Yesterday was not great, to say the least.
First, I have been restricting in ways I shouldn’t for the past couple of weeks. Everything came to a head yesterday afternoon. I was starving and no one was in the house, so I binged. I ate and ate and ate. It was my first binge in quite some time. All the memories of the restrict-binge-repeat cycle I’ve dealt with for years came flooding into my mind. I don’t want to go down that path again, I thought. I just need to eat more and have balanced meals.
As I sat on the couch and looked at my bulging belly, I didn’t immediately feel anger. Rather, I saw the binge as my body telling me that I needed to eat more on a daily basis. It was a warning, a sign. But only a few minutes later, the guilt, shame, and anger came flooding in.
“You’ve been doing so well lately!” I screamed to myself inside. “How could you throw it all away like that?”
So, I purged.
All afternoon and evening I was physically sick because of my purging methods. I could barely sleep last night because of my discomfort. Even this morning as I write this, the effects of my purging are lingering and I feel sick and uncomfortable.
As I lied in bed last night, miserable, I thought about my future. No, I did not want to go back down the road of restricting, binging, and purging. That cycle made me absolutely miserable. I want to enjoy food and eat what I like! I miss the freedom and joy a carefree life brings. When can I just enjoy daily life without thinking about food? I miss living without shame. These thoughts consumed my mind as I stared at my dark ceiling.
So, I made a decision. As I lied in bed, I took out my phone and started writing down notes. I made a list of foods I wanted to cook. I included pancakes, cookies, baked apples, scrambled eggs, noodles, and more. Just envisioning a future free from my food rules was comforting. Beyond food, I decided I wanted to be strong. I wanted to be able to do handstands, push ups, pull ups, and more. I wanted to be flexible and nimble.
Eventually I fell asleep for a few hours with these new goals on my mind.
When I woke up, I looked at my list and was reminded of my epiphany during the night. It’s not about being skinny. It’s about freedom and happiness. No, my eating disorder didn’t stop telling me I was fat while I ate breakfast, but the key point is that I ate breakfast anyway.
I wish I could say that from now on recovery will be easy. But I’ve had these epiphanies before. I’ve decided that recovery is worth it before. I’ve decided that I want to be strong and healthy before. Even though this doesn’t mean I’m healed, it means that once again I have picked myself up and am on the path to recovery with new goals and new aspirations.
What goals do you have? What do you miss about the days before your eating disorder? Write them down and daily ask yourself what’s truly important. And I promise, the answer to that question isn’t “being skinny.” Keep your head up, gorgeous! You’ve got this <3