You are Not Alone
So, this is something that I've realized recently...I am not alone. And I don't mean as a person living life--there are lots and lots of people in college like me. I'm talking about struggling with food, body image, and exercise. For a reallyyy long time I thought that I was the only one...that's what it felt like. Later, when I began treatment at Center for Discovery and began to be more vulnerable with others around me, I realized that I was not the only one in recovery.
Yet, in college, recovery often times feels lonely. Eating less and working out more is popular and praised. Foods are declared "good" and "bad" and calories are mentioned like the air we breathe.
When I hear people talk about food/exercise in the way that I used to (i.e. restricting food when body needs it and exercising for wrong motives/without giving the body needed rest), multiple things happen:
anxiety--oh my goodness, they are doing what I used to!! why can they and why can't I? what's wrong with me? UGH
maybe I should do what they're doing...I mean they seem to be doing great, right? (wrong)
Wait, that was NOT fun (AT ALL) when I lived that way. So why would I want to do that? It's much better this way (listening to my body and nourishing myself and giving myself the rest it needs).
But SHE is doing it. I'm less than.
Decision: I am better off listening to my body and feeling more energetic, happy, like myself, right?
My mind looks through rose-colored lenses to see my relationship with anorexia telling me: when I lived that way I was accomplished. I was self-controlled. I was "so fit". I was unstoppable. I was better than. I had measurable success. I had control. ooo I want that!!
BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT
Then, I remember the truth of being chained to my food/exercise regime. I look through the lenses of REALITY.---------------->>>>>
When I couldn't let a day go by without running or working out or sweating...
when I had to comply with certain "good" food rules...
when I felt pressure everyday to perform in ways of food and exercise (not to mention all the other types of pressure like school and friendships just to name a few)...
when my day was based on these "performances"...
when I felt utterly exhausted and anxiety-filled (why? Because I wasn't eating enough and was overworking my body with exercise, and my thoughts were filled with thoughts of food, image, exercise, and people's opinions).
But, society says that exercise makes us happy, relieves stress, and is so good and healthy, right? So it's fine? OH SO WRONG!
News flash: Society is wrong. Your body is right. Listen to it. :)
I'm trying to remind myself of that TRUTH--no matter what I hear others say and no matter what society praises, I will nourish my body. I will listen to my body and I will allow my body to do its thing. I do not need to micromanage or control my food or my exercise. That is not what is best or healthy.
I do not need to compare what I eat to others because every body is different and every body needs a different amount of food REGARDLESS of weight or body type. I don't judge someone or compare myself to how much they pee or drink water so why do that with food?? WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT AND THAT'S AMAZINGG! IT'S NOT WRONG! :)
NO MATTER WHAT I will choose to do what is best for me.
No comparison. No self-judgement. I have been given this body and I will listen to it and give it what it needs. If it's thought as weird or wrong, so be it. I know what is medically, physically, and mentally true: listening to my body is the bestdecision, feeding my body at least 3 meals and 4 snacks a day, and exercising when it is mindful and enjoyable. I have only been given one body--why subject it to pain and undernourishment?
Who's with me??