I have been having a difficult time. However, this time is vastly different from many previous difficult times. I am doing more positive things than negative things–although these things are not necessarily coming through in my writing because I have not harnessed how to write about emotions that fall on the happy side of the emotional spectrum. I only feel inclined to write when my emotions are dramatically tragic. Which has been a lot lately. Almost daily. So that is what is recorded.
All to say this: this is almost entirely in my head. My actual actions in terms of eating disorder behaviors are limited. For the record, I have spent many days in the last month not eating. But in the end of a 48-hour period, I almost always make up for whatever was lacking (ie. amount of calorie intake). Therefore, my weight has remained fairly steady. I threw up only once. Big fail. I have moved on.
I hate, hate, hate the number that I weigh. But I am working extremely hard to let it go. I am constantly struggling with how to enjoy food and exercise and not have it be about weight, calories, and fat grams. This is really hard for me and has proven to be the most difficult in a time when I have so much time to think by myself and reflect on everything that I do (eat) in a day. I panic frequently that it is too much. My fear of becoming obese is exponentially higher right now than it is when someone is regularly confirming that I am not, in fact, fat.
I have reached out several times to just talk about all of this. That is the biggest improvement of all. Aside from 12 weeks in 2007, I have never regularly talked about any of this on a regular basis. Congratulations, self.
My head space is nearly the same as it was when I was at my absolute worst (most notably in 2001 and 2006-7). But, this time I have kept a lot of behaviors at bay. It feels terrible. It feels like I’m not letting either side win; I am telling myself I need to lose weight along with every possible piece of criticism I can conjure up. All the while, I am often fighting back, reminding myself that this is not the way I want to treat myself.
This results in confusion and frustration. I am constantly trying to figure out what I really want. Do I really want to be that thin? Do I want to be sick? Do I want to eat and not worry about it? Do I want to not care what I look like? Do I want to never step on the scale again? Yes to all of this. No to all of this.
I know that is where being able to live in shades of grey is helpful. I am not there yet. I still want my life to be black and white. It is still very hard for me to not be an all-or-nothing person. Sometimes this characteristic is really helpful to have. I think I have a great work ethic because of it. But one day, when I have a real job again, and a lot more is on the line–will this cause me to be the spouse that never comes home because I’m always working?
The knowledge of that makes me want to always be a stay-at-home mom. And there’s the two extremes: workaholic or don’t work at all.
Part of the reason it’s so hard for me to stop thinking like an eating disordered person is because I am completely petrified that if I do, I will become the opposite. I won’t care at all, I’ll eat all the time, I’ll never exercise. I’ll be 200 pounds. That’s scary.
But I’m working on it.