Diet Trigger

A few months ago, Catch and I decided that we needed to lose some weight. She was having some health issues that are worsened by weight, and I was just hating my body. We agreed to try the keto diet to see how it worked for us.

Spoiler: she is doing AMAZING. I am not.

The first few weeks were hard for me, but I got through them. I lost a few pounds. I should have been happy, but I wasn’t. I was miserable without carbs and I was totally consumed by my misery. It was not making me a great person to be around.

At some point, I gave up. Since then, it has been like a carb fest around here when Catch isn’t home. I’ve been pretty out of control, although now I’m trying to be more aware that I am not ten years old and I don’t have to hoard carbs to eat in secret when my mom isn’t home. (More on that in a bit.)

Catch continues to do great. Last weekend, her parents were here and she and her mom talked quite a bit about the keto program. Catch was talking so excitedly about how well it’s working and every time the subject arose, I started to feel an old familiar guilt/anxiety/anger bubble up inside of me. I should be happy because my wife is happy. I should be supporting her. Instead, I’d find myself wanting to leave the room so I didn’t have to hear about it. It was massively triggering—particularly the mother/daughter angle—and I hate that.

I know that the roots of these feelings I’m having are deep and twisted. I have had food issues my entire life. I was always a chubby little girl, and my mom was obsessed with my weight. My two best friends in PRESCHOOL had a little song they sang to me that I can still remember to this day, “Chubby chubby cheeks today.” I was teased mercilessly in school—just seeing the names of some of those bullies pop up on Facebook is enough to trigger that old shame. I actually declined a friend request from my best friend in middle school because she was friends with the bullies and I didn’t want to invite those assholes into my life in any way. Even my Girl Scout troop leaders made comments about my weight. (Shocking that I quit, eh?)

I saw a nutritionist in grade school. I went to two different “fat camps” as an adolescent. I was on Weight Watchers around age 12. Jenny Craig was in there somewhere as well, although I can’t recall how old I was. Everything was fat free or sugar free. (Hello, 80s/90s!) When I lost weight, my mom would shower me with new clothes and praise. When I inevitably gained the weight back again, she would say things like, “Maybe we could actually find you some cute clothes if you would lose some weight.”

I had no self confidence. None. For decades I felt like I had to apologize for my very existence. I was convinced that no one would ever love me unless I was thin. I never felt like I was good enough for anyone.

There have been periods of time when I was happy to be losing weight and had no issues with it. I lost 50 pounds when we were going through fertility stuff, and I was doing great. I had no issues with it because my RE told me I needed to lose weight to have a baby and I wanted that dang baby SO. BAD. I would have done anything for my baby. I was like a rabbit on a treadmill chasing the carrot on a fishing line.

Today, I just don’t want to diet. I don’t want to hate my body. I don’t want to see pictures of myself and cringe. I just want to be able to sit here and accept who I am and where I am right now. I am so fucking tired of this narrative that runs through my head every time I look in the mirror.

I have so much going on right now, and it feels like keto was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had no idea it was going to open the flood gates of childhood trauma, but it did and there’s no going back. I need to find a way to deal with it now. Preferably a way that doesn’t involve hiding boxes of pop tarts behind the almond flour and flax in the pantry.

(Catch, if you’re reading this please know that I support you 1000000% in whatever you do. Always. My issues are not your issues.)




8 thoughts on “Diet Trigger

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your trauma experience. To have that school yard bullying going on at home, too – a place where you should have reprieve from school yard bullying, is intensely harsh. I can’t imagine what it would be like to hear those kinds of things from your mother. But I do understand how deeply a mother’s influence can impact you. Even just from hearing my mom talk about “needing to lose weight” all the time, I ended up with an eating disorder in high school. The fact that you made it through all of that, and as an adult have the wherewithal to fight for your right to be confident with who you are, is downright amazing. Good for Catch, but good for you too for knowing what you need to take care of yourself mentally. Diets are not good for 99% of people of earth. You are beautiful as you are.
    Also, I sometimes hoard chocolate in my underwear drawer so my wife won’t judge me for being a sugar addict…. Totally unhealthy and childish but IT HAPPENS 😆

  2. You aren’t alone on the secret eating. When my husband is out for the evening you better believe I’m shoving whatever junk we have in the cupboards down my throat and I have actually legit texted him once to ask when he planned to be home so I knew if I had enough time to secret eat a bowl of chips. I wish I had some advice on how to make it through the secret eating, but I have none as I struggle a lot with it. The only thing that has helped me start to lose some weight is Intermittent Fasting because it has meant that I can still eat that bowl of chips if I really want. But I won’t get into that as you’re not looking for diet advice. I think you actually being able to break down your relationship with your weight and food is a huge step that not a lot of people get to. It can’t have been easy to have gone through that all growing up. Weight challenges as a kid/teenager are hard and I really feel for you having to deal with those comments from your own mother. I truly don’t have much to say, but as a fellow sneaky eater, I did want to say that I get it and you aren’t alone 🙂

  3. I feel like we need a support group. People Whose Partners Lose Weight on Things Unsustainable for Us and the Parental Issues that Made Us Who We Are Today. Probably no one would join up with that title. Suffice to say I totally hear you on this. I’ve been in these spots. I’m still in these spots. Hell, I’m going to the doctor to get a letter that says I weigh so much I need help so that I can use my tax free benefits to pay for a treadmill and gym membership. More importantly, how do we not do this same thing to our daughters?

  4. I just want you to know that through your blog you are a beautiful human and though I have seen many wonderful pictures of you and your family, your weight was never something that I noticed or stood out to me. Your happy smile, beautiful hair color, and adorable kid are the visuals that come to my mind when I see a new post from you. Your sense of humor and honest feelings are the non-visual (what is the right word there?) things that I think of! I know this topic is heavy and loaded, and I don’t have any advice, but I ache for the preschooler and teenager that suffered those hurtful and abusive words. Nobody deserves that.

  5. Solidarity. One thing that’s helped me in moving toward accepting my body as is (and as will be) is changing my Instagram feed. I now follow so many beautiful fat queer people. Not only seeing them, but seeing them as totally beautiful, helps me love my own body a little bit more. (But it’s still a process. And it’s still hard. So, again, solidarity.)

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