
But what about this:
“well, yea I have been obsessed with food and dieting for a long long time. It is pretty messed up, so I am doing my best to try and let go an enjoy life.”
You probably don’t. Because it feels scary. And you feel like nobody will understand or care. Or people will encourage you away from this recovery. But my advice…. try to start.
When I was first on the Fuck It Diet, it was a solo journey. I was doing it alone, about 2 people knew what I was trying to do. My best friend, and my mom (I chose to tell my mom because she was SO wrapped up in my disordered eating and body image).
But slowly, slowly throughout the first year I started mentioning to friends when we were out to dinner.
“Yea, I have actually been extremely obsessed with food and body image for 10 years. I was absolutely miserable, and it was the way through which I saw the whole world. I am doing everything I can now to get away from it, and it is really exciting.”
Partially because I was so sure of what I was doing, and partially because I was just being honest in general, peoples’ responses were great. EVEN the people who were still in diet mode – even if they didn’t know it- had good responses. Because nobody thinks that seeing your whole life through the lens of screwed up body image and obsession with food is a good thing.
People would say things like:
“Wow I never knew! Good for you”
or “Oh man I have BEEN there. That is so great to hear”.
Or “I wish I could do that!” or “that is great, you seem so happy”
or “I have never experienced anything like that, but I am really glad to hear you are doing that”.
And do you know what? It was incredibly incredibly empowering. Not their responses, but the act of labeling the obsession and the fears as simple and silly.
“Can you believe I let that take over my life? I know, but I did. And it was awful, but I am actively going a different direction. It’s awesome! More wine?”
Honesty is POWER. You can distance yourself from your obsessions the more open, honest, and vulnerable you are.
Being obsessed with food and diet is a complete loner, solo shield. It is a way of distancing yourself, disengaging with life. Feeling like you aren’t good enough yet to be a part of the rest of the world. It is shutting yourself away in your tower of dieting until you are beautiful enough and ready to come back down to earth.
Stop that cycle. Speak up. Come back down to earth. Tell people what was going on and what you are still struggling with. Tell people what you value, what you want, and what you care about.
They will listen, and you deserve to be heard.