It’s nearly three o’clock in the morning and I just woke up irrationally afraid. Simple fear really, just that I will not be able to do this thing and will crack and hoover down a mountain of cookies while nobody is looking (I begin tomorrow… well, technically today). So here I am, calming my thoughts by seeing them in comforting, neat rows of black text. I also keep repeating a verse to myself as a reminder:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
It’s to remind me that strength comes from a place of infinite and inexhaustible resource.
Additionally, I keep seeing Matt Damon in my head. No, seriously. In the trailer for his new movie Elysium he’s lying on a table waiting for someone to do something horrifying and medical to him and he’s giving himself a short, straightforward pep talk: “This ain’t gonna kill me.” You can see it at a minute and ten seconds here:
What? So my brain is a wee bit melodramatic.
I had my appointment with the endocrinologist who works in conjunction with the clinic tonight before my first class meeting. He is a slightly owlish, dryly funny and soft spoken man.
He told me that since I’m such a healthy patient with no current weight-related complications or illnesses I’ll need minimal check-in’s with him and the nurse as we go along. I think that means in a month or two they’ll just be making sure that no malnutrition or imbalances are forming rather than having to carefully watch me on a more weekly basis.
When I described to him my exhaustion from dealing daily with food addiction and my desire to detox for a while from everyday foods in order to build a better relationship to them, he said something to me in response that struck me far more deeply than he could have realized. He told me, “these behaviors you are describing are not character flaws on your part, they’re just human nature.” He said this so calmly and in a matter-of-fact way, and may or may not know what incredible comfort it is to hear from a medical professional who specifically works in the field of weight management that no, I’m not weak and flawed and wrong and different in some way – I’m merely human. You know, like everybody else on the planet.
He explained to me that our focus is not going to stop me from eating during my “dangerous” time of day (ie. right after work – which he said is probably a piece of my permanent, mental hard wiring that was developed when I came home from school each afternoon as a child and had a snack). Rather, we are going to work on retraining me to eat at that time without binging on unhealthy foods and provide me with resources that will be satisfying and filling to have – but will not derail my entire healthy eating day.
So that’s my diagnosis: normal person in otherwise good health who just needs a few habitual behaviors modified (not abolished) in order to achieve a personal goal. Not a freak, not a glutton, not the sole source for skyrocketing health care costs in America: just ordinary me.
I think it’s time to go back to bed.