The past month marks the first time in SEVEN YEARS that I’ve hit (and kept on) triple digits. I can’t believe that I’m typing those words. I’m 27 and just now weigh over 100 pounds?! The past year and a half has been particularly difficult. Sometimes I coped well and got stronger, but there were MANY times in which I felt like I was failing…
Initially when I posted this accomplishment on Facebook I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback, “likes” and “loves” left by friends and people I haven’t communicated with in years (or ever, really). The encouraging comments left me in tears – I actually was proud of myself for once.
Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for my own criticism enter my brain. Despite re-reading comments and encouragement from my beyond-wonderful boyfriend, I have been struggling to shake the feelings of disgust I have with myself. How can I go from feeling so “free” and proud of myself for all I’ve overcome to literally loathing myself?!
“My pants are all too tight, nothing fits right anymore”
“Your thighs look HUGE in those picture from this weekend – I need to increase my time in the gym”
“You’re weak. Why can’t you stop eating and say just say ‘no'”
“You used to be so self-disciplined and in control. What happened?!”
This goes to show how scary and debilitating this disease is. No, it’s not just “about food.” For me, it’s always been about control. When I feel out of control in certain areas of my life (typically my career) the eating disorder behaviors and thoughts are stronger.
It’s good that I can recognize this pattern, though it does not necessarily make it any easier to treat myself with kindness. My therapists reiterates the need for me to practice self-compassion. It’s hard to engage in those kinds of exercises – I don’t even know where to begin. The thought seems so foreign; I’ve been my biggest enemy my whole life.
Maybe that’s what scares me. My eating disorder has been my “identity” for so long that It’s hard to picture who I am without it – who I want to be. I know I need to be more open-minded and put myself out there. It’s overwhelming to know where to start, but the important thing is to actually start AND give myself credit for putting in the effort.
I few things that I have tried to shift my focus to lately:
- Cooking healthier meals from scratch
- Weight lifting
I know that I still have a long way to go. Right now it’s important that I don’t backtrack and keep moving forward by focusing on what I want my life to look like in the future:
- A runner ( half-marathon)
- An artist
- A healthy lifestyle blogger/figure
- A mother
One day at a time – onwards and upwards, my friends!