The other morning, when I walked into work, I felt like a superhero.
Not in the saving the world kind of way, but in the I’m-so-powerful-and-a-goddess kind of way.
In the mother of dragons, creator of worlds, working-at-my-dream-job-I-got-this-shit kind of way.
As I made my way toward the elevators, my superhero theme song ‘Blood in the Cut’ playing in my earbuds, I surveyed the lobby of the beautiful building I work in … and I had this feeling of, damn, I created this.
No, not the building or the lobby, but I created this very life I am living. I manifested every detail.
I wanted to live and work in Dallas and now I am here, working smack dab in the center of downtown. I wanted a solid, long-term career in graphic design and I have it. I wanted a boss who would allow me to be me, late start time and all, and I’m so grateful to have just that … while working at a place I once dreamed of working.
I manifested this.
I am Wonder Woman.
Or, rather, my modern-day version of her. But … like… instead of saving the universe and fighting world wars, I sing karaoke and travel the world and work in a downtown office with a view.
Ok … maybe not the same. But … close. Very close.
Seriously … the first dream I achieved was becoming a full time graphic artist. I wasn’t sure it was possible since I didn’t have a degree, but it was. I believe the universe helped out in this BIG time, but still, I had a dream and I manifested it. I hoped it was possible, I sought it out and I made it happen.
Since then, I’ve continued to manifest things. Moving to Dallas, living in a beautiful loft in downtown (that I couldn’t even afford when I put the deposit down on it), traveling the world solo and with friends, working in the city with a window view. All of this and more.
I felt so powerful that day when I recognized that I was right where I had always wanted to be. Look at me, I’m a freaking superhero. I’m a woman in full, creating my destiny, manifesting the impossible.
A woman totally in charge of my life, creator of worlds, vanquisher of foe–– wait. Wait …
What’s that I smell, with my powerful, god-like senses, wafting up from the basement food court?
Is it … CINNABON?
Mother of dragons, it IS.
You see, every superhero has a weakness. A downfall. Their kryptonite.
Mine is food.
Ok, well … food and alcohol. And men ….
Oh and math … but mostly, MOSTLY food.
Food, that I need to survive and yet it’s also my destruction. Similar to how Bruce Willis’ character in the movie Unbreakable needs water to survive, yet turns into the weakest-ass version of himself when surrounded by too much of it, so am I with food.
Ahhhh sweet and savory food, that I raise my fists towards the heavens and simultaneously bless and curse it’s creation!
Food, my arch-nemesis!
And yet … yet … much like Batman who had the hots for Catwoman, I too have a sordid love affair with my own sexy villain … food.
This is the truth. I love food. I love eating it, I love looking at it and dreaming of it. And I do dream of it. I love looking at other people’s food. And eating theirs too. Just ask my friends.
I don’t love cooking it because my god, there are people who do that already and I can PAY them for this service.
For the longest time my FAVORITE thing in the world was having food delivered. Praise the gods, there is a service that will not only cook your food but then deliver it to your door piping hot FUCK-ME-HOW-CAN-I-RESIST.
Sigh. I could not.
Like the siren song of a mermaid, summoning me to my doom, so it was with Grubhub, beckoning me to order $80 worth of sushi or $30 worth of pizza at 2 am.
This has become a problem. A Serious Pizza (which is the best pizza in town) kind of problem.
I have gained some weight. Ok, ok, I’ve gained a LOT of weight.
My wonder-woman, bad-ass, creator-of-new-worlds self has honestly lost herself to the deadly yet also sultry call of food.
Let’s dissect this for a second. The issue isn’t my weight, ok? This isn’t about body shaming myself. I could be stunning and beautiful at any weight and so can EVERY WOMAN (go fuck societal standards). I can be powerful at any weight. Size 4 or size 14 or size 44 billion. It’s not the weight. It’s not the size.
It’s the need to overindulge on a regular basis. It’s the lack of control.
And more than that, it’s the coping mechanism I developed at an early age to deal with stress and emotional pain.
When I was younger, I had few friends and was a shy, lonely kid.
Add to that I had a dad with whom my relationship was incredibly tense with at a very early age (happy side note: we’re in a much better place now).
Add to that, my mom struggled with similar issues … of eating her emotions.
All of this resulted in me adopting a very strange, co-dependent relationship with food. It brought me great joy (or so I thought) when I was feeling bored. It comforted me when I was feeling lonely or sad. It was what I looked forward to and got excited about and it was the thing that was most constant in the very uncertain and inconstant world of my youth.
I honestly thought I had overcome this issue for good in my early 30s, after I left my ex.
When I was in that season, I was at my peak level of excitement in life. This was the first time I felt like a superhero. I was daring to build something new. It was scary, but one thing I knew for certain is that it would be mine and that thought gave me such thrilling joy that for the first time EVER I didn’t have an appetite. I was just excited and fulfilled with my life and the wild, unlimited potential I saw in front of me.
Then things normalized a bit and my appetite started to return. But this time I felt like I could be the master of it. I became a person of discipline and order … food no longer held reign over my life … or so I thought. Upon reflection, I think I momentarily learned a new method for coping, the other extreme. Monitoring calories, macros, workouts and checking the scale religiously. Food still reigned over me, just in reverse.
But still, I was capable of more balance than I ever had before. I ate, yes, but I ate good, healthy foods and I worked out like a beast. I was muscular and lean and everything I never thought in a million years I could be. And I maintained this for several years.
I felt in power and in control. I was creating my world, my life. Building new friendships, excelling in my career, trying new things. And I was in the best shape of my life. I was a bad ass.
And then .. I met a man.
I fell for this man and his story and lost myself in my love for him. Because … that was the ONE thing I felt I was missing and I felt I had no power in … love. Real deep magic love. And when I fell for him, against all the odds, after everything else had lined up in place, I thought for sure this was it.
And then he broke my heart (I know, blah blah blah).
But that breaking was so severe that some really old, dark and painful habits took over. And they came back with a fucking vengeance.
Once while sitting at home crying my eyes out, I ordered $60 worth of Tiffs treats.
SIXTY. DOLLARS. of COOKIES.
My god, they were amazing. Not gonna lie. But also … they made me sick. Because, yes, I ate them all.
Then, one day, while feeling particularly blue, I stopped in a gourmet donut shop. I was still thinner then, wearing my short shorts, looking all cute. And I ordered $50 of gourmet donuts.
Two whole boxes. For me. Party of one.
Now I know what you’re thinking, that’s hella impressive, and it IS. I mean, they don’t call me the ‘eat machine’ for nothing. But it’s also really really damaging to my health, both physically and emotionally.
I once heard a podcast where a comedian talked about a season when he was depressed. He would go to his favorite burrito place everyday. But he would get really sad when he was about halfway through eating his yummy burrito because he knew it was about to be over and he would have to go back to his depressing life. And so he learned he needed to “enjoy his burrito”, right then and there and stop worrying about the end of it or what was going to happen next.
However, for me, in order to avoid the moment of depression when the burrito is over, I just get TWO burritos. Or FOUR, it depends on the day (and time of night and how much alcohol I’ve consumed). And instead of just enjoying the one thing and savoring that, I stuff myself till I’m sick.
The issue isn’t my size or my weight or the shape of my body. The issue is that I’m equating food to love and happiness. And not just food, but the OVERindulgence of food.
And this … this is actually my super hero weakness. Not the food, but the thought that I have been missing something …. love. And then coping by using food to fill that particular void in my heart.
And it can’t and it won’t.
But the key thing to remind myself is … that void isn’t there, at least not anymore. Why? Because I have learned to love myself well and heal my own wounds. The one thing I thought was missing wasn’t the real, big, magic love of another man … it was my own magic love … for myself.
That void doesn’t exist. I’ve been feeding a hungry phantom, the ghost of a pain that is no longer there.
But since that morning, I have begun to remember who I am, complete and full. Strong and powerful. And what I’m capable of achieving.
While walking in the skybridge to my office that day, looking at over the city of Dallas, I realized this was all in my control. I manifested it. Exactly what I wanted. I mean, I also want a million dollars and I haven’t quite manifested that but still, all the other pieces are things I longed for and drew to me.
And I remembered once more that this life, my destiny is within my power.
I’m a bad ass. I’m the creator of worlds, manifestor of destinies, mother of dragons (ok so they’re just two insane chihuahuas but still). That day I said NO Cinnabon … no. I do not need you. My heart, my life is full.
I’m a GD super hero and I gotta wear tights at some point (at least, I’m pretty sure that’s required) so no, Cinnabon …. no.
Instead, I will fuel my bad assery with good food … food that makes me stronger, not weaker. Food that keeps me energized and makes me want to kick ass and take names.
Eating to excess is keeping me from achieving my dreams. Overindulgence is making me weak, sad and (s)low … but I rally against it.
I rally against Cinnabon and Taco Cabana and Chill 360 and Serious fucking pizza (and that gourmet donut place and Grubhub).
Today, my foes are vanquished.
But they are sly and they are sneaky, and I will have to keep my wits about me if I want to continue thwarting their efforts. I will have to continue reminding myself of who I am and what I’m capable of and of all that I’ve come through and how strong I am now because of it.
Food .. I love you.
But this Wonder Woman finally loves herself more.