For the last few days, I’ve felt like I’ve been slowly peeling away parts of myself. Parts that I thought were really me. As I listen to their voices more carefully, I realize how separate from my real self they are. It’s a strange sensation, and it’s even stranger to try to explain it. Because if these are parts of me, it follows that the ‘real’ me is just the sum of those parts. You put them all together, and that’s me. Mathematically, that’s how it works.
But apparently, human beings defy the laws of mathematics. Because the more I get to know these parts, the more I am convinced that they are not me. The real me, the authentic me, is making herself known, and she is something separate. In the middle of all these conflicting personalities, this voice rings out clear and true, and there is no mistaking her. I have no idea how this works. I just know that it does. When the different parts of me start arguing against each other, and I realize what’s happening, I’m able to separate myself. Almost like I’m listening to a room full of other people. And then my own voice emerges.
In my last post, I summarized one of these conversations. It was a surreal experience. Partly because, although I had recognized several of my parts while listening to the webinar last week, I’d missed one. Because there is one part of myself that imitates my voice so closely, I didn’t realize it wasn’t me until that inner conversation on Saturday.
The Food Controller
My food controller, one of the 5 main parts, or personalities, is a lot like me. Rational and knowledgeable. She can be very strict, but she’s also good for me. She keeps me on track. She’s helped me lose weight, multiple times. When she is in charge, things tend to go well.
Compared to my food indulger (or indulgers – I have several sub-personalities under this umbrella), my food controller is an angel. I like it when she’s running the show. She does a good job – for a while. The problem is, her strict control takes a toll. She tries – so hard – to maintain that control, but at some point, she always breaks. She’s just not strong enough to hold on.
This is why I can never maintain my weight loss. Why I’ve fallen off every diet. Even BLE. She loved BLE. She still does. She adores it. But when the other parts confront her, she crumbles. She wasn’t made to handle this kind of responsibility.
I know that, now. I can’t leave my food controller in charge. She can be an ally, but I have to be in charge. I have to consider her suggestions and mediate between her and the other parts, so that the others don’t rebel. I have to keep her more totalitarian tendencies, which have led me down darker paths of restriction, purging, and punishing exercise, in check. Those behaviours, as necessary as they may seem to her in times of desperation, never end well.
As I get to know this controlling side of me, I’m overwhelmed with gratefulness for all her efforts – she is the sole reason I am not 600 pounds -and with pity, for the strain she’s been under. I haven’t done my job. I’ve abdicated my role, and because of that, she’s suffered. She’s become hardened, and sometimes cruel, trying to fill in for me. And because of that, the rest of me has suffered.
There is also a sense of relief in this discovery. Finding out that this is not me. And that successfully navigating BLE, and losing weight, doesn’t depend on her. Life under her rule may have been better than the chaos of the indulgers, but it wasn’t exactly pleasant. I now know that the real me is much more reasonable. And, even more surprising, capable.
I cannot describe how much more confident I feel, now, that I’m going to make it this time. Yes, I’ve failed in the past. But that wasn’t really me. I haven’t yet seen what can happen when I’m in charge.
But I’m about to find out.