Sunday, July 28, 2013

The COOLEST thing ever

Those who struggle with eating disorders or really self hatred of any kind are familiar with the constant back and forth struggle in your head. The negative tape that looks for any vulnerable moment and capitalizes. It may be about food, your weight, body or really about anything at all. The part that really sucks is that voice is pretty persistent, loud and unwavering with very little relief.

Last week I was in the shower after a really long and hard day. The eating disorder was luring me with all it's usual BS about how giving into eating disorder behaviors would make me feel better and fix everything. It sounded great. I was exhausted and my defenses were low. I was patiently listening and hanging on to every lie the eating disorder was telling me. The self hatred spiral had started and I was losing control.

Usually when I get to this point I am committed. "Yes master" is what follows and there is no other debate. But this time was different. Out of no where and without even missing a beat I heard something else. A logical, healthy voice that wasted no time on calling the eating disorder out. "Really? Does this sound like a good idea? Do you really think that this is going to help you? Let's be honest, how exactly is skipping dinner going to make you feel better? Did you forget you had a long day at work tomorrow? Are you really going to make this harder on yourself? How exactly is this going to help you deal with the pain you are feeling?" These questions flooded my mind and caught me completely off guard. As odd as this may sound I even stopped and looked around for a minute to try and figure out where this was coming from. I wasn't used to fearlessly defending myself without having to work really hard at it and these thoughts were coming naturally, without much effort at all.

I remember when I heard nothing but negative all the time, when the eating disorder voice felt like my voice and was all I knew. I also remember when I had to work my butt off to negate everything the eating disorder was saying and how forced, unnatural and difficult it felt. What happened last week was nothing short of a miracle in my eyes. I didn't think about it, it just happened. I stood up for myself and it wasn't uncomfortable, it was magical. It felt right and genuine. MY voice was louder, stronger and WAY more appealing than the eating disorder. I spoke my truth and felt empowered. I couldn't help but smile and even cry some tears of relief after this experience.

To be honest I am not quite sure how this happened. Although I have been working my butt off in recovery for months and even years now, I can't quite pinpoint when the tides turned. For the past few months I have been anxiously longing for the moment when recovery didn't feel so forced and icky. I think I have finally reached that point and I am so grateful. For years I sat quietly, quickly soaking up all of the lies that the eating disorder told me without second thought. That isn't an option now. My voice is strong and my words have power. I no longer need to claim the eating disorder voice as my own. I can distinguish between the two clearly and to me that is the coolest thing ever.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lets be Real...

Lately I have been really hating my body; the way my thighs touch, the weight I have gained, the way my arms fit in shirts, the fact that my stomach isn't flat etc. The list really could go on forever. Every now and then I go to put on a pair of pants or a shirt that I haven't worn in a while and find that they no longer fit. I am then overcome with such hatred and sadness. I've found that I am either obsessively looking in the mirror, pinching and prodding at all of the "problem" areas or I am avoiding the mirror at all cost because I can't handle what I am going to see.

To be honest this week I have been longing for my old body back. The one that is many pounds lighter, more fit, athletic and just smaller. For the past few days I have been idealizing this image in my head. Thinking about how much better I felt about myself, how much happier I was, how people complimented and envied me, how I had more friends and was pretty popular,  how I had more self esteem and confidence and just how my life was pretty good. Except there is a big problem with this....NONE of it is true.

Being smaller didn't bring me any of this. In fact, it brought me quite the opposite, a life full of hospital visits, self hatred, lying, medical problems, isolation, horrible depression and unhealthy relationships. I didn't feel better about myself, I hated myself so much that I didn't even believe that I deserved to live. There wasn't anything glorious about this body. The only thing that having a smaller body got me, was a smaller body.

I am a natrual optimist. I have this amazing ability to look past all of the negative and focus on the positive. While this is a great quality to have, it has also led to a lot of self deception on my part. I easily forget the months that I spent in treatment or how horrible my life was when I was at my lowest weight. This body that I am longing for comes with a huge cost. One that I am definitely not willing to pay or even consider.

It's going to take some time to get used to my current body size as well as the natural weight that my body settles on. I know this isn't going to happen over night. It's hard to let go of the desire to lose weight and shrink our bodies when we are being fed constant messages about what this will bring. I can't speak for everyone and this is just my experience but having a smaller body didn't ever bring me joy, love, happiness or fulfillment. Don't believe the lies that society or your eating disorder is telling you. Losing weight and manipulating your body won't change anything on the inside, except bring your further and further away from your authentic self. Lets be real...being smaller isn't as glorious as it may sound.