Food is something I still think about during a lot of my time.
What to eat, what not to eat... when to eat, when not to eat... I still think about food and eating it a lot.
The main and amazing and humbling difference now is that I don’t ever even consider purging it. Never. I will never again force myself to purge. It is a firm and solid pact I have made with myself. Ya know why? Because, if I ever go there again, I really don’t know what would happen. I don’t know what cycle or whirlwind it would cause. So, I just am never, ever, ever doing it again. Ever.
I still, however, think of eating when I know I don’t need to, when I’m not at all hungry and sometimes even when I am fully aware that I am full, or if I know I have already eaten enough calorically and possibly then some for the day. The thoughts of food still linger and build in my mind. I’m not gonna lie - it still, to this day, is bothersome sometimes.
When I have an “event” coming up, I think about what not to eat. I think about making sure I am “good” and I think about trying to be sure I make the effort or time to make it to the gym. I think about what not to eat, what to burn and what to avoid so that I can look my “best”.
When the “event” is over, I think about freedom - freedom from having to be mindful and keep myself in check. After an event, finally, I am free. I can eat whatever I want because I don’t have any pressure to “look good” for anything. I have leeway because I don’t have any “event” that I HAVE to “look good” for right now or soon to come.
But, Freedom - freedom to just eat, to Eat to Live... I haven’t gotten there yet.
But, like I say on the information panel of my blog:
I am a work in progress. Just like life, some days are better than others, and I have to work to succeed. This work is necessary and worthwhile! I think it is possible to go from Living to Eat to the healthy alternative, Eating to Live! This is my testimony and my story.
I am not going to lie to you, fans. I am not going to lie to myself either. Honesty and integrity are key for someone trying to recover or maintain recovery from an ED. So, I will be honest with myself here and therefore, I will be honest with you, too.
I am not there yet. Sometimes I am, but not always.
I find that when I have the best and most “normal” Eating to Live freedom is when I am able to get to the gym on a semi-regular basis. If I can do spin and get my cardio in maybe 3 times per week at least, I can eat to live. I guess this takes away most of my fear about gaining? Makes sense...
I will also admit that when I work out, I am not thinking “Yes Jessica, this is so good for your heart and your health. Great Job!”
When I work out I think, “this makes it all okay... this makes eating okay... everything will be okay... even if I gain or am not “perfect”, I am making an effort and thats all I will require from myself.”
Hmm... I guess the statement is semi-healthy. Yes, I said semi-... I know part of that statement is irrational and catastrophic. But, the other part of it, the leniency is my requirements of myself, is fantastic coming from me! That is marked improvement from a couple years back, trust me.
I still realize that when I can’t work out, I end up feeling slightly hopeless sometimes, honestly. I think instead of allowing myself to maintain this depressing feeling of hopelessness, I translate it into self-approved and self-directed, OK’d-apathy. When I feel like it doesn’t even really matter what I eat this week because I can’t try to work any of it off, I admittedly am practicing purposeful apathy. When I think, “well, If I can’t work off anything I eat, well then what the hell? I might as well just take a “break” and eat”
---> meet my coping mechanism = Apathy.
Sometimes I still eat to “cheat”. Sometimes I still have “cheat” days... days that I think, “hmmm... what is really good? What do I normally not eat. I should just go ahead and eat that today. I’ll just eat it today and not care... tomorrow I’ll care... next week I’ll care again.”
But, I do care. I care everyday. No matter how hard I try to play apathetic, I care.
I will wake up in the morning and look in the mirror - I look sideways in the mirror - I examine what the food I ate “did to me”.
You know what’s amazing though? You know what keeps me on that recovery trail?
My gosh - it is AMAZING how forgiving my body can be. It is amazing how forgiving my body can be when I punch apathy in the face, start caring again, and treat my body with a little respect.
Well, guess what
...your body will forgive you, too.
No matter what, your body will never leave you. Your body will never abandon you and your body will always forgive you. Always.
Weight is not permanent. Anyone can gain a few pounds, sure. But, everyone can also lose those few pounds, too. Both are just as possible!
Food does NOT have to be my enemy, and it doesn’t have to be yours. Even though I think of food often and you might, too, food is not the enemy.
Even though food still takes its toll on my thoughts some days, I KNOW that food is NOT the enemy.
Food is NOT the enemy.
I’lll tell you the truth, I might be my own enemy and you might be yours sometimes. But, food has never been and it will never be the enemy. It’s just food.
I can wake up and fear that the food I ate will have overnight made me into some terribly horrendous and unworthy, grotesque monster. But, the mirror doesn’t lie folks. Before I looked in the mirror, I was lying - I was lying through catastrophic irrationality. Because even when I might be bloated from eating a “bit” too much the day before, I still never have found any grotesque monster staring back at me in the mirror [unless maybe I forgot to take off my dramatic eye-look make up :)] And, even if I do gain a couple pounds from being “lax” and taking a “break” and “cheating” and eating “forbidden” foods... eating healthy and well and doing some normal work outs can bring me right back to me. Avoiding the cycle and the pressure and the ridiculousness of being crazy hard on myself can shift me right back into “normal”.
...it can bring you back, too.
**There are 2 things I think ALL sufferers or people who are just plain hard on themselves when it comes to their bodies and/or food consumption need to BELIEVE:
1 - FOOD IS NOT THE ENEMY
2 - WEIGHT IS NOT PERMANENT
OK- wait... one more really, really important thing:
Your weight is not your worth because your worth is immeasurable.
...food is NOT the enemy.