Excuses. I have heard and likely used them all before. “No I don’t want ice cream. I think I am lactose intolerant.” As if you could suddenly become intolerant overnight. “No dinner for me, I am just too tired to eat.” “Sorry, I have a really bad stomachache right now.”
After weeks of this, my friends and family began to see right through me. They watched and worried as I declined food I used to love, as I opted to stay home rather than go out to eat, as I spent more hours in the gym than with my friends. I was lucky enough to have a support group that noticed. I got the help I needed and was lurched from this terrible cycle because of them.
With these excuses, it is easy to not only convince others, but also yourself. When I said I had a stomachache, I truly believed that was why I wasn’t eating. I told myself I despised the taste of desserts, of French fries, of pasta.
The concept seems crazy. But with each excuse I uttered I began to believe myself more and more. It was all consuming and turned activities and events into anxiety filled outings. I couldn’t go out to dinner or get dessert with my friends; when my little brother asked me to take him to the ice cream shop around the corner, I had to decline.
And this is not a way to live. I no longer wanted to fear of calories or certain types of food. I knew that logically I could not go on this way, yet something was continually pushing me forward and urging me to persist.
The hospital was my wakeup call, but don’t allow something so drastic to happen before you take action. Recognize the excuses in yourself and change your mindset.
It is easier said than done. In fact, I have not yet reached the point where I can comfortably enjoy a brownie or ice cream sundae. I still hear the excuses echoing in my head as I try to take on this incredibly difficult challenge.
I take it one step at a time. Last week, I enjoyed my first ice cream cone with my family and I prided myself on the accomplishment. Next week, I plan to walk down to my local coffee shop and have a pastry. Set small goals and reward yourself for reaching them. Sooner or later, those excuses will fade away.