Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving

Today I found myself searching the internet for yummy do-able Thanksgiving recipes. It will be Grace's first ever holiday season. This isn't the only new thing this year. This will be the first year that I am super excited about Thanksgiving. I got a little teary typing that.

I used to dread Thanksgiving. Every single thing about it, especially the food. It was always so overwhelming for me. The panic usually hit at the beginning of November. I used to come up with a million scenarios in my head of how it would play out and how little I could get away with eating. Even more so,I would try to figure out how I could look "normal" while still following my strict eating disorder rules. The permission wasn't there. Everyone else was allowed to indulge in yummy food but not me.

I obsessed in my head and even went as far as telling myself I was "good" because I had more willpower than everyone else, all while secretly being very very jealous of everyone else's ability to eat what they wanted.

Then there were the times where I was so hungry from weeks and months of starving myself, that my rules went out the window. For this one day I was allowed to eat whatever I wanted. While on those days I felt like I was overeating and out of control, looking back I realize that my body was just desperately trying to fill a major deficit.

This year Thanksgiving doesn't feel so black and white. There will be some more traditional recipes but my eating won't be much different than any other day. The permission is there. The permission to let my body decide what it would like and how much. And of course the reminder that all of the same foods will be available the next day.

This year I am doing most of the cooking, something I have never done before. Recently I have found so much joy in cooking and being creative in the kitchen. I love making food for me and my family to share and am super excited to try out new things I have never done before.

Today, when I think about Thanksgiving, I smile. Instead of obsessing about food, I can be completely present with my family and be thankful for all of the blessings in my life, which is what the holiday is truly about.

You might not believe it now, but with hard work you can enjoy Thanksgiving as well. No matter where you are in your recovery, remember to cut yourself some slack this holiday season, you deserve it!



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Size Me

I remember when I refused to buy anything other than a size small. If I tried a small on it and it didn't fit I wouldn't even consider trying a medium. I would either buy it and wear it anyways, no matter how uncomfortable or I would use it as "motivation" to continue restricting in order to make it fit comfortably. I was devestarted when I bought my wedding dress in a size 8 instead of a 6 or 4.

I used to have panic attacks and meltdowns in dressing rooms. If the size I thought I should be didn't fit me perfectly then my day, week, month was ruined. It was never the clothes fault, it was always a problem with my body. More than that, the size that I wore was directly related to my worth. As I am sure you know, when your worth is hinged on something that naturally changes then you are going to be in trouble.

After I gave birth to Grace my body changed but not how I expected it to. I lost some weight and then gained some more. If you have read previous posts then you know I weigh about 80lbs more than I did before I got pregnant. Obviously, fitting into the clothes I wore before pregnancy isn't happening.

For the first few months post partum I struggled a lot with the idea of buying new clothes. I couldn't handle the idea of buying things that were much bigger than I was used to. I was still playiing the old numbers game, feeling that the size of my clothes said something about me other than what size I wore. And God forbid someone know that size...

A few weeks ago I finally got fed up enough with being uncomfortable and not having clothes that fit me properly. At the time I was still a little wrapped up in numbers but willing to at least give shopping a try. Having no idea what size I would actually wear I took my measurements and put them into some online thing that roughly caculates your size. I was shocked and devestated. I spent the day feeling horrible about myself and convinced that I would NEVER have clothes that fit because that size was unacceptable.

The next day I walked into Old Navy. I had zero expectations for myself. Maybe I would come out with some clothes or maybe I would have a meltdown in the dressing room or both. The first few things that I tried on did not fit but something amazing happened. Instead of bashing my body for not fitting into something, I declared that those pants just weren't made for me. It was the most relieving and freeing thought ever. My body wasn't wrong, I wasn't wrong, the pants were just wrong for me and that was ok.

Once I found a pair of pants that did fit me, the size didn't seem to matter. I stood in the dressing room repeating the size in my head and nothing. Instead I looked in the mirror smiling because it was the first time I was wearing jeans in probably 10 months and they FIT. No tears, no judgement and no promises to not eat for the rest of the day. They were just clothes, nothing more.

Since then I have come across a few other things as well. While trying on some clothes that a friend was getting rid of I didn't even bother looking at the sizes. I put it on and let myself decide, completly devoid of the number on the tag.

While adjusting to this new body is taking a lot of time and patience, I feel like I am finally able to let go of my obsession with numbers, especially weights and clothing sizes. I've detached them from my worth as well as let go of any special meaning they have held. They say nothing about me as a person. They are just numbers. I am still me, now with a comfortable wardrobe that allows me to go about my day, focusing on the things that I actually care about.