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June Converse

Thriving After Trauma - Author and Writing Coach

I Will Not ... You Can't Make Me

Two weeks ago I met with a nutritionist. This is a nutritionist works hand-in-hand with my therapist so she is skilled with patients who struggle with eating disorders.

At our first meeting, we discussed my desire to re-establish HEALTHY eating into MOST of my life. I’ve slipped and it’s beginning to worry me (read: freak me out). It used to be that I’d be intentional with food choices 85-90% of the time. Now that’s dropped to about 60% and it shows – in my body, in my mood, in my disordered eating. I want her to teach me more about nutrition. I don’t want – and she wouldn’t – give me a set of rules.

In this first meeting, we set a few goals (nice, easy goals):

  1. Create quality lunches five times. Lunch is one of my major problems. I’m home and I don’t want to go to the trouble of making a “healthy” meal. But, she gave me several options that sounded yummy and doable.
  2. At breakfast, I am to eat mindfully (turn off the TV, keep the computer put away). I used to do this and it really started the day off with the right tone. I started my day putting myself first, allowing my brain some time to flex, allowing my others some time to talk to me. And, I enjoyed my food. But, I turned on the TV once and it became the habit.
  3. Create five snack packs. Again, snacking is a problem – I either choose something that doesn’t satisfy and then have to eat again OR I choose utter CRAP! So, we discussed great options and I realized creating five baggies of snacks that are nutritionally balanced, yummy and easy would be perfect!

I left the meeting encouraged and energized, ready to go the grocery store and make this happen.

Within ONE mile, I began to flounder. Oh, I bought the stuff and …

Today – two weeks later – I’ve implemented NONE of these. Not only that, I’ve gone off the rails even worse in my areas of concern. For the last two weeks, I have gotten in my car, driven to the local bakery and bought a cookie. That is so beyond the pale – normally, one of the best things about working at home is that I don’t have junk food and I am usually unwilling to stop working and leave just for that. Instead, me and the cute young fella at Henri’s Bakery are buddies. What the hell?!?!?!

Before I met with her, I’d completely given up soda (coke zero, to be specific). I just knew they weren’t good for me and I like water, really like water. So, it was an easy “give-up” … I bought a coke zero when I left her and have journeyed out every day to buy one (I don’t keep soda at home).

I have no snack bags (and much of that food is ruined), I never turned off the TV, I ate the same “whatever I can find” lunch. That’s concerning. But what’s more concerning is this MONSTER who refuses to help my rational side -- this monster that not only won’t do what I want, but who drives my car to the bakery… this monster has something I need to understand and I just can’t seem to get the message. Don’t laugh – don’t tell me I should have self-control or willpower. I KNOW THAT!

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go from here. I’m in therapy with a great therapist. I know what eating pattern I want. I have 100% support from my husband. I know what triggers me. I have a toolbox of activities. Yet still, I AM ON A WHEEL OF PAIN AND SELF-DESTRUCTION.

Where do I go from here? My therapist will tell me – has told me – to give this MONSTER space to tell me what it needs. To give this monster compassion (and to stop calling it a monster). To allow this monster room to show me how it’s trying to help me. Well, other than giving it a new name, all I hear when I try to engage it is: “I WILL NOT DO THAT … TRY TO MAKE ME”

I’ve even asked him (and yes, I see it as a male) what name he’d like to be called. He runs around the kitchen of my mind, pulling his hair, screaming: “I WILL NOT DO THAT … TRY TO MAKE ME”!!

UGH. I’m 52. Do we ever really heal? Will I ever be friends with this part of myself? Will we ever work together towards health and harmony?

Help me name this monster, would you? Maybe giving him a name – a loving name – will help him sit down and talk to me.


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June Converse with purple hair
Choosing to rebuild a life after a breakdown has been a challenge. I became an author and a blogger who openly shares...


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