After tonight’s “fun”, I’m isolating as much as I can. That’s where I’m at. I love everyone very much and I know they love me. And it’s me, not you. I just can’t deal.
Warmer weather is making regular appearances and all my body insecurities are blossoming.
Today I read a really inspiring post about “before and after” pictures. I recommend that you all take a minute to read. For the record, there is nothing wrong with losing weight or gaining weight. What I have a problem with is associating weight with happiness. I am so tired of watching girls at the DC agonize over what they’re going to eat lately. I’m tired of listening to the endless diatribe of diets floating through the newly warm air signaling the coming of summer and obsession to obtain the perfect beach body. I’m tired of hearing the daily string of self loathing coming from my friends’ mouths and my own.
No, this does not exclude me. I am just as guilty. But to move past it, I think it’s important to take a step and acknowledge why you are truly feeling insecure and fixating on your body. My anxiety doesn’t stem off from my body, but rather takes root in my heart or my mind, and then entwines itself through my flesh. Sometimes it’s hard to look through the thicket and not get pricked by the thorns. You are beautiful inside and out and no matter how overwhelming life gets, you will survive. You don’t need prince charming to cut through the weeds and defeat the dragon to tell yourself that. Be your own hero.
Weight will not make you happy in any capacity, whether you want to lose or gain.
Weight will not make you smile. When you look back on happy times, do you think of how you picked a salad over pizza or that time your best friend made you laugh?
Weight will not make you successful. Weight did not get you where you are now - your hard work, determination, strength, and passion did. You didn’t land that great job or graduate from high school or college because of your weight.
Weight will not get you friends. You’re kick-ass personality will do that all by itself!
Weight will not get you a boyfriend. In fact, all two times that I’ve had a serious boyfriend, I was probably at my highest weight. And my happiest. So tell that gnat-like voice that whispers to you that you’re not good enough to go fuck off.
Your body is merely a capsule for all the wonderful things that you are. Once you start letting go of the numbers, and deal with what is truly pulling you down, you will be happy.
So here are my before and after pictures…
Which do I look happiest in?
Having an eating disorder doesn’t mean you just compare yourself to skinny people.
You compare yourself to everyone.
I ate an apple fritter this morning, as well as a caramel macchiato.
I have all my windows open to let in this beautiful day.
I’m snuggled up in my best friend’s sweatshirt to remind me what a wonderful person I have in my life, along with many others.
And I am shamelessly watching Secret Life of the American Teenage Girl.
I like today. So far.
I really want to eat, but I told myself I wouldn’t because I’m poor and have nothing in my kitchen.
But eventually I’ll get something and eat it, and then feel like shit and probably spend another day in bed.
I’ll ponder getting something and agonize over what I should wear today for hours and eventually I’ll push myself over the edge and fall straight into an anxiety attack.
Either way, I’ll probably end up in bed.
I’m going to the movies with my dad and I’m stressing out majorly because who can go to the movies without candy? I mean, really. It’s impossible. So I wanted to skip dinner because I had left over pizza and apple crisp for lunch, but I know it’s wrong. I keep thinking about how when I get back to Keene that I can stop eating or whatever, which will never happen because I know in the end it won’t give me what I want. I have my period so I feel extra bloated and I didn’t go for a jog because I fell asleep while watching House. I’m so sick of wearing sweatpants or my one pair of baggy pants. I’m so sick of this!!!!!
Today’s challenge: Personal Recovery Reason
Everyday we post reasons to recover. Some of these reasons you might be able to resonate with, and others you may not even understand. It can be really difficult to want to recover, especially when you know you have to give up something you’ve lived with for a while.
So for today’s challenge, find your own personal reason to recover. Ask yourself some questions “Why do I want to recover?” “What will I get out of recovery?” and “Why should I care about recovery?” By answering these questions you will start to discover why recovery is important, and you’ll find your own reason to want to recover.
Why do I want to recover? Because I won’t gain anything from losing weight. But I can lose everything. I can lose friends. I can lose trust. I can lose faith. I can lose love. I can lose mintues, days, years. I know because I have and I can never get any of it back.
All the best moments of my life happened when I was recovered. I never got anything I wanted until I stopped measuring my happiness in numbers. Whether they be passions, friends, or lovers, I met all the loves of my life when I let it all go.
And whenever I let the numbers back in, I lose what I love the most, and soon the only thing I’m left counting is the number of people and things I’ve lost to this fucking disease.
I was wrong when I said I won’t gain anything from losing weight. I did.
I gained a lesson.
Eating disorder behaviors come in many shapes and sizes. Some are more difficult to get rid of than others. Today’s challenge will ask you to try to refrain from engaging in at least one eating disorder behavior.
Choose the behavior you would like to work on eliminating. Once you’ve identified the behavior, be mindful of when you might use it. When you are in a position when you would go to that behavior, replace it with a positive coping skill.
For example, if you are counting calories, acknowledge what you’re doing, then replace the counting with positive self talk. Or if you are thinking about going to the gym, recognize that it is an eating disorder behavior, then challenge the behavior by reading a book instead or going to the movies.
Body checking. Whether physically or mentally, it’s something I need to work on. Looking at my refleciton everytime I pass a a window, obsessing over the way my stomach feels, etc. I need to be more dilligent about counter-attacking negative self talk. I used to be so much better at it. I have definitely become lazier about it and letting things slide. Whenever something bad happens, I always turn to battering my body with negative self talk. It’s a habit I need to break again.
Today, I started off feeling pretty shitty about my body. So to counter it, I went for a jog for the first time in months. I used to have a solid jogging routine during the summer, and it was nice to do my usual route. It took a lot longer than usual, but it was good that I did it anyway. And when I was done, I didn’t deprive myself of a meal like I normally would because I “can’t gain back all the calories I burned.” It felt good to be active and not focus on the amount of time it took me or how long I ran for. Baby steps. I’ll be back to the level I used to be at in no time. I just need to be patient and kind to myself. :)
Today’s Challenge: Self Care
When caught up in an eating disorder it’s easy to lose yourself. We forget to take care of our bodies. Find time today to practice an act of self-care. This could be treating yourself to see a movie, painting your nails, going for a relaxing walk, or playing music. Do something that will help promote a healthy mind and a healthy body.
Honestly, today was a fairly light day for me, but I’ve been feeling annoyingly body conscious lately. So after my film shoot, I went with my never-fails-to-make-me-smile act of self care:
Be with my best friend, Aaron.
It’s hard to feel shitty about my body around this guy. He protects me from spiders, continuously enables my coffee addiction, and most of all, is there for me more than anyone outside of my family, even when I suck.
The point is, when you have people in your life who truly love you and make you feel good, it’smuch easier to recover and live a happy life. I’ve had some people in my life who, yes, I loved dearly, but were holding me back from my recovery because they made me feel like shit. As hard as it is to let those people go, it’s the best thing for your recovery and happiness. I’ve had to do it, and it hurts. I never thought I could be on my own without these people. But when I look back, it was like the last thing standing in my way. And I know we are much happier without each other. Letting go made room for an amazing group of people that I now call my friends here at Keene, who genuinely want to be in my life, even when the going gets tough. I always worried that if I opened up to people, they would drop me…
But they’re still here.
I hope you all find that someday.
Today’s challenge: Find Your Identity
All too often people take on the identity of their diagnosis. People say, “I’m anorexic” or “I’m bulimic” or “I’m EDNOS”, they are taking the disease as an identity.
For today, challenge this identity. If you find yourself saying something like “I’m bulimic” or “I’m anorexic” try to change that into “I have anorexia” or “I suffer with bulimia”. Along with challenging the thoughts, try to find who you really are.
I’m sorry for taking everything out on you. Five years ago, and I still remember the day I realized I was killing you. It wasn’t until I started crying that I heard your cries for help. I am truly sorry.
But as sorry as I am, I don’t regret all that I put you through - us through. The scars underneath my skin are no longer open wounds. I sewed myself up. I earned those scars.
When I tell you I hate you, what I mean to say is, I hate me. I hate me for being stubborn. I hate me for being too sensitive. I hate me for the things I’ve lost. I hate me for not paying the bills on time. I hate me for not running that extra mile. I hate me for crying. I hate me for putting my sister through hell. I hate me for having the life my mom never had. I hate me for never calling my dad back. But most of all, I hate me for getting seduced by this disease and being robbed of minutes, days, years wasting away instead of living.
And when I tell you I love you, what I mean to say is, I love me. I love me for my heart. I love me being able to feel. I love me for my voice. I love me for not being afraid to say truthful things. I love me for my tendency to put others ahead of myself. I love me for my imagination. I love me for all the thoughts that run through my head, even the ones that keep me up at night. I love me for my ability to forgive. I love me for my strength to survive. I love me for my hope.
You carry all that I love, no matter how many times I’ve had to learn how to walk.
And over the years, the days of I love you began to outweigh the days of I hate you, and soon I fell in love with myself and when you fall in love with someone, you love them for everything they are - good and bad.
It isn’t easy, but it’s gotten easier. Thank you for not giving up on me, even when I begged you to let me go.
Lots of love,
p.s. Thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a chance doing Rocky Horror. Taking a chance gave me a chance at a new experiences, new friends, and a newfound love for my body and myself.