To take care of myself in the months preceding my wedding I had to make a conscious effort to not dive into dieting. Wedding weight loss was off the list of things for me to do, or to even attempt.
As soon as I begin to try to control the outcome of any situation, I become lost in an obsessive spiral.
I will never forget the night I realized that my relationship with food was not a healthy one. It was late, long past when I had meant to fall asleep. My eyes blurred as I watched, for the third time in a row, a plastic bowl of ramen spin behind the yellow tinged window of the microwave. I opened the door before the countdown finished. I wanted to throw it away, but I ate it instead. Less than an hour later, I stole a slice of chocolate cake from my roommate. I inhaled it as I walked back to my basement bedroom. Minutes later, I threw it up.
When I was 18, I went through a painful breakup. My stomach was in knots for weeks on end, I couldn’t eat without feeling sick afterwards. I didn’t consciously stop eating, but I did stop eating. I could feel the anxiety in my gut and food didn’t alleviate the pain. Nightmares of eating something rotten and being unable to stop vomiting played on repeat.
I lost a lot of weight, quickly. My dramatic weight loss elicited comments from a couple of well-intentioned teachers. I sought out a therapist and worked on managing the anxiety. The nervous energy I worked on dispersing was hovering atop caverns of depression.
Feeling too deeply can split a person open. I have never known what to do with the empty space.
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Photography by Victor Herrera Photographers.