It’s a new day today.
When I woke this morning, I realized that I have the power to create the life that I want. I have the opportunity to make my own rules. I don’t have to feel guilty that my marriage didn’t work. I don’t have to feel guilty because I’ve met someone I completely adore. I’m grateful that I have to opportunity to change and grow from my problems. There are so many people out there that have horrible diseases and life circumstances they can’t change. I am the lucky one. In a world where there are so many ideals and where Facebook and Instagram make life look perfect, I strive to be “real”. I share my struggles in the hope that I might be able to help others in similar situations.
For years, I’ve struggled with food. I think I’ll always struggle with food. Every pound that I’ve allowed myself to gain has been a hard-won victory. For the past few years, I think that I’ve been as “recovered” as I’ll ever be. I’ve learned to accept my flaws and I’ve been able to make peace with my weight. I do think that people with a history of eating disorders can never eat as freely as they did before the disorder. There’s always a sensitivity to weight and a certain amount of guilt associated with food. While it gets much easier, it never completely disappears. To a degree, the struggle with food is always there.
I made a mistake a few weeks ago.
For the first time in years, I weighed. Actually, my weight was about ten pounds lower than I thought it would have been. (That just shows how differently I view myself.) But, it was higher than it’s been since this all started eighteen years ago. I should have known that ignorance is bliss. For those with a history of eating disorders, there’s something so dangerous about numbers. I know that weight fluctuates throughout the day. I know that muscle weighs more than fat. I’ve spent the past two years learning about nutrition and have the certificate and the t-shirt to prove it.
But, I have eaten very carelessly for the past few months. My portion sizes have been too large and I’ve overindulged in wine. It just felt so good to eat normally and to feel like a “normal person”. I should have known that it wouldn’t last. That’s just not the life of someone who struggles with weight issues.
I suddenly found myself wanting to “lose five pounds”. Those are the infamous words that began the whole battle with my weight. I became angry at myself for being careless with my food. I stopped eating during the day. Some days, I didn’t eat anything the entire day. I’d sleep away the hunger and my feelings. When I’d try to eat at night, the starvation would cause me to binge. Binge eating would cause guilt. Many times, there’s a chemical imbalance that results from erratic eating and dieting that causes a person to become depressed. With of all the changes this year, the last thing I needed was to drown myself in a dark depression. It’s a vicious cycle that takes effort to break.
So… knowing all this, and having been here before, does make it easier to get back on track. For others that struggle, these are the things that have helped me overcome the vicious cycle of starving and binge eating…
Wake with a positive attitude. Make a list of the goals that you need to accomplish for the day. Be productive. Think of three things in which you are grateful. Being positive isn’t something that always happens naturally. It takes effort. Sometimes, it’s a struggle. Make it happen.
Exercise. I feel tremendously better when I walk. There have been lots of studies that prove that endorphins boost your mood and reduce stress and depression.
Eat regular meals. I’ve found that I do much better when I plan my meals and snacks for the entire day. Sometimes, even measuring out my food gives me the control I need and takes away the guilt of eating. I completely love the myfitnesspal app. It’s free and user-friendly. I’ve used it to plan my meals for years.
Be Nice to Yourself. Sometimes we treat ourselves far more harshly that we would treat others. It’s ok not to meet anyone else’s expectations. It’s ok to be different. Don’t deprive yourself of the things that you really want. Don’t put off being happy until you feel you deserve it. Instead of becoming overwhelmed with small things, look at the big picture. Life is a learning process.
So, I’m ready to do this! I’m ready to get myself back together. I’m excited to see what my future holds and I’m ready to be better than I ever have before. Cheers to new beginnings! I’m ready to seriously kick some ass!
You can read more about my story under the health/recovery tab.