I want to write about steps 8 and 9, the ones about listing all the people I have harmed and then making amends to them. It's true I have harmed people, especially by lying to them. But the person I've lied to the most and harmed the most is me. Here are a few of the ways I've harmed myself with my compulsive overeating:
- habitually referred to myself as "fat." I wouldn't say that to anybody else.
- denied myself the comfort of wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirts in hot weather.
- denied myself the joy of swimming because I look horrible in a bathing suit. (I love to swim!)
- denied myself the pleasure of attending social events because I am fat and don't look good enough.
- thought of myself as stupid. After all, aren't all fat people stupid?
- harmed my body by yo-yo dieting and by the extra weight I've lugged around most of my life.
- deceived myself about my compulsive overeating, telling myself lies to justify eating.
- suffered from extreme shyness in social situations because of my weight.
- burdened myself with guilt and shame about weight, sneaking sweets, lying about my eating, lack of control, selfishness.
- jeopardized my marriage and previous partnerships in many ways connected to food and compulsive overeating.
One thing I can do is stop saying I'm fat. Never mention my fat arms, or my fat legs or my fat belly, or my fat body again.... ever! I don't know if I can keep those words out of my mind, but at least I can stop saying them out loud.
I wish I could say I will wear shorts and sleeveless shirts, and go swimming.... don't think that will happen. Oh dear, this making amends part is really tough.