Back to school, back to school (tomorrow)…
But to make sure I don’t get left by the bus, or run over the disordered, stressed out voice/bus in my head, leaving tire-tracks and bloodstains on my path of recovery…
Recovery meant giving up my fanciful dream body, my punishing fitness routine, and my ludicrous belief that I could be an exercise-obsessed waif and a healthy woman at the same time.
Over time I came to accept this tradeoff. I realized that changes in my body were a worthwhile price to pay for feeling energetic, healthy, and strong again. I came to feel that having a robust, carefree social life was more important to me than having that “dream body” I’d been so intent on. I decided that the things recovery gave me–health, joy, connection, intimacy–were more important than the things I’d lost. But that didn’t make it any easier to hear about other peoples’ quests for “perfect” bodies, their cleanses, their fasts, their diet regimes, their twice daily spin classes. Such conversations would only open up my deep well of dissatisfaction with my new body–my recovered body, which I was struggling so hard to accept–and my feeling, however unfair, that in letting my disorder go I’d failed somehow.
My best advice to anyone who’s experiencing this stuff is the obvious advice: focus on you. Tune out the noise.
I know my body. We all have an intuitive sense of what works for us and what doesn’t. Here’s what I know about my body:
- i feel good when i eat consistently throughout the day
- i don’t feel good when i skip meals
- eliminating or drastically reducing food groups (carbs, fat) leaves me feeling dissatisfied, and it evokes a lot of the ed stuff that i’ve tried to leave behind me
- i’m happiest when i eat food that tastes good
- i enjoy eating in a way that affords me freedom to get out and about and socialize and travel and try things that are new and appealing
- i enjoy being conscious of the quality of the food i eat, but i don’t enjoy pressure to be health-obsessed, or to scrutinize every morsel that passes my lips, and i never will again (because been there, done that)
Any way of eating that would seriously compromise any of those priorities probably won’t work for me.