7: Guilty Love

My guilty love is chocolate.

Chocolate releases serotonin and dopamine, which are the feel-good hormone.

And when it melts in your mouth you damn feel good. The problem is the aftermath. The ‘hangover’. The guilt.

For many years – and I still do – I get angry at myself for losing control over chocolate. But today I was thinking, why do we have to categorised food in bad and good? Why do we have to label even food? Why can’t we just see food for what it is: food?

Of course, some food is healthier than others, but why do we have to put labels into bad and good?

Every morning I wake up with the good intention of “being good”, you know, eating the good stuff rather than the bad one. And then if, for an excuse or another, I might have one tiny piece of chocolate, I start to feel like I have been unhealthy, I haven’t respected my diet and I feel bad because I might have eaten more calories than I should have eaten – I don’t even count calories! But it feels like a big dilemma because it will have an impact on my weight loss journey. Translation: that day I failed.

If I feel the same way for more than a day in a row, then I start to feel very bad about myself. I failed, again: “see, I can’t even have one day without chocolate!” and here we go, before I know I start to bully my head, believing that I am failure.

And to provoke all this dilemma was just a tiny bit of chocolate that probably my body didn’t even register!

It might sound dramatic, but I hope it is not just me that feels in this way.

Then, of course, there are also those days that I use the excuse of that tiny bit of chocolate to eat even more. You know, I failed my diet for today, I will start again tomorrow. And I use it as an excuse to stuff myself with more chocolate.

That’s why I believe that chocolate is my guilty love.

When I previously started my transformation journey, I managed to see food for what it is: food. And I managed to see chocolate for what it is: chocolate. Not bad, no good, just chocolate.

I did not feel guilty about eating chocolate or cake. I felt amazing. I felt relieved. I felt like I had that freedom from guilt.

But lately, in the last past year or so, I started to deal again with this toxic relationship of love and guilt. I keep asking myself, would I want a love and guilt relationship with another human being? And the answer is: no, thanks. And then I ask myself, why do I accept my love and guilt relationship with food then?

The good thing is that I do not accept it, because otherwise I will not be here, writing this blog. So, if I don’t accept it, why do I allow it? Well, this question could start an endless philosophical discussion if we take in consideration how many things humans don’t accept and allow. Yep. I do not have an answer, and that’s another story.

Now, I am going to be completely honest with you, and with myself too.

I started this blog because I got inspiration from the book ‘Recovery’ by Russell Brand. It is about the 12 steps. I started to read the book and, perhaps, it felt like I had this new energy and strengths to deal with my addiction.

I am really working hard to overcome my addiction and I am trying to write this blog to help me remember how, in the past, I managed to get that “freedom” from that guilty love. Perhaps, this is the problem. The problem is the ‘working hard’. Because the more I think I have an addiction, the more I feel bad, the more I want to eat.

I drafted this post yesterday, I would lie if I wouldn’t tell you that I got emotional and I looked for serotonin to help me cope with my emotion. I looked, and I had chocolate.

Why did I get emotional? Because my post yesterday ended in a very different way. I was following the 12 steps and I admitted that I was powerless in front of food and, even if I am not going to over-eater for the rest of my life, I will be still an over-eater. Like alcoholics that even if they are sober for years, they still consider themselves as alcoholics for the rest of their lives.

Perhaps it might be true, but in the other hand it makes me feel so powerless and hopeless.

It feels like I am marked for the rest of my life, that regardless what I am doing, regardless I am trying, regardless I am giving my best, I will be still an over-eater, forever. And I do not like it, and I do not accept that. Because that feeling tells me that I am not strong enough, and I believe to not be true.

I went to OA (over-eater anonymous) in few occasions. At first, I thought it was helping me. Then I stopped going. I started to feel hopeless and I was ended up over-eating after each meeting. Don’t get me wrong, I feel inspired and amazed by all those people who share their story, who overcame amazingly so many adversities, I really admire them. I can relate to them.

But the system is not working for me. And yesterday, my feeling was confirmed.

I need to believe that I will overcome to this, for good. And I will.

Because life is much more than overthinking and worrying about food. If I would spend the same time I spend to think about food or to blame myself about food in something more productive, like volleyball, by now I would have probably been a volleyball player in a professional team!

No, I am not blaming myself just now, I am just admitting that I spend far too much time worrying about overcoming my addiction than, instead of overcoming, I am tormenting my head even more, pressuring myself: “I need to overcome this, I need to overcome this”.

So, yeah. Russell Brand’s book will go back in my shelves, while I will pick again Paul McKenna’s book and cd. This journey is about helping me remember how I managed to overcome my guilty love, and the only system that ever worked for me was Paul McKenna’s system.

It helped me to visualize a healthier Silvia. A good enough Silvia that was doing activities that made her happy, and the more she was losing weight the more she was feeling stronger and confident in those activities.

Now, in this last past year I did try to listen to his CD again, but it didn’t really work. Probably it is because I am putting so much pressure on myself on overcoming that I am forgetting to enjoy the journey. Also, I am going to sit a surgery in December and I feel the pressure of being fit enough. And the more I pressure myself, the more I give up.

So yeah, it has been a week since I started this blog and I already had one low moment and it is ok. I never said “I am cured”. I am only saying I am trying.

Now that I remembered that the 12 steps system doesn’t work for me, I can and I will move on.

Because I need to believe that even if now I might feel powerless in front of food, I do have the power to change my life, my destiny,  I do have the power to overcome. That power lies within me. I am strong enough to live and love my life guilt free. And so do you.

I am an over-eater, but I will not always be.

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