It might have been described as hot with the sun beating down on their exposed necks and their throats like parched sand, but there was only ice in the pit of their bellies. Their children were herded into pens as they stood on the sidelines and watched, each mother clinging to the next mother, praying and hoping that her children would be safe. It was this hope that actually propelled them to accept the Capitol’s tyranny over them. Hope that maybe this year would be the last time, hope that this year, the tributes and the Games would be enough to satiate the Capitol’s hunger. That hope was misplaced though, for it actually gave the Capitol more power over them by allowing them to harbor the possibility that the Games would end, when in reality, they never would (my personal tribute to Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games).
I have had hope too; hope that things would be different, and not just different, but better. It feels as if I have started dozens of different times on new diets, new lifestyle changes, new nutrition bandwagons—each time beginning with hope that this one new thing would bring me the peace for which I had been seeking. However, none of those new things worked because I had misplaced my hope. Each and every time, I was prideful enough to assume that if I simply tried harder, if I was more rigid in following diet rules then I would be able to heal.
However, I was wrong to place my hope in me alone. I proved time and time again that I could not do it alone, that no matter how hard I tried, no matter how badly I wanted it or hoped for change, I could not do it alone. I was not strong enough. So, after learning this very hard lesson, I found that I needed to place my hope not only in myself, but also within a group of allies.
HOPE WITH STRENGTH
My first ally is my therapist. Today was my first therapy session with a certified Intuitive Eating counselor. I am not quite sure what made it so, but I felt safe the moment I walked into his office. I have learned to trust my feelings, that they give me information about things that are potentially good or bad and this safety helped me to feel comfortable sharing my story, my struggles, and my desperate desire to end this constant battle with my body and with food.
During the session, I was able to explain my thoughts and feelings related to food and my body. Inside, I felt worthless because I felt like I had no control over my body. I felt weak. I felt like I couldn’t stop myself from overeating and shame told me that I was worthless because of it. I felt fat, ugly, and disgusting, words I commonly used to describe myself in my thoughts. I was constantly judging my appearance—my flaws always completely negating any virtues. I thought constantly about food, spent hours planning, shopping for, and preparing it for my family and I to only overeat at meals and feel disgusted with food all together. And he understood; he wanted to help, and most of all, he gave me the hope that together we could do something to change it for good.