The Daily Struggle With Anxiety
[Guest Post by Angela McNeil – My friend has been through so much and I always appreciate when she shares parts of her story because I just know it will encourage at least one person.]
Most of my childhood memories are of my sick mother working 2-3 jobs, and my dad sitting in his Lazy boy recliner.
Starting at the age of 8, I picked up most of the chores around the house like cleaning and cooking, while my father sat in his recliner drinking a beer or a Jack n Coke.
I remember one day my mom was in tears. My father was arrested for stealing drugs from the hospital he worked at. He had to do a work furlough program and the jail at night.
From then on my sister and I were in and out of therapy.
I am a HUGE supporter of therapy.
She also had us involved with Ala non/Alateen meeting. These meeting are for the family members of Alcoholics and Drug addicts, of which my father is both. I was in one meeting and I took a vow, a vow that I will never be an addict like my father.
Years passed and Christmas of 1999, I lost my mother to heart disease.
It was shortly after then I started to have an attitude–fueled by my husband–of do whatever I want–that included food.
If you want a cupcake–eat it.
If you want a Big Mac and French fries–have it.
I started to not care about what I ate, what I drank, it was all about what I wanted no matter what the cost. In my childhood, I had a grandmother and also my mother who restricted my eating.
NO. NO. NO.
Now married, I have a husband saying YES, YES, YES. That’s when it started. I would watch my shows, and movies, and TV non stop. Every weekend. That was the most of my life for 10 years–a sloth. I just sat there watching TV to escape, and ate whatever I wanted to fill a hole in my heart.
In 10 years, I went from 168lbs to 298lbs, which is when I began to have anxiety about my weight.
I always had to have my makeup done.
My hair done.
My clothes as cute as they could be at my size 24.
I would freak out if I would have to go to any function. Thoughts like,
“I am going to be the fattest person there.”
“I have to meet your boss, he is going to hate me because I am fat.”
“What you want to go out dancing? Great I am going to be the biggest girl…again.”
Those were some of the thoughts I would freak out about in my years at my heaviest (as I ate another pint of ice cream).
It was June 2012, I asked God to help me lose weight. I didn’t care what the cost was–I just knew I needed help. I prayed for 2 months “Please Lord, help me lose weight.”
Then, I will never forget this conversation with my friend Brigitte, in September 2012–she said that you should eat to live, but not live to eat. I honestly thought that was the most ridiculous statement.
I didn’t get it.
I thought it made no sense.
I argued about it with her, and she said to stop making excuses. That was my “A-HA” moment when I knew my relationship with food was mental.
So back to the therapist I go.
After about 4 sessions, I came to the realization I was rebelling against my childhood and my restrictions. I was trying to feed the loss of my mother. During the fifth session, I realized that I had become the thing I hated the most–the thing I vowed I would NEVER become.
Specifically sugar. No more pints of ice cream or a dozen cupcakes. It’s not going to bring my mother back, and it’s certainly not going to fix anything.
A year later, God is still putting the appropriate people in my life on my weight loss path. I have lost 69lbs, 8% body fat, and 4 inches off my waist.
I am stronger.
The best part is I no longer allow food to control me–it’s no longer an idol in my life.
I daily struggle with anxiety, my confidence, and self esteem about my weight, but that is getting better every day.
Accountant, Photographer, Dachshund lover, health-nut, and woman of faith. Lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and her two wiener dogs. Here to share my life successes, struggles, and experiences with weight loss and the Lord at http://www.weightedfaith.com.
[Photo: ♫muxu, Flickr]