Day 13 of 182
Monday 16th February
This is an unscheduled and totally unedited post but something unexpected and extraordinary happened to me this morning that I wanted to share.
My eating disorder who has shared my life for at least 22 years and I are “on a break” my plan is that this is a permanent. I know though that it doesn’t want to leave me or share me with anyone. It may try to come back to me when it senses doubt or fear in me but strengthened by the knowledge only 13 days into this experience that if I focus on what I want the power of the entire universe is conspiring to bring it to me.
Eating disorders and addictions want to keep you to themselves, whispering in your ear at every opportunity that you can’t live without them that if people knew what you were really like they wouldn’t love you that you are too weak to live without them.
These are all lies, you are strong, and to carry this pain around for so long made even stronger.
Every Monday I send Amber Dawn an update of my week and I send her pictures.
My goal when we first started was to be “as sustainably lean as possible” and to “try and learn how to behave around food & boost my self-esteem”
I expected the first to come quicker and if I’m honest when I started I don’t think I really thought that the latter would ever come.
I was probably about 9 or 10 when I first began eating sweets in secret, I would take fifty pence pieces from the electricity meter and sneak out to buy chocolate on Saturday mornings while my parents slept on. 13 when I started rigidly recording every morsel I ate and standing in the showers at school looked at the other girls bodies and hated my own. At about 15 years old I discovered that if my extreme dieting was broken by a binge I could eliminate the guilt and calories by making myself sick. This would give me a short lived feeling of calm followed by guilt, shame and self-loathing.
So I have hated myself for at least 22 years, I have been in a cycle of punishing my body by denying myself the one thing we all need to survive, food. Since talking more honestly it I have said to Christian it is as if I have lived my life on the outside, as if everyone else was in a snow globe and I was looking in wanting so bad to join in but always being pulled back trusting my eating everyone disorder when it said that everyone in that globe was wrong that we were right and stronger without them. Together.
Every birthday, meal out, family gathering has been shrouded in guilt and obsession. Sometimes weeks before a planned night I would begin adding extra exercise and less calories into my routine weeks or months before. If I started to get the confidence that maybe I looked good in my outfit and start look forward to a night with friends it would begin whispering doubt in my ear, showing me flaws in my body if this wasn’t enough to make me cancel it would tell me to binge, persisting until it was actually easier to give in to quieten this voice. Confirmation that I was as weak and worthless as I thought.
Ironically one evening last year I cried for hours before attending a friend’s birthday party, people later told me that night that everyone had stopped eating the buffet when I arrived so in awe of my fit body and my strength to resist the tempting foods.
Yesterday my food scales broke and I didn’t care, I have weighed my food for the last 22 months at least. No voice telling me too fast for the day until I knew what I could eat. Eating Disorder must have gone out for the afternoon.
This morning I stood in front of the mirror for my shorts and bra selfie, it still wasn’t there and for the first time in my life I felt love for what I saw. I felt gratitude for what I saw. This body has grown my babies, ran marathons, fed my babies and been a home for the real me, the part of me that has no reflection, the part that my friends and family see.
I have punished it daily not believed that the invisible part would be enough, scared to let go of the Eating disorder and jump into the unknown.
Over the last few weeks following these ten rules and the support of Amber, Christian my constant strength and support in the 20 years we have been together, friends and the universe, gratitude & love I’ve been loosening my grip.
Today quietly without any fuss I realised that I had let go.