Sunday, August 21, 2016

Evolution

So my birthday was yesterday. I tried to stop having my birthday seven years ago, but for whatever reason, it just keeps coming. Silly birthday.

I celebrated the way most middle-aged women do - with video games, Disney World, and ice cream.

I also looked back on other journals and blogs I've kept over the years. Good to know 365 days have passed and I'm in exactly the same spot I was last year:
  • I still have problems with food.
  • I still haven't run a sub 2 half marathon.
  • I still feel like I haven't reached my potential.
But am I really in the same spot I was last year?

It occurred to me I never really thought about exactly how long I've had an eating disorder. The overexercising/undereating patterns started right after college, but it hit me over the weekend that I know precisely when my relationship with food turned messy. The exact moment. And it was well before college.

It was twenty-two years ago - my first day of high school. The routine I had held pretty much my entire life was disrupted at that point. My first class started an hour earlier than it did in middle school. I had to take a bus for the first time. I looked and sounded so much younger than my 14-year-old self, and spent a good portion of that first morning agonizing about it. I skipped breakfast, of course, because I figured I could use the extra ten minutes of sleep instead (a habit I continued through early adulthood). And - when lunch time came around that first day - I found myself to be too self-conscious to eat. I felt like people were watching me, and I worried more about finding a group of friends to sit in the cafeteria with. So I never ate lunch in high school, either.

I was always ravenous by the time I got home from school, sometimes not until well after 6:00 pm depending on the time of year and the activities I was involved in. I lived on one decent meal each day at dinner, and junk from vending to hold me over when I really needed it.

When I got to college... well, that's not really the place you learn healthy habits. So there you have it. Twenty-two years of bad eating behavior. And I've spent only 1/5 of that time trying to correct it.

I may not be perfect today, but within the last month, I find myself getting pretty damn close. I just need to have a little patience with myself.

Pokémon Go players understand I'm like the magikarp. It might take me a long time to evolve, but when I do, I'm going to be pretty bad ass.