A few lifetimes ago, I gave away my power. Not intentionally, not all in one swift blow, but slowly, bits of me broke away like an iceberg, trying to find out who everyone wanted me to be. Too Loud? Ok… I’ll be quiet. Too quirky? Ok… Boring is easy. Too Smart? I can play dumb REAL good. Relationships, Friends, even family in their own unaware way. Instead of struggling to find our who I was, I was struggling to be who “they” wanted me to be. It became very easy to transform, to easier to tuck away the real me and become who I thought I was supposed to be. Before I knew it, there was very little of the real me left. Instead, I was a chameleon. One way for one set of friends, for coworkers.
I come from a strong line of women (and men for that matter). Chipping away at the real me like that, it ate at me. And as it ate at me, I ate at everything in sight. I grew up with hopes, dreams, plans for an incredible future. At 21 I had a job I loved, an apartment of my own, living in my favorite city and suddenly…. I was moving back into my parents’ house, pregnant, alone, battered and bruised. I felt powerless. I had lost control, if I had ever had it in the first place.
I was scared. I ate. I was lonely. I ate. I was ashamed. I ate. And for brief moments, I felt in control. I could control what I ate. (You know the pattern, right?) I was suddenly responsible for this little life, and I couldn’t even tell you who I was, let alone who I wanted to be for this baby. I felt powerless.
Fast forward 6 years. Not a lot had changed. I was in a relationship with someone I knew wasn’t faithful to me, who took every opportunity to make himself seem smarter at my expense, but my friends seemed to like him and most of all he enabled me. Want to eat junk food and lay around on the couch doing nothing? He was your guy. Want to stay inside and hide from the world? No problem. I knew how this game of “Who Am I” went, and I was going nowhere fast. The numbers on my scale however were flying through the roof. One night, talking to my best friend oceans away, he heard something in what I said that I hadn’t even heard myself say. He said to me “If you’re happy, tell me and I’ll drop it” and for the first time in a long time, someone was asking me… the real me… how I felt. He saved my life that night.
It’s been 5 years and I’m still trying to figure out who I am exactly. That same best friend who saved my life that night 5 years ago is now lovingly known as “The Hubs” and unfortunately for him, he’s left trying to help me put the “Sharon Puzzle” together. The good news is he’ll call me on my crap, pardon my French. When he hears “I don’t know, what do YOU want to do” or “I don’t care, whatever you want” he doesn’t take it as an answer. But as great as he is, as supportive as he is, this problem, it’s all mine.
I crave food. It gives me comfort. When I’m lost, not sure which Sharon is supposed to be “On”, food never tells me I’ve made the wrong choice. When my heart is aching for a dream long gone, food soothes the hurt. When I’m nervous, food offers me a distraction. When I’m bored, food offers something to focus on. One of the women in our small group personified her craving as a lover. Seductive. Calling to me. Offering me the world. I get it.
But this week… something was different. I couldn’t tell you if it was the knowledge that 40,000+ women were walking this walk with me, if it was the sudden realization that I was turning to food instead of God when I was at my weakest, if it was a recent reminder of how food affects our health, or if it was a combination of all of the above. Whatever it is, this week I feel #Empowered. I can do this. or to be more exact, through God, I can do this…