I f*ing hope this is as cathartic as I think it will be. (I may go into a stream of consciousness type writing style as I get all of this out. Bear with me).
I guess when I use the term “Inner Fat kid” I am referring to that part of my psyche that is still the young kid who feels unloved and unwanted. The one who eats to fill a void and also to create a façade that would help to not have to deal with the fact that I was queer. He’s the one that binges and feels like shit, the one that finds temporary solace in the act of stuffing his face.
When I say “Goodbye,” “Peace Out,” or even “F**k Off,” what I mean is that I was finally able to free myself of the ties to that way of thinking. I was able to acknowledge that it was unhealthy and that it was exactly that mentality that was holding me back from making any progress. I mean that I was finally able to let go, to let my new healthy adult self take the reigns.
For the longest damn time I turned to food. It was always there to comfort me. I had an unhealthy relationship with food from a very young age, what with fearing that someone might try to steal it away from me and all, which evolved into an obsession with consuming it whenever possible. And of course, my over consumption allowed me to use my weight to postpone dealing with the impending realization that I was a homo.
Food was always good to me. It amazes me how strong of a hold food had on me back then. I’m not sure if it was all in my head or if the mix of chemicals and sugar and fat really did create the ephemeral euphoria I would feel. It may be that part of my ability to emancipate myself was that I slowly cut out the fast food and the processed junk foods that had their claws in me for so long, slowly weaning myself off of them and freeing my body and mind of their toxic effects. I know the companies that manufacture such products have spent insane amounts of money to perfect their recipes in such a way that each bite is full of the perfect amount of sugar/salt/fat/etc. to trigger all the right spots of the brain and incite pleasure (read anything by Michael Pollan). When I finally moved out of the parent’s house and started shopping for myself I was really able to choose what I consumed. The inner fat kid was powerless over the junk food that would occasionally pop up in the cupboards at home, but when I was calling the shots I was able to keep all of that crap out of arm’s reach.
For all of the progress that I find I have made over the last few years, I have also found that I am only able to keep the inner fat kid at bay for so long. It is not really a matter of time, but certain situations. Whenever I go home to visit my family I revert to my old ways, over consuming and eating junk food, if I don’t make a conscious effort and check myself. I am not sure if it is merely the fact that my old trigger foods are present (chips/cookies/etc.) or if it has something to do with being around my family and the emotional triggers, the ones I used to give into, taking hold again. I know that I am strong, and I can say no to the junk, but sometimes I find myself giving in. I don’t fully understand why when my relationship with both parents, though especially step dad, is much better than when I was a teen, and I am totally comfortable with my gay self. It’s odd, and frustrating and something I am working on. Once and addict . . . I guess. I just know that while the inner fat kid may never be fully exorcised, I am capable of keeping him from popping back up for too long; short visits and that miserable little bastard is back in the dungeon where he belong, and maybe throw him a cookie.
P.S. Photos courtesy of Bruno Gmünder.