Are you ready for this? (Gloria’s words in parentheses)
Wake up. (How much do you weigh today? I hope it’s less than yesterday. It had better be less than yesterday. Not good enough, Hannah)
Get up. Breakfast of muesli [my own special handmade concoction of all the right stuff] and plain probiotic yoghurt (Wait. Where’s my Bunnykins bowl? Where is it? WHAT? Tony’s hidden it so I can’t use it to control my portions? THE JERK! Can’t find it? Well, just use a ‘normal’ bowl then. That’s enough, Hannah, too much! How are you going to eat all that? Only FAT people eat that much, tsk!). Coffee and for some reason I’m allowed full cream milk. I did fight Gloria by eating all of my meagre portion of muesli. I do actually enjoy it, after all.
Bana- ? (no, you will not). Another coff- ? (Nope, don’t even think it – you know you’re going out for coffee later, just clean your teeth so you won’t want anything else)
(Pull your stomach in. Aaargh! You’re so lazy and fat! Did you see the flab on your legs as you were washing them? What are you gonna do about that? You better not eat nearly as much as you did yesterday. That was REAL stupid. How on earth can you be lighter if you eat? Yeah, you look ok from this angle but turn a bit… there! See that FAT? That’s all you are. How are you going to get rid of it? Cos it has to go. Don’t hold your arms like that, look at how pudgy they are. Yuck, I can’t look at you)
No, I’m sorry, that’s enough. And it’s only been about 30 minutes. And this is the cut down version. I know and you know that our thoughts are not linear like this but I just wanted to give you a general idea of the kind of dialogue I have going in my head.
I don’t know how to describe the physical feelings I have when I’m thinking about food. If you’ve never had an anxiety attack you might find this hard to understand. For me, I get breathless and my heart starts to race and I have that washy-tingly feeling over my arms and chest you get when you’ve just missed being hit by a car.
WHEN I THINK ABOUT HAVING TO EAT. Do you know how many times this happens every day?
When I give in to Gloria’s voice the feeling goes and I’m ok. She tells me not to eat, or think about eating whatever it is I’m looking at or thinking/hearing about. The only foods I don’t get this feeling over are my muesli and some dinners. I even get it looking at Woolworths and Coles catalogues. Walking past a shop where food is sold. People talking about food. Every. Single. Day.
So when you put Gloria’s voice on top of those physical feelings it kind of gets a bit overwhelming. And add the rest of my life – wife, mother, student, sister, daughter, friend, yeah, most of the time I’ve taken the easy road.
But the easy road only goes downhill. And it’s steep. And now it’s very lonely.
Time to find the hard road. I know it’s just as steep.
But it’s going up.
Gloria is not me.