I went back to toddler status this week, pitching fits in my own head about everything I am “being made” to do. I do not want to eat healthy. I do not want to go work out. I do not want to be a health coach. I am not healthy myself.

I roam around the house after I have cancelled all my plans for the day and look for things. I do not even know what I am looking for. I’m hungry. Could I be a doll and go get me something that will lighten me up and lift me? Perhaps a hot chocolate to go with my blanket while I think about it.

I try to wash clothes and clean everything I see so that I do not feel like a failure for cancelling my day. Maybe I could call myself a good housekeeper by evening, and then I won’t feel so lazy. I go back to the kitchen and stare into the open fridge, dreaming of something new appearing. I hear my stepdad say, “They’re not showing movies in there!” I quickly close it, knowing I am searching for a ghost. What is it that I need?

I go to the pantry. Same thing. But this time I come out with peanut butter. I will find a vehicle for this peanut butter. Back to the fridge. Yes, that is what I want.

By dinner I have thought of five different places for us to go eat despite my plan to only eat at home for the next several weeks. The moment I decide that I am willing to stay in the parameters of my goal is the moment I feel like I die a little. I must carry on and decide on a place to make this moment livable. I don’t want to die in this brain of mine. I cannot turn back now. We are going out to eat. Maybe Mexican. Maybe Hibachi. I will forego dessert. Maybe.

It feels like my goals kidnap me. I resent them frequently. And I resent my progress because it means I am supposed to keep producing it. When will this ever end, this progress that holds me down and does not allow me to be free?

I had a donut today. It was at a new restaurant in the cutest little town of Davidson, and it was after I had been seeing social media advertisements for this new place called Milkbread. I break the word down. Milk; it has never done by body good! I switched to almond milk long ago, though one of my favorite past times as a child is drinking a humungous glass of chocolate milk, the darker the better.

Bread. It almost killed me. It was the gluten specifically. My body developed an allergy to it sometime in my years of donut and cake binging. I felt sick in all parts of my body every single day, and my blue hands denoted some serious underlying conditions.

My throat stayed on fire, my stomach churned the foods it could not handle, and I threw up regularly. This was not the “purge” part of some sort of bulimic episodes. I never purged foods after binging on them because that meant that I had to give up the food I had just so desperately sought out and consumed. Why would I do that? I threw up because my stomach hurt from the overloading of bread and sugar products, way more than my body could process. It was involuntary and painful.

So I went to Milkbread and had a donut. Why did I do this when I know what milk and bread do to me? Because I am a food addict. With that, I could say it is because I suck, because I have no willpower, because I cannot commit to my goals, because I am horrible at follow-through, and more and more shameful thoughts, some of which may hold some truth.

Some would say, “It’s just a donut!” To them, it is just a donut. To me, it is the six donuts I have eaten alone many times. It is a relapse of the worst kind. I found the very thing I used to binge on and one of the many foods to which I describe an emotional attachment, I lightened my heart and mind up a bit, and I went into Milkbread and got my milky bready donut topped with chocolate.

It took me back to every connection I ever had with donuts. I savored every bite, knowing that I would be caught and locked up again soon for my violation. I came home and failed to mention it and still got discovered later in the evening by not covering my tracks well enough. Now I am a fat woman who cannot stay away from donuts again. I might as well go to Krispy Kreme tomorrow since I am on this donut kick; I’ll just get all the donut fixes out of the way and then refocus.

I eat to cover up. Then I eat more to cover up the fact that people can see my issues in my fat. It makes no sense to me most days. I try to study my way through it.

Addiction is knowing something is harming you but continuing to do it. It is risking tomorrow’s death just to be alive tonight.

Food addiction comes with a plethora of lies. Lying to myself and lying to others for various embarrassing reasons. What if I took all the lies out? What would be left? A food addiction with which I might begin to deal?

That is why I am writing this blog.

It’s ugly, it’s embarrassing, it’s disgusting. It’s the parts of me I loathe. And yet somehow I am supposed to get up everyday and turn this loathing into healing myself and others. What have I gotten myself into?

Tomorrow I go for my monthly weigh-in. Will my coach see the failure on my hips? Will I have to explain why the numbers went in the wrong direction? Will I be kind to myself, or will I throw myself under the bus and tell her everything? Sometimes I turn into a real traitor in these moments.

Addiction and trying to heal is a combo of constant self-betrayal. It is like being in a relationship with someone who hits you repeatedly, apologizes and wants to change, but then hits you again later. The cycle makes the addict both the victim and the perpetrator. How hard it is to play both roles!

There seems to be a pull between two supposedly opposing theories about food addiction. One is that the brain of a food addict if different, somehow rewired to seek out nonstop food consumption. The other is that it is emotional at its roots. I say, from everything I have studied and experienced myself, that it is both. In the words of Forrest Gump, “Maybe both are happening at the same time.”

The brain rewires itself to achieve homeostasis for the emotions it seeks. It cannot get a balance of emotion, for whatever reason, environmental usually, I would argue, so it reduces dopamine receptors and gets hooked on artificial forms of it. This is a survival mechanism.

Addiction is a survival mechanism.