I have never really talked about my past eating disorder very much, except only to my closest friends. I didn’t want to be defined by it. I didn’t want to be known as the “anorexia girl”, didn’t want others to think that I was weak, deficient or abnormal in anyway.
For a while I tried to ignore that period of my life when it was controlled by calories, exercise, restricting and anxiety attacks. But it stays with you. Even when you’re at a healthier weight, you still subconsciously crave the strange comfort having “control” over your daily intake. When stress hits, you feel tempted to distract yourself by focusing on how little you can eat, how low the numbers on the scale can go, just so you don’t have to deal with real life and tackling the real source of your problems.
It’s a crutch.
Even today, I constantly deal with issues with my body image. I always worry if I’m not thin enough. If my belly isn’t flat enough. If my thighs are too jiggly and thick. If my face looks round and puffy.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get over these thoughts. But I’m actively working towards it. Towards loving myself so utterly that I can be objectively critical, but not hateful, about myself.
So here’s what I’ve been doing:
- Going for barre classes with the goal of getting stronger and fitter, not thinner
- Increasing my daily calories to 1200, instead of the 800-900 I’ve been making myself adhere to for the past few years
- Showing compassion in every area of my life
So darlings, what are you doing for yourself?