Holidays. Yes, they bring food. They bring fun. They bring family. And they bring photos.
The dreaded photos.
I had a bonus this holiday. Not only did I have photos taken of me, but also we looked at old family photos. I may have told you before that I am a swinger, ED-wise, so in those photos are some of my heaviest times. Not. pretty. And my boyfriend saw them.
This was difficult in a lot of ways. This would NOT have been difficult if I were the weight I was last year, because the specter of me being that heavy weight again seemed so far removed. But having gained a shit-ton of weight over the fall, that heavy me looms like the eye of Sauron (I do a lot of LOTR metaphors on this, don’t I?). So, major panic at the disco for me this holiday.
On top of it, I ate like crazy. I mean, stupid ate. That’s what holidays are, but for us EDs, this is anathema. And I’m STILL eating.
Which means, my little ED brain is calculating. I must eat only this many calories now. I must go on a juice fast. I have a wedding in two weeks during which I will have a ton of photos taken and maybe I can lose, you know, 40 pounds by then. Uh huh.
But in all of this noise, something happened that I’m holding on to. And here it is:
Coming back from my parents’ house, we were given all manner of junk food. Fritos, potato chips, dips . . . and we also got Chinese food. Yesterday for breakfast, I had Fritos and hummus. For lunch, I had potato chips and dips. For a snack, I had sugary hot chocolate. For dinner, I had spaghetti and veggie balls. In short, I ate like a maniac. My BF and I didn’t go to the grocery store and implement my list of a bazillion veggies to counteract this junk foodapalooza. Which would normally mean I would continue today in the chip/Chinese craziness.
But I haven’t so far. I mean, when I thought of breakfast this morning, I thought I’d eat some Fritos again. And, I DIDN’T WANT THEM. I wanted eggs. I wanted toast. I even made some veggies and wrapped it all up in a tortilla with salsa. I’m full and satisfied and only a little guilty about all the vegan butter I used.
This little tiny thing gives me hope. My ED would normally tell me to eat all the damn food in the house because it’s starving time starting tomorrow. But my body naturally told me that I was done with the junk food. Which means, I can listen to it to tell me what is going to work.
That little voice and that little bit has lit my way now. I still have to look at the photos taken of me. I still have to dread the photos to come. I am not comfortable with my body and I am convinced that my boyfriend is not attracted to me. I would love to be my old weight. But my previous attempts to get there only landed me here (or in the hospital). So I need to keep trying this new thing where I listen to my body. Where I eat the way that FEELS the best, not the way I THINK is going to get me somewhere. And if I can listen to my body this morning and eat what I want, which just happened to be healthy . . . then I can trust that my body will respond to me listening to it and will stabilize at the weight it should be.
So. There you have it. I am going to consider exercising in ways that feel good, because I love to exercise (as much as my ankle will let me). I’m going to stretch. I’m going to listen to my stomach. I’m going to be nice to myself. Photos or not. I am here and I am me and that is a good, good thing.