First of all, I’m sorry I disappeared on you all. I didn’t intend to, but I think this break has been really good for me.
After my birthday, I had a really hard time, not just with trying to lose weight and exercise, but a real mental and emotional struggle that went way beyond calories in and calories out.
When I went back and read my birthday post, I couldn’t help but feel saddened by how much importance I had placed on food, how I let myself feel like crap over a few cookies, and how I’ve been really going down that road, rather quickly, as of late.
I do not doubt that I have an eating disorder, I have had a complex and disturbing relationship with food my entire life, whether eating too much or too little, getting high off restriction, feeling out of control with binges, facing deep depressions in the aftermath. I got frustrated when I started realizing how much my relationship with food affected my emotional/mental state, and I got even more frustrated when I realized how many women are plagued with a similar struggle.
I know plenty of women who fight disordered eating. Most of them, in fact. Which, lets face it, is f*cking ridiculous. I’m not saying dudes don’t deal with this, but it’s a much bigger problem for women, one that is killing us, inside and out. It’s not just Americans, and it’s not just Westerners (anymore). Women are under attack, and we’re doing the biggest part of the fighting against ourselves.
What a sad state of affairs it is when we cannot love ourselves fully because of something we have eaten. What heartbreak that women deny themselves value because of soft bellies, thighs that rub together, breasts that are too small, breasts that are too large, big asses, flat asses, and any other bullshit reasons we find to hate ourselves. What is this? And it’s not just that we hate our bodies, but that we let our hatred of our bodies go deeper, infect our very cores.
So, I had to take a break. I had to give myself space from a world where using tricks straight from pro-ana websites are acceptable simply because I’m fat. I couldn’t help but be upset over the fact that I’ve always had such positive responses when I lost weight, even though I’ve done it in such unhealthy ways, simply because I’m fat. That it’s ok for my doctor to prescribe me speed because I’m fat. Faking diseases I know I don’t have so I can get adderall because I’m fat. That I’ve gone days with having nothing but coffee, cigarettes and xenadrine, and no one is the wiser because I’m fat. That I went a year of my life eating nothing but meat, eggs and cheese, and people would commend me for having such “strong-willpower” because I’m fat. A thin person with these behaviors is unhealthy, and so was I. Weight loss isn’t always a good thing, but in our world, it seems to be.
I’m upset that fat is a bad word, when really it’s a statement of fact. I’m mad that little girls are terrified of becoming fat, like it’s the worst thing in the world, that it’s worse to be fat than stupid or boring or bitchy. I hate that rather than looking at the hyper-consumer society we live in and critiquing it we blame the individual for letting things get out of control. I hate that the war on obesity is being fought while companies like Monsanto get government subsidies. We are being killed by our culture, and then we’re supposed to feel bad about it.
So, I’m done. Done hating my body. Done feeling like a bad person because of chubby cheeks and flabby arms. Finished with the restrictions and binges and depressions.
I haven’t stepped on a scale in a couple of weeks, and at first it made me crazy. I wanted to know how much the number had spiked so I had a reason to feel bad. Now? Over it. I think I started struggling with Weight Watchers because I only know how to function in the restriction/binge economy of eating, and because it is a moderate plan, with guidelines directed toward healthy eating rather than restrictive eating, I couldn’t work, which meant my binges became more extreme (because I started making the non-restriction seem restrictive).
I’m starting back up with Weight Watchers again tomorrow, because ultimately, it’s been the best, most moderate way of controlling my eating that I’ve found. I’m not able to do it on my own, and I think that it might be a way for me to wrap my head around what it looks like to eat a balanced diet, and eventually, I’ll be able to do it on my own. I’m going to be exercising because I like how it feels when I do it, and how I feel afterward, not because I have to burn a certain number of calories. When I have to exercise, I dread it, when I choose to exercise, I thrive.
Basically, I still want to lose weight. Still near a hundred pounds, but I need to change my motivation, need to feel good about who I am even if I never lose another. My desire to change my body needs to be about overcoming my unhealthy relationship with food, and taking on physical challenges that help me become stronger. It cannot be about how few calories I can get by on, or what I’m going to have to do to make up for all the “bad” foods I just binged on.
I will get better, and I hope that those of you who are on similar journeys, or who have similar struggles can join me in changing our relationships with our food and our bodies, so that we can live the happy and healthy lives that we deserve.