Image via kind over matter
Trawling my way around the interwebs, I managed just before to stumble across the first pro-anorexia blog I have ever read (I am not going to link to it). I am feeling sad and confronted by the feelings this has brought up for me.
Those of you who know me well will be aware that I have struggled with eating issues for approximately half my life. I developed anorexia in my teens, pulled myself out of that, headed a pretty straight course to bulimia via a very strict vegan diet, and have been working for the last approximately 5 years to recover from the bulimia.
I am extraordinarily lucky in that while my eating disorders have often made me miserable they have not destroyed my life or my overall health. I am working on having a calmer, happier relationship with food. This blog, where I celebrate the things that I cook and eat, is part of this. It's hard work, especially when I am tired and stressed as I often am, but I can genuinely say that I am now on the road to being recovered, rather than just struggling, or even worse, pretending.
There is so much more to a meaningful life and a HEALTHY life than the type of food I eat, the amount I weigh, the way I look. This really is easier to remember and to live when I don't expose myself to media that suggest otherwise... but that's another post.
I came across the image at the start of this post on the Kind Over Matter blog and it stuck with me. It also made me wonder about how to define my worth in non-weight, non-food ways... but that's another post too. The point I want to make for myself and for anyone who is reading this blog today is this. Creating rules around food, weight, exercise and looks don't help. These rules can't protect me or you from real life. I am not a better person because I eat a particular way... or weigh a particular amount... or whatever. I'm me. I'm enough just as I am. You are too.
The other week I desperately wanted to weigh myself. My sister's scales are stashed in the back of the bathroom cupboard; out of sight out of mind, it's not helpful for me to remember they are there. But I desperately wanted to pull them out and reassure myself (?!) about my weight. I came so close to doing it.
And then I remembered the Kind Over Matter post and I was able to step back and kind of boggle a bit at what I was doing. HOW was knowing my weight going to be reassuring? WHAT kind of value was I placing on a random, meaningless number? WHY was I going to let that number determine how I felt about myself? Good grief, I thought - this is RIDICULOUS.
So I didn't get out the scales. I still haven't. I'm still anxious about my weight. But the difference between me now and me even a couple of years ago is that I'm able to put this anxiety in perspective and let it hang around without acting on it. Most of the time, anyway.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~If you have your own struggles with food...
c\__/ have a look at the If Not Dieting, Then What? website (or get the book from the library, or even buy your own copy) - so helpful, totally sensible advice.
c\__/ the Oak House has made, and continues to make, a huge difference in my life.