26 Oct

I think I’m going to start with cupcakes. I love cupcakes. I think about cupcakes almost everyday, and how I should probably not eat them. Most of the time that I’m thinking about cupcakes, I should be thinking about things like Linear Algebra, or Tracking Algorithms, or how cold my laundry room is because I’m in it, doing laundry. I could be thinking about why I want to be a doctor, or whether I’m going to manage to finish all my work, or how I should eat more fruit. But instead of thinking about overwhelming things, like how many emails I haven’t answered that I should really answer, I think about cupcakes. Cupcakes are simple. They come in small portions, so that there is less guilt associated with them, they are not very expensive on a finite level, and they taste good. For the few minutes I eat the cupcake, before I am hit with guilt about spending too much money and eating things I shouldn’t, they are pure pleasure.

Cupcakes, for me, are an escape. The cupcake shop that I like is sufficiently far away, so its a journey to get there. When I eat a cupcake, I am totally focused on it for a moment. It is that stage, right before you achieve perfect meditation, where you pick one sound, one taste, to focus on completely, and nothing else matters, for a moment. For that one moment, I’m free.

Its scary to write this down, because I am relatively sure that I sound nuts. I feel nuts. Emotional eating has always evoked a picture in my mind of a sobbing woman eating a giant chocolate cake at 3 AM. I can’t really cry and eat at the same time, and because I have this extreme image in my head, I don’t really identify that picture with myself. Its easier to think of myself as a casual, happy person who just happens to be eating a cupcake.

My life is a pretty good one. There is no melodrama. In general, I am relatively happy. I just have this one particular struggle – this sense of dissatisfaction when I look at my body everyday. Sometimes I tell myself it doesn’t matter, but when it comes down to it, its a random set of moments, every single day, that I don’t feel good about myself. I don’t feel confident. I think that its paradoxical, because eating is this escape, at least in part, from the misery of not liking my body, from the stress of too many things to do, from the overwhelmed feeling that I experience every single day.

The thing is, I’ve felt this way for years. I’ve felt self concious about my weight since I was 11 years old. I am 23 as I write this. I am not a particularly lazy person – this June, I’ll theoretically earn 3 degrees from one of the most prestigious universities in the country. I didn’t get to where I am because I am a lazy person. I also didn’t get here because I was irresponsible, or unambitious.

I am also not a stupid person. I know, as I put something in my mouth, that I shouldn’t be eating it. Yet, while for a few days, I can exercise self control, sometimes even for a few weeks, I’ve never elicited much of a change, and the net trend has been to gain. When I entered college, I weighed 135 lbs. I’d gained around 13 pounds over the last 2 years. In college, over the next 2.5 years, I gained another 40 pounds. Thats basically where I am now.

I think that there are a lot of ways to find that road to permanent weight loss, but I think for me, I’m going to have ot make my life something that I don’t need to escape from. I’m starting this blog so that I can keep track of that particular journey.


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