It’s been forever since I’ve written a serious post on here, but I’m so busy I don’t have much time for reflection. That being said, I think I’m due for a little reflection. So, bear with me.
I’m happy. I’ll start off by saying that. I’m in a much better place than I was a year ago. The change in my life has been incredible and empowering. I am financially secure and moving forward, and I didn’t know it could feel this good. No, I don’t have everything I want, and I work plenty hard to own what i do have. I don’t have a smart phone and I drive a 10-year-old car. But I am moving out of my parents’ house and into my own place in a short couple of months, and I can comfortably do so because I’ve made those sacrifices. That makes me incredibly happy.
I work 64 hours a week plus dance, all of which I love. The people I work with are just crazy enough to think I’m nothing short of awesome, which is humbling in itself. I know that whatever life throws at me, I have some dear friends who would stop at nothing to prop me back up. That makes me happy.
So what could I possibly have to complain about, you ask? Well….my body. My body makes me very unhappy. You see, I’ve been battling an eating disorder mostly silently for the better part of 8 years now. I’ve mostly won against it. I eat well…and I’ve gained the weight because of it. I’ve been happier, so my need to control everything that goes in my body has been mostly suppressed.
But the little voice inside my head that tells me I’m not good enough because of my weight, because of my love handles, because of the width of my hips - that monster never shuts up. I’m happier, so it’s not as loud. I’m happier, and busier, so I don’t have time to listen to its lies. But it’s still there, and time to time, I hear it. Time to time, I believe it. Time to time, I feel not good enough because I am not the size I wish I was - a size I know logically is not realistic for me.
So I’m on this weight loss journey because now I want to be happy with my body too. Now, I want to do this healthfully instead of past methods of near-starvation and food crises. I want to get past the 100-calorie days and the exerexic nights. I want to find a way to be patient with myself and understand that the kind of weight loss I truly want is a journey that may take years, a journey that may not have immediate, measurable results.
I feel that my efforts are already making a difference. I feel like my clothes fit better already. But I belittle myself for still wearing a junior’s size XL. I feel that I have more energy and am capable of more when I work out. But I still berate myself for only walking 3 miles and call myself pathetic. I know that I am making healthier choices most of the time. But I still chide myself when I reward myself or go out with friends. I’m trying to break through the negativity but it is in my head every day of my life.
Eating disorders are beatable but not curable. You learn to give your monster boundaries that it cannot cross and learn when to push back, but I still have moments of weakness where I am so fixated on a number on the scale that the rest of the efforts just don’t matter. I still weigh far more than I am comfortable with, and I will work my butt off until I get where I want.
The difficult part, the part I need support in and help with, is the part that tells myself its okay to accept myself as I am and to feel beautiful. I don’t even want to look at myself so why would anyone else? I know that those 40 pounds [now 36] I want to lose is totally within reach and I will get there, because I have before. I have the sort-of tiny-people-sized clothes in my closet to prove it. I will get there. But trying to find the motivation without that pressing need for control is definitely far more difficult than when my disorder was out of control.
In the end, I just want to be happy with…well, me.
It starts today. I had to buy new jeans today, and when I truly looked at myself in the mirror, I wasn’t really all that happy. I’ve gained back a lot of the weight I’d worked so hard to lose last year. I’ve done this so many times before that it hurts to admit that. I’ve had a rough few months and I have not handled the stress well. I know better, and while things are certainly not out of hand, they are no longer where I was happy being. Admitting that takes a lot for me, at times. I like to be perfect, not human, but I’m letting you all into my little carefully-guarded secret: I AM human, and I HAVE failed myself in some respects.
In that case, it is time to refresh my weight loss challenges and goals. I challenged myself at the grocery store today, and I’m feeling pretty positive about kick-starting my newest campaign. I’m also determined to set up a new gym membership, because I really do miss it [and so does my body!]. I want to start looking and feeling as good as I did before, and I’m ready to let go of the excuses and stresses and get back to where I’m happiest.
Who’s ready to follow me in this new challenge?