Last updated on October 18th, 2019 at 02:54 pm
Now that I’ve accomplished my dream of publishing my first book, Toxic Mom Toolkit: Discovering a Happy Life Despite Toxic Parenting, I decided it is time to take better care of myself.
Childhood abuse research has shown that at the core of most eating disorders lies some sort of past or present abusive power dynamic situation—emotional, physical, sexual abuse, verbal, or any combination of these toxic behaviors.
Part of recovering from a toxic family situation is by paying attention to places where you stuff your emotions down with a certain behavior, and in this case, food that isn’t the most healthy but feels oh so comforting.
Let’s face it, everybody knows how to lose weight and get healthy. You eat less. You move more. The bathroom scale digits tell you when you’ve won. At least for a while.
Because I’m such a genius and know the foolproof formula for losing weight, I’ve managed to gain at least five pounds a year for the past ten years, punctuated by extreme diet losses of up to 20-lbs that all eventually found the way back to my hips. When I worked in a newsroom we joked there is one bag of Cheetos’s stories and there are three bags of Cheetos’s stories—-all washed down with Diet Coke.
When I was covering breaking news, by the weekend it was time to let my hair down and enjoy a few beers, or seven.
And meal planning? M-E-A-L planning?
Doesn’t that sound like something Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show worried about? Certainly, Aunt Bee made lists of seasonal fruits and vegetables to combine and cook and place next to roasted chicken or lean meat or even—that smelly stuff—fish!
You’re supposed to eat fish, right?
But not me. I was too busy. I was also usually too shaky from not eating properly to give any thought to where my next meal was coming from. Actually, I was regularly pretty light-headed most of the time and certainly too busy to plan a week’s worth of shopping, chopping and actually eating.
Six weeks ago, while I was minding my own business at my very nice health club, (the club I think of as a great place to use the bathroom while shoe shopping), I saw a sign-up table for new groups. What caught my attention was a one-hour ‘Meet the Bossy Nutritionist Layla Flower’ opportunity. A free one-hour Meet the Bossy Nutritionist opportunity.
Little did I know that by simply writing my name on that blank form I would actually come face-to-face with my diet demons. It was the first I actually thought about what I eat and why. Because I’m such a genius, after the free meeting I didn’t sign up for any help or counseling. I figured, it’s worth a story and instead of facing the personal work I needed to do; I wrote a story about my future nutritionist—blowing my fee on stockpiling movie candy.
But something about The Bossy Nutritionist got me thinking. What was up with the way I ate? I can’t even say, “feed myself” because I wasn’t ever feeding myself. I was eternally serving myself snacks.
I had been running on French fry fumes my whole life.
Why was I eating like a five-year-old at a cocktail party? Why did I love that Sunday evening sound of big dinner plates clacking when I pulled them down but hate the idea of eating anything nutritious on a big dinner plate?
Coincidentally, I woke up one day and stopped drinking Diet Coke, which had been my coffee, my milk, and my water for nearly 40 years.
It seemed like I was ready to surrender my bad habits, illogical behavior and an insatiable desire for Lay’s Barbecue potato chips.
But I couldn’t do it alone. I needed a wingman and The Bossy Nutritionist is up for the challenge. What about you?
Rayne Wolfe is a freelance writer, and a former New York Times, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Sonoma Media, journalist. Her first book, Toxic Mom Toolkit: Discovering a Happy Life Despite Toxic Parenting (CreateSpace) was released in December 2013 and is available on Amazon. Rayne’s non-fiction work is published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and Glamour Magazine.
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