Old Habits Die Hard

Mickey Ghost Apple

Sometimes I am okay with eating, and other times I struggle.

Why is eating so difficult? I eat too much or too little or get rid of it but mostly just obsess about it all of the time. When will I be free of this?

Getting rid of an eating disorder, escaping its clutches, is so much hard work. Will I ever be free? I am not sure but certainly hope so.

Despite my present annoyance at myself, I know that there is progress being made. Do I mess up? Sure. Does that make me an awful person? No. I am human and make mistakes.

Still, fighting the voice inside is so difficult. There are many small victories and big setbacks each day. Progress is all that I can hope for right now.

What I Wish That I Learned in Eating Disorder Treatment

Figures of women in Oxford

Figures of women from a museum in Oxford

The past few days have caused me to realize that there are many things that I wish I learned in eating disorder treatment, important aspects of living a normal life with food in it. Without these lessons in treatment, I have struggled greatly to try to adapt to the real world and maintain my recovery.

Now, most of my time in treatment was instructive, healing, and motivating. Health care providers gave me hope with their optimism and constant support. Fellow friends in recovery stood by my side and told me their own stories. Therapy groups taught me to use music, art, CBT, or my faith as a coping skill. Dietitians crafted a meal plan to support my body, lifestyle, and other needs. Acupuncture, yoga, family nights, outings at restaurants – all of the different activities allowed me to heal and explore new aspects of myself that had lay dormant for years.

However, something was still missing. More was needed in my treatment to help me further along in recovery.

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Body Image is the Last to Go

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. ― Steve Maraboli

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. ― Steve Maraboli

Two weeks into Lent, I am having nearly 100 percent of my meal plan every day. Giving up restriction has been simpler than I thought. At the same time, it has been miserably hard. Sometimes, I just want to scream and go back to starving myself.

One of the hardest elements is the constant nagging voice in the back of my head. “You are so fat,” it hisses. Anytime that I sit down, see myself in the mirror, look at my body, or feel my clothing on my skin, I feel nauseous. How can I live in this body for the rest of my life?

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Fat Talk Scarily Becomes Easier

Looking in the MirrorThrough my teenage years, I never engaged in fat talk. After all, why draw more attention to my disgusting body? When other girls complained about their appearance, I cringed inside because I knew that they were healthy while I was obese.

However, anorexia and losing weight has made talking negatively about my body easier. Scarily, each day this talk becomes even more simple. Now, I can spout out the very language I hated other people saying. Worse yet, there are sometimes people who weigh more than me in the room. I am, in fact, becoming the very person that hurt me growing up without ever intending to be cruel.

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I Get Sick of Being Told What to Do

Eating disorders are not glamorous!

Eating disorders are not glamorous!

“Eat more often.” “Don’t have anything with sugar.” “Put on some makeup.” “Stop caring about what you look like.”

Sometimes, the voices of everyone and everything around me are so overwhelming. Listening to them all and obeying them becomes a constant chore. Like a puppet, I move my arms and walk through life attached to the strings of others. If only the scissors that I tried to use to free myself were healthier coping mechanisms.

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