it's time for an anxiety post.
Are you ready?
I don't care, let's go.
I gained weight. That's a sign that my anxiety has been drastically in control lately. It's directly related for a number of reasons. I've written about my food anxiety more times than I can recall. Hello, I'm afraid of food. I'm terrified of food making me ill because feeling ill equals many of my other fears. I'm afraid of what it feels like to be full so much that I am not even sure what "full" feels like. I'm so afraid of it that I restrict how much I consume in a single sitting to avoid it. Sometimes I eat dinner over the course of 2 hours, Ryan knows this all too well. Especially considering dinner is my most hated meal of the day. I also cringe at the word, "meal". Did you know that? probably not because I'm a strange individual. I also hate the word "snack". Food related words, no shit.
I don't have any idea why this all started but it's been going on for the better part of 15 years. Scratch that, it's been going on my entire life. Food scares me. I enjoy cooking but the act of cooking makes me feel sick sometimes. Watching other people eat makes me feel sick and so dinners and social situations around food make me less likely to touch anything.
So why is me gaining weight a sign that my anxiety has been my bitch (and not the other way around)? It means simply that I've been able to eat without feeling sick. If I don't feel sick I, I eat comfortably. If I eat comfortably, consumption goes up. Usually my way to live is to eat when I feel well and complete avoidance when I don't. It's almost a fight or flight reaction. I know in the depths of my being that I have to eat as much as I can when I feel well because it could be days of anxiety just around the corner. I've conditioned myself to take advantage of the good times. Since I've been doing so well it's been good times often and so the result is unwanted weight gain. BUT, it's a major sign for me. As much as I hate it I am grateful that I've felt so well for this long. By "long" it's been a couple months. However, I also dread this because I question how long it will last? It never ever lasts. Whether it's a few weeks or a few months it always seems to come crashing down. It's my own doing.
So what's changed? A few lessons I learned at the Psychologist and studying anxiety disorder on my own. I notice now when I feel sick as soon as I eat I ask myself "why?" Did you eat something rotten? hopefully no. Did you eat too much? no. Are you sick? no. I am very aware that my issues are psychological. I convince myself that I've made a mistake either by eating too much or the wrong thing and it spirals out of control. That's kind of what anxiety is in a nutshell. A vicious circle of made up shit. Webster's dictionary definition right there folks, you're welcome.
I have worked really hard to slap myself when I get these feelings. I talk to myself, not out loud but that would be awesome. I tell myself there's nothing wrong with how I feel. I am sure not to tell myself to "just calm down" or "don't worry" because those are sentiments people who know nothing about anxiety say. I use whatever I have in my arsenal to convince myself that I did not eat too much, I did not eat anything rotten and I am okay. I compare myself too in that I see other people eating twice as much as me and feeling fine so this feeling of food in my belly is completely normal. I totally play games with my mind and it's been working.
Sometimes I still lose the game resulting in feeling sick and curling up in the corner in a ball wishing for death. The sick feeling doesn't last as long as it used to because I'm more in tune with it. Knowing that so many of my issues are self inflicted mind games has really helped me. Other things that have helped me lately is that I haven't had to endure any social situations. I use the word "endure" because that's truly what it is to me. Fucking middle of February and we're in a deep motherfucking cold. Nobody is doing things. We're all so sick of winter and angry.
But the result..... unwanted weight gain..... It's just a few pounds. Just enough to make everything fit a little snugglier. But for me and my sensory issues, I HATE and cannot tolerate clothes fitting a little snug.
As long as I know why, I can be better and get back to where I was. I'm a cyclist after-all and strive for the "skeletal person in lycra" look*. Right Becky?!
*I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to be skeletal simply because of the benefits on the bike but I certainly don't prescribe to it entirely.