Some days it all goes a bit wrong.
Today we had a photographer coming over for a newspaper article that I am in. They wanted a picture of Joni and Wilbur and I. I expect what they didn’t want is what happened.
When I told Joni about the photographer she showed me the range of faces she’d be willing to pull. None of which were her at her best.
The photographer arranged to come at Wilbur’s nap time, so he was grumpy and obsessed with getting as close to the camera as he could to yell CHEESE and hit the poor man with a toy cow.
Just before the man arrived Wilbur shoved his hands so far into his mouth that he was a little bit sick. I ran to the kitchen to get a cloth, tripped over the stair gate and fell on my knee so hard that I saw stars. Meanwhile, Joni had walked around in the sick. Good good.
Anyway the man arrived, Joni spent the entire photoshoot aggressively throwing toys around or biting her nails and Wilbur spent the time trying to run off, pull my top down or get into the kitchen to eat chocolate buttons.
So it’s lucky that I felt really confident about how I looked and knew I’d look great in the paper. Oh. No. Wait. I did not. I made the mistake of asking to see the photos. I now have the image of my big double chin and huge face engraved on my retina, it will haunt me until I see it print and then it will haunt me some more.
The photographer left and we went into town and it was all I could do to not eat every single slice of chocolate cake in Wokingham Borough. And there lies the problem. Food and I have this toxic relationship. Specifically cheese and chocolate (not together, never mix sweet and savoury – duh) are my go-to buddies. They are my blanket on a cold day and my comfort. It’s a familiar story for many people, I know. Comfort eating is old news. It’s an uncomfortable truth for me – another thing I am embarrassed to admit because it feels so weak to admit that food controls me a bit. It’s such a vicious cycle of self loathing followed by eating followed by more self loathing. I have been living like it forever I think. It’s so horrible to feel so self obsessed, writing this is uncomfortable. I shouldn’t care what I look like, and if I care so much then why haven’t I done something about it? How do I break the cycle? I’ve successfully lost weight in the past, but that’s separate – this is about mentally separating food and drink from feelings. Is it even possible?? I don’t know. I had a bowl of soup and a coffee whilst the children slept in the buggy in the end but I’m pretty sure I don’t have the will power to not eat my way out of these feelings. No one wants to slap me in the face and tell me to snap out of it more than I do.
I am completely desperate though to not pass this on to my children. How can I help them have a healthy relationship with food and, more importantly, teach them ways to manage their feelings better than I have? I know I’ll probably be a causal factor in a whole host of so far unidentified issues in their lives but I would love for them not to have this specific problem. I guess the reality is that it starts with me. Children are surprisingly good at highlighting flaws and then copying them. I need to somehow break this pattern and as those of you who have suffered with fluctuating weight and comfort eating will be able to relate – this not an easy task at all.