The past five days or so have been difficult for me. From a mental point of view, it has felt like a real backslide. I've found myself hungry all of the time, watching the clock to see when I can eat again, and daydreaming about food while I'm working. Part of this, I believe, is biological as it could be PMS. Part of it, however, may be psychological.
Though I can say that I have done a pretty good job of beating back my impulses, the fact that these thought patterns have re-emerged after their having gone blissfully dormant for awhile has disturbed me. I had felt that I'd turned a corner and was living much closer to a "normal" (i.e., non-food-obsessed) existence for once in my life. With all of these mental struggles circling back around, I've been beating myself up for falling back into old patterns.
I have come to wonder if part of the resurgence of these patterns is related to some sort of unconscious need to find a reason to degrade myself. After all, my inner dialog for most of my life has matched the outer responses to my appearance. People let me know I disgusted them, so I told myself I was disgusting. People let me know that I was weak-willed and self-indulgent for wanting to eat too much, so I told myself I was a horrible pig.
Playing these negative inner mantras for myself day-in and day-out for much of my life is probably one of those routines that is hard to break. It is similar to the problems I discussed in my post on redefinition of ones identity. They need to be purposefully replaced with new thought patterns in order to vanquish them. If I do not make a concerted effort, then the vacuum will be filled with the old inner dialog, and that dialog cannot be motivated unless I'm either eating the way I used to or at the very least desiring to eat the way I used to.
What I realized today was that I have been castigating myself over the past few days for a backslide, but not one in which I have been eating too much or off of my desired plan. I've been berating myself for thinking about wanting to eat too often. In the absence of actual behavior to form a self-hating inner monolog, I have found a way to tear myself down for the equivalent of a "thought crime."
All I can conclude at this point in time is that my inner masochist was caught off-guard by the positive normality of my existence for the last several weeks. Since my ability to hold myself in check in terms of outward behavior thwarted some twisted need to hate on myself, I found a way to gratify that need by just thinking about such things.
The truth is that I think I'm not yet ready to love myself, and that deep down I still feel unworthy of anyone's love. The lack of worthiness is not merely rooted in my body (though it has found a way to brilliantly motivate and manifest itself thanks to my body for decades), but in my spirit. I've had so many incredible years of unconditional and oft-professed love from my husband, but that hasn't actually undone the damage to me that was inflicted in my childhood by my parents and those who I grew up around. On some level, I believe I'm duping him or that he loves me because of his greatness as a human being rather than mine. Some part of me still wants to think poorly of myself, and that part is asserting itself rather strongly at this point in time.
Among the many inner dialogs that I must battle to change, this one has been added to the list. If I really want to succeed in mastering my relationship with food, I have to deal with this need to self-hate, or I will find that I'll create reasons to do so. The easiest way to go back to a state of self-loathing is to do what I have always done, and that is something I absolutely do not want to allow to happen.