What am I supposed to make of the guilt? It certainly doesn't seem constructive. I'm beginning to realize - and maybe I mentioned this in my last post - that I am addicted to exercise. Rather than simply being the self-care technique I wanted it to be when I started this routine over a year ago, it's become a sort of consuming animal. When I don't work out, I feel guilty, fat, disgusting. I told a friend of mine last night that working out is the only thing standing between me and complete, total body hatred. I only feel attractive when I've been working out.
When I haven't been exercising, like this week, I feel constantly scared. I feel like I'm going to gain back all the weight I've lost. And of course, while the fear itself is kind of irrational, it doesn't help when people say things like, "Well, of course you won't gain weight, unless you compulsively overeat." Um, have we met? I always overeat compulsively. It's how I stay alive, ironically enough. Of course, I don't mean to say that if I didn't overeat, I'd die without all the extra calories or something like that. But it's my coping. I am terrified to take it away. As some people in OA have said, when you take away the food, all that's left are the feelings...
Can I handle my feelings?
So maybe I've gained a couple pounds this week. Probably I have. I was the one to do the grocery shopping earlier this week, and of course I stocked up on things sure to feed my addiction. Ice cream sandwiches, snack cakes, sugary cereals, hard salami and cheese for sandwiches, sour cream & onion chips. I'm noticing that several of those foods start with "s," but that's not important. What is important is that these foods are sucking the life out of me. It's a slow process, but that's what makes this disease so ultimately deadly, and so stealthy. It starts with not liking how one looks in clothes and swimsuits. Then you get comments from family and friends, confirming your suspicions - "Have you put on weight?" (Well, I don't know about friends, but some of my family members are allllll too quick to point that out). The lack of mobility sets in later, when things have gotten really bad. And then there are the health problems - high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type II diabetes. Heart attacks, strokes. Death.
But see, I've been active in my disease for fifteen plus years now. I haven't yet seen the direst consequences of this illness staring me in the face. I just don't want to wait until they're inevitable to try and make them go away.
Meanwhile, I still don't have a sponsor. It isn't easy to approach someone and ask him/her to sponsor me, and I don't know why it's giving me so much anxiety. I'm a very social person - outgoing and gregarious, I'd even say - outside of OA. But I feel out of my element when I'm in the meetings. These people don't know me and they don't have to care about me. I know that's not what the purpose of OA is - the preamble even says that meetings are friendly places - but I'm projecting all over the place. I'm so afraid of being rejected. How can I ever make headway, though, if I don't take risks?