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A Very Small Step is Still a Step

A Very Small Step is Still a Step

I’m just like you. I struggle making changes.

I often take on big tasks with the best of intentions, only to fail when I become much too overwhelmed with those intentions, no matter how much progress I’ve made.

And then I hate admitting when I’ve struggled, mostly because it usually entails listening to a litany of things I’m already aware of, things I have already tried, or things I know to be a be a fad, or scientifically untrue.

But nevertheless, I treat the process as much needed self-awareness. And in this process of self-awareness and discovery, I’ve learned a few things about myself:

  • That I must forgive myself
  • That I must love myself
  • And that I only make new habits by breaking them down into their most basic of beginnings

You see, I’m a person who has never been at her ideal weight. Well, actually, that’s wrong. I was at my ideal weight once. I was 3 years old. Does that count?

I was raised in an era where parents thought that a thin child was a sickly child. So my mother, and especially at the insistence of her foster mother, fed me more than she should have. She force-fed me to the point of personal sickness. Regularly. I’ve had a lot of emotional issues related to forced-feeding, given vitamins and other remedies to fatten me up, and a workaholic mother. It has taken me many years of introspection to understand this. To realize the dynamic of things.

While yes, I am now an adult and not a child, these events have taken a toll on how I’ve cared for myself through the years, and my relationship with food and my self-discipline. I have Binge Eating Disorder. For me, the most basic baby step is simply not overeating to the point of sickness.

It isn’t choosing some foods over others, adding new foods to my diet, or even necessarily listening intently to hunger signals. It is simply not overeating. Not overfeeding, or eating past the point of uncomfortableness.

I’m working on that. Loving, and forgiving myself… and working on that. I know that my walk with diabetes is different than perhaps the walk of other people, or even a bit different than the walk of those who try to practice intuitive eating. But I know that this is my progress. And the beauty of not feeling so ill… feeling so wrong from having eaten so much… is that it inspires me to then perhaps actually cook a meal, get up early to enjoy breakfast, or pack a lunch for work.

When I feel GOOD because I have not force-fed myself, because I have not eaten to the point of sickness, I know that I can be at freedom to choose to eat anything I want… to enjoy water, to enjoy adding new foods, to not feel pressured about a weight scale and what it might say or reflect about me.

I can already feel a LOT healthier – even if the scale had said I hadn’t lost a pound. I can already feel more flexible, more energized, with more desire to work, to play, to care about my health, to manage my diabetes, to live and love and laugh… and to even face difficult decisions or tasks. The more and more confidently I manage that most basic of steps – the more confident I feel that I can do what needs to get done to manage all of my health. And this is essential.

Often we feel that there is so much we should do, all at once, but we need to assess the root of our habits – how gently we ought to start, and where to realistically begin. Often, diabetes is added on top of other conditions – like binge eating disorder and obesity. Visiting behavioral therapists, who can work with us and how we psycho-socially relate to food and others, can help.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.