Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I am worth more.

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.


  1. Verity.. you are incredible! Just remember that..an incredibly strong and vibrant woman!

  2. Thank you for sharing from the depths of a beautiful heart. I only know snippets about you from when I taught Hilary but was moved reading this. What you shared is so true and all of us need to hear and know it. I admire your openness.

  3. you beautiful woman, thank you so much for sharing!
    you inspire me :)

  4. I never like reading the hard things my friends have had to go through, but I do enjoy reading about them beating those things - even if the struggle never quite goes away! *hugs* you're awesome :)

  5. Verity, I struggled from the other side of this equation (over eating not under eating) and I wanted to say that YOU ARE 100% RIGHT!

    You are so strong to not only beat your food / body image demons but also to share this with us too. By sharing, you make us all a little bit stronger with you.

    Thank you *mwah* Cloud

  6. Oh Verity... your story, in part, is my own {I was anorexic as a teen too, hospitalised for several months, but, like you, remained dealing with the aftermath for many many years}.

    Tough journey. Great writing. Thank you so much for this post. Especially this part "I'm me. I'm enough just as I am. You are too"


    PS: scales are evil ;)

  7. I can't tell you how blessed i feel to be your friend, V, and how incredibly proud i am to see you being so brave and helping others by sharing your struggles. You're right..you are worth more. I'm not sure you even realise how much yet. Great big squeezy hugs from me chica. HOpe to see you soon. xoxoxoxo Becski.

  8. Vev, I think it's fantastic that you are sharing this openly. *Hugs* to you. I think you're fantastic and beautiful, and I don't care what you eat or what your body shape is.

    KT xxx

  9. Wow guys, I am overwhelmed. Thanks so much. I am so sorry to hear that some of you have been through similar issues. I hope we can all get to the end of the tunnel at some point. Kirsten, you are so right, scales ARE evil!

    Great big hugs for all you awesome ladies xoxoxoxoxoxo


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