Your body is really nothing more than a pair of shoes.
They start out spotless, like a blank canvas.
They carry you from place to place.
After a time they come out with scuffs, dirt and cuts.
The stories they would tell if only they could talk.
I will stop trying to beat an unbeatable system.
You cannot argue with science and biology, as much as you try.
Your body will not thrive on inadequate nutrition just because you want it to.
You feed things you care about, your pets, plants, etc.
This should include yourself as well.
I acknowledge there is no room for shame.
Shame says “I am bad”.
I will not beat myself up for being human.
I am human, and will embrace the imperfections that come with it.
There is no guilt for having to send for a search party,
Especially when it looks like motivation and hunger cues ran off again holding hands.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
It takes strength to realize you cannot do this all on your own.
I will trust my OP team, when I feel like I can’t trust my own thoughts.
I will not believe everything I think.
Every body tells a story,
At times it may seem like a tragic love story, or even a fantasy that you only dream about happy endings.
Recovery Record showing up for the third time, asking the same question, “Are you going to eat today?”
The teeth marks on the back of my hand reading like braille, trying to remind me why I started.
Exercise is optional, eating is not.
I accept that exercising is not like a carpet.
Spot treatment does not work.
I acknowledge that my self-confidence should never be based on what I’ve eaten.
What I’ve eaten should never be determined on how I’ve exercised.
How I’ve exercised should be focused on body kindness and recovery.
If muscles are just the result of repeated heavy lifting, maybe I’m sore from figuring out where this self-hatred should fit.
Moving this self-hatred again, like I’m rearranging furniture.
Remembering that I don’t want it, but somehow feeling its necessity, as if it is my license to drive my own body.
Getting pulled over for something ED deems illegal, but showing my license as proof of, “don’t worry, I still feel entirely inadequate and inferior.”
I will realize that my body is mine, and I don’t owe anything to anyone. It may still feel like I owe something to others, but I will learn to not pay for the space I take up in apologies or miles.
Involving family in your recovery is probably a good idea if it is beneficial, but what if that family is your little sister who is 12 years younger than you? Is that too young to involve your sister in your eating disorder and your recovery?
I didn’t keep the fact that I have an eating disorder secret while in recovery.
My sister came with me the day I was admitted, she came to two of my family weekends, and after meals she would sometimes accompany me to the bathroom, where we would sing songs and laugh.
Why would I involve my 12 year old sister in something that could be so raw and vulnerable you might ask.
Her life currently consists of pointe, competitions, and teaching ballet to little kids.
She could very well be in my shoes in a few short years and is susceptible to also struggling with an eating disorder.
If there is the possibility that she could struggle, I want to be honest and open with her about my struggles so she can acknowledge it before it consumes her. That doesn’t mean she won’t hide it, or is sheltered from it, but knowing that it is okay to talk about it and seek help if her eating or thought process becomes disordered.
I reassure her that eating when you are hungry is great. That it is necessary to eat before and/or after practice. That there isn’t “good” or “bad” foods, that regardless if our mom eats, or what she eats, we need to eat and be okay with it. When your sister makes comments like, “Mom can eat whatever she wants, and always stays so tiny.” You know it is crucial to reinforce the thoughts that it doesn’t matter and you need to fuel your body.
Rather than silently suffering for years like I did, and denying I ever had a problem, I want her to be able to speak up, allow me to help, and attempt to nip it in the bud before it overgrows inside of her.
That is why I choose to involve my little sister in something that could be considered taboo or shameful. I want my sister to realize there is not guilt or shame in suffering, and being open with your struggles, and an eating disorder is nothing to be ashamed of or silent about.
If not now, then when?
The question was enough to fuel my morning drive to work.
Recovery has been filling my mind and thoughts, probably more than it should.
Life is going great, I have no more stress than the next person,
A good job an awesome dog
A warm apartment a running car supportive friends
Coffee benefits paid time off
The ability to run
Why does my recovery want to take a sudden stop?
I don’t think it was sudden, it never is, but the restricting became more and more, until my list of foods was as depleted as my ability to fight ED off.
I’ve begun seeing a nutritionist, after months and months of putting it off, not wanting to go, etc. I like her, she is a believer and advocate of HAES, believes in intuitive eating. Overall, I have enjoyed the experience.
Yet the battle in my head is still raging.
It isn’t as easy as the “talking back” that I hear others talk about so frequently. No, for me, it has to be factual.
Which kinda fueled the internal dialogue this morning.
On more than one occasion I have been in a room of people struggling with their Eating Disorders, whether it be in treatment, support groups, wherever.
I look around, (and no, this is not going where you think it is going), and sometimes I am almost the oldest in the room, sometimes I am practically the youngest. When I am at the upper range of age I remember being their age, being so filled of denial, and so full of my eating disorder.
When there are people much older than me, I think of that is how I want my life to be at their age?
Should my life be focused on my body and eating disorder when:
I have kids
Start another job
My kids are grown up
My siblings get married
So, if not now, then when?
I also have “Trust the Process” tattooed on my wrist, to remind me of recovery.
I’m struggling with following my meal plan given to me, and it is so difficult to listen to my body when I am hungry and not feel the need to run first in order to “earn” the food that my body needs.
I am telling myself that I wouldn’t want someone to tell/question me on how to do my job, so then why am I questioning and fighting her so much?
She knows what she is talking about and is on my side, so why am I fighting her?
I need to focus on Trusting the Process.
I may not always enjoy it or find it easy, but I’ve been here before.
With Eating Disorder Awareness week slowly but surely creeping up, there has been something that has really been bothering me.
The fucking before and after pictures.
I realize, that for some, they can be helpful. You can see how far people have come, the weight they have put on, etc.
For some though, it is a complete and total nightmare. Can we quit glamorizing the before and after pictures??! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOOK LIKE THOSE PICTURES TO BE WORTHY OF RECOVERY.
YOUR WEIGHT DOES NOT INVALIDATE YOUR NEED FOR HELP!
I was one of those people who saw emaciated people and wished to look like that. I wanted so badly to be tiny like “those girls”. That was also my justification for not needing treatment. “I wasn’t THAT small.” “I didn’t look like THAT.” So in my mind, it made me less worthy of recovery.
As if somehow, my weight had a direct correlation on the amount of pain and suffering I had gone through.
Those before and after pictures do nothing but add to the stigma of how you are “supposed to look”
Why, why don’t I want to eat? I’m hungry, I know I need to, but I just don’t want to. Nothing sounds appealing. My stomach is growling though.
I take out my phone and go to My Fitness Pal; I type in the Larabar I ate, considering it “breakfast”, but who really knows what it is, and does it even matter?
I’m hungry, but I feel like I just ate. Maybe I’ll drink a little water. No, a lot of water.
I eye the speckled banana on my desk and type it in, considering that “lunch”. It immediately calculates the calories, the 19 g of sugar and the 30 g of carbs.
I’m hungry, but not that hungry. Not 30g of carbs hungry. Not 19g of sugar hungry.
Is it fear? Am I worried about foster care? Am I afraid I’m gonna gain weight?
Why am I afraid of carbs? What has happened lately to set me into this cycle?
It doesn’t make sense. It never makes sense.
I’m hungry, and now I’m out of water.
Lately, my recovery has seemed to just have exploded.
I am not saying this is a happy go lucky, I’m cured, kinda scenario.
On the contrary, I do not eat breakfast every day. I don’t eat 6x a day and track my meal plan. I haven’t measured out my food in a long time. And hell, sometimes I have a bowl of cereal for dinner.
What I am saying though, is that I no longer turn down food based on their calories or power and fear they have over me.
I have eaten cookies for breakfast, but had a salad for lunch, but those two are no longer connected in my mind. I eat what I want, when I want. If I just ate a half hour ago, and my stomach is growling, I drink some water, and pull out a larabar.
I still exercise, and the voice is still there, but it is no longer the loud screaming, jagged tooth beast demanding my every action. It is now like a snide child who hasn’t gotten it’s way and makes jabs when it can, “I mean, you did just exercise, you probably shouldn’t have breakfast.” “Or,” I’d retort back, “I have some awesome avocado toast waiting with my name on it.” It doesn’t always make the voice go away, and I don’t always make the correct choice, but I do the next right thing.
That also doesn’t mean that my body image is all rainbows and sunshine every day, but I am learning to accept my body and realize that restricting won’t do me any good, and eating one cookie won’t hurt me.
I may still turn food down, but it is because I genuinely don’t want it. Not because my Eating Disorder doesn’t want me to have it.
Do what you can, even if it means a snack! Feel free to reach out!
Yay!! Look guys!!! This makes me happy 🙂
It was that awkward moment when I realized I’m not doing as well as I thought I had been.
There was no purging, I was starting to go out more with friends, work was at a steady lull.
I had stopped going to therapy, and had stopped going to the support group. I felt fine, so thought I’d take some time off.
I’d been so busy ignoring my Eating Disorder, that I had neglected to see it had slowly began to crawl its way back into my life. Then, Saturday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. “Holy Fuck. I’m running twice a day again.”
I hadn’t thought about my Eating Disorder, I hadn’t even been thinking about eating, and that was the issue. When I sat down and really reflected, I realized I wasn’t doing “better” I was just neglecting my recovery and becoming complacent. I hadn’t been eating, or even packing breakfast, and lunch was a joke, not packing anything for that either.
I haven’t been fully involved in my Eating Disorder.
But I haven’t been fully engaged in recovery either.
I genuinely believe it has taken me this long to finally comprehend radical acceptance.
Being a young, white woman in her early twenties, with a college education automatically puts me in the category of cliché/privileged; and I would be an idiot to disagree. Then throw in the facts that I’m from a family with divorced parents, middle class, and struggled with an eating disorder, and it sounds like any Lifetime movie you have seen that screams cliché.
I’ve also accepted the fact that my past is not something I should hide, but looking back I am grateful and have come to terms that my mom did the best she could.
That does not make what she has said or done in the past acceptable, but I do not feel a lump of resentment in my chest anymore.
My goals, hopes and aspirations as a child was never to have my parents divorce, move 9 hours away to a different state, have my mother become an alcoholic, live with my pastor and his wife, have an eating disorder, turn to cutting, go to every school in the county, but you play with the hand you were dealt.
I am not saying all of this for pity or sympathy.
On the contrary, growing up, I wouldn’t have thought I would be in solid recovery from my eating disorder, become a biochemist, have a German Shepherd, travel to Germany, or have a full ride scholarship to college.
Spending almost a week with my cousin almost makes me thankful for how I was raised, almost. My cousin is still in college, her parents are not divorced, she has three dogs in the suburbs, and has traveled to various places thanks to her parents. During this week, I heard thank you maybe three times, and two of those times was when I was dropping her off at the airport.
She decided to inform me of how she recently broke up with her boyfriend, but had already been spending nights at another guy’s house. The story of wearing leather pants to the bar, but not sleeping in them when she went to his house. Now, I know I am no better than anyone else, I have messed up, I have many many faults, but these are stories I didn’t care to hear.
Instead of visiting the market, or letting me take her to the park, she wanted to go to the mall. When we went out for coffee, she proceeded to whine about the syrup at the bottom of her ice coffee and how she “knew it was going to be an issue the moment I saw her making it.”. When we went out for dinner, she answers the phone in the restaurant. Whistling at me like a dog across the length of a store to get my attention. While we are supposed to be hanging out, she decides to make phone calls, then tells me about how her ex cornered her side guy at the bar.
While in Baltimore for a day, I bought two coffees purposely. My cousin scoffed, complained about something else, and judged me for the two coffees in my hands. As we were walking back to the car there was a man at an intersection with a handwritten cardboard sign (pretty common in that area). I walked up to him, wished him a Happy Monday, handed him the coffee and two packs of sugar, and was given a, “Thank you miss, God Bless.” In return.
I am thankful for individuality, and pray ceaselessly for patience, humility and happiness, but this week was very difficult for me. I’m thankful that I am practically 23 going on 60, and am thankful for gratitude and manners that my mom instilled in me. I fully believe in showing others the same respect that I would want, and be treated in the same manner. I believe in forgiving others for mistakes, because what if that was you one day. Regardless of title, CEO, Janitor, or Security Guard, everyone is a person and has a story.
My mother may not have been perfect, but I also do not correct others if it isn’t important, I consider myself a pretty optimistic person at times, and try to not nit-pick at others, even though I may fall short many times. So, I will focus on the good, be thankful for what I have, finish my glass of wine, and curl up with a book.