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Monday, September 24, 2012

Eating Through Travel, Trauma,Tragedy and Triumph Part Two

Welcome back friends, 

Yesterday in Part One of Eating Through Travel, Trauma, Tragedy and Triumph, I left off asking three questions:

(1) What made me stop caring about my diet and my health after such diligent and constructive work in losing weight and changing my eating habits?
(2) Had I really adopted a new and healthy lifestyle, or was this a façade? 
(3) Or, was I temporarily reverting to my old comforts in order to bear up under the pressure of my cousin's fresh wound of a cancer diagnosis?

Here is how I first allowed my cousin Jan's cancer diagnosis to put me on what I will affectionately call my "DIETARY DETOUR". 

Firstly, I made a silent deal with myself when I was up at Tara and George's looking after their two son's. I said to myself, "self? If I re-route my journey through this jungle of junk food for two weeks,
I will do my darndest to get back on track when I get back to Calgary." This is where (1) I temporarily stopped caring about my hard work and diligent efforts over the past four months. I am no expert in aeronautics, so just humour me and consider this illustration: I know enough to say that when NASA plans a shuttle launch into outer space, it must be executed with utmost precision. The space craft can end up years away from it's destination when it fly's even a fraction of a degree off of it's charted course.

Albeit a short blip on the radar map of my diet, I made the mistake of thinking that detouring from my diet for two weeks would be a safe move because I was in control. After all, I just spent four months working to lose 35 pounds, I can do this with no problem! How quickly I forgot how I spent the past 30 years wrecking my body with demon food. It's not food's fault, it's wholly my doing. I rationalized myself into thinking that this detour would only be temporary, then made an irrational decision to re-route, making my destination a much farther point on the horizon of my future as a permanent resident in Thinland. (Note to self, I am sorry for lying to you!)

I do believe that (2) I made an earnest effort to succeed in developing a healthy new lifestyle and no, this wasn't a façade. But, as with most successful relationships that take years to develop, lot's of love to nurture growth and patience to overcome hardships, my new relationship betwixt myself and food was still in an introductory phase. I was in dietary rehab for crying out loud! I was only four months into my program when I reverted back to my old habits. I knew that I should suffer a measure of guilt for mistreating my body and mind. However in retrospect, I believe that I was too lenient with myself. In my experience the right thing to do is always the hardest thing to do. And following a life changing dietary program is very difficult! Oh sure, I eventually end up doing the right thing, but not until I submit myself to a mountain of procrastination before getting down to brass tacks.

The answer to the above question (3) is ultimately, YES. I was emotional eating myself through Jan's diagnosis and feeling the fear that her kids were undergoing too. No one asked me to feel this way on their behalf, I chose to because I was also genuinely afraid for my family members. My feelings were real. Plain and simple. I used food to temporarily cover up the feelings that I was not comfortable enough to reveal at that time. Whether anyone else was aware or not, I was too busy being strong for Tara and George's boys and doing my best to support the immediate family involved. That strategy worked, for them. It failed miserably for me and I began to gain back the weight I had previously lost. I did not let on much about my true feelings of desperation regarding the recent turn of events. Not only was I internalizing the fear and anxiety I was feeling for Jan, I now had to fight off my closeted guilt and anger that I developed from my weight gain. Double trouble.

Tara and her brother Aaron came back from Victoria with news that their mother's surgery was being postponed until a later date. Despite the surgical delay, it was good for all of them to be together during this time. I returned to Calgary mid-March and contemplated my available choices for the upcoming events which included my obligatory attendance at an annual bible convention, Jan's hysterectomy and Lane's wedding. These were all events that I felt I needed to be at and couldn't figure out how I was going to be able to be there for everybody, as all the aforementioned occasions were within very close proximity to one another. 

What was I going to do and how was I going to do it?

Please stay tuned for Part Three in my series on eating through travel, trauma, tragedy and triumph.

Lots of love... M

Read Tomorrow's Blog Here! Eating Through Travel, Trauma, Tragedy and Triumph Part Three
Read Yesterday's Blog Here! Eating Through Travel, Trauma, Tragedy and Triumph Part One

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