This is a post that I didn’t think I would ever have to write, and even writing it now feels uncomfortable. I feel guilty, disheartened, and in all honesty, a little bit embarrassed.
The past month or so has been a bit rough for me. For some reason that I’m still a bit unsure about, I decided that I wanted to lose weight. What started then as a diet quickly became my old obsession with weight and food.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that diets are stupid. I know that they don’t work and I know that all they end up doing is lowering your self-esteem and actually making you gain more weight than you started with. But like so many other people, I felt lured into the fantasy of a diet. The ‘dream body’ with flawless skin, ‘perfect’ proportions and all the ‘happiness’ and ‘success’ that comes with hitting your ‘goal weight’.
And once I had started, it was quite easy for the old eating disorder to worm it’s way back into my head. “If you’re eating a little bit less, then why not go all the way? You’ll see results so much quicker if you eat that little bit less!”
Of course, after a little while of not eating enough and obsessing about my weight, I suddenly realised that it was no longer my choice. I couldn’t just go back to normal, I couldn’t just eat normally or ‘fall off the wagon’ and I couldn’t think about anything other than food and weight.
Just like last time, my passions dropped away one by one. I played the piano less and less, I felt overwhelmed by social media, I couldn’t find inspiration for blog posts and my poor camera sits gathering dust despite my love for photography. Once again, my goal in life was reduced down to a simple goal weight. That was it.
At the moment, I’m either restricting or binging, and I can’t seem to find a way out at the moment. The only positive part is that I’m not purging, so at least my teeth aren’t going to fall out as well!
I feel like there’s two sides in my head that are constantly having an argument. On the one side there is me. I want to be happy and healthy, fierce and ambitious; chasing my dreams and indulging in my passions. I want a life full of kindness, colour and probably a few more cats.
But then there is the disorder, and all it wants is for me to be smaller. It’s a bully; the harshest inner critic someone can have. It fills your head with obsessive thoughts about food, calories, weight, appearance, how you must look to other people, what people must be saying behind your back, that people are lying when they say you look fine.
This battle is constant, and it’s exhausting, mentally and physically.
I’ve taken a big step by contacting the company that I received therapy from last year. I’m hoping to go back to them and have more sessions.
It angers me that I did so well, but then I seemed to fall backwards and now I’m struggling again. I’m getting tired of seeing the words ‘eating disorder’ and I’m getting tired of feeling like the girl with the mental health issues.
I know what I need to do to get better. I need to learn how to eat intuitively, I need to push myself in situations where I feel anxious, I need to find something to get my teeth into so I don’t get bored and I need to start really loving myself. But even though I know what I need to do, it still feels hard.
I don’t understand how I can see beautiful body-positive women all over the internet in all different shapes and sizes and admire them for their strength and beauty, but then I can’t seem to see myself in the same way. Why does me head say “Look at those women, they’re fat and beautiful!” but then look at my reflection and say “but you’re fat and worthless.” Sigh.
It isn’t all doom and gloom though and I do still have good days. I still sometimes look in the mirror and like what I see, but I still have that nagging thought that even if I look OK, I would look so much better at a lower weight.
I’ll keep you updated on how things go, and I’m sorry to be a bit of a let down after saying I was fine a little while ago.