I’ve decided that my mind and thoughts are not accurate and dependable references to determine whether I am healthy enough or thin enough. My mind has led me astray many times, more often than on the right track. I know my thoughts are easily swayed and corrupted by all my former ED behaviors and therefore they simply cannot be trusted (at least not right now). So as much as I think or feel that I’m not too thin and that my weight is still in a good place (if not too high), I know that that is not true. Why do I know that? Because my body isn’t operating like a normal, healthy 23 year old woman’s body should operate…specifically, I do not get periods on a monthly basis.
When I was in the crux of my ED I had lost my period for many, many consecutive months. When I finally started eating normally and healthily and as I reached my goal weight, I finally started having my periods return. That, to me, was the indicator that my body was finally back on track, that I was finally healthy again. And come to think of it, that was the biggest indicator in my treatment that I was at a good weight, ready to leave IOP.
But now, again, I have missed a few periods in a row. As much as I’d like to sit here and tell myself my weight and eating habits are healthy and ‘just fine’ I realistically know that that’s not the case. Not for me. Not for my body. Yes, some others may weigh the amount that I do currently and look much thinner and toned than I do…and they may be getting their periods regularly. Yet, I, Elise, weigh this amount and I am not toned or trim. I have cellulite on my legs. I have dimples on my butt. I have flabby, saggy skin on my stomach and my arms and legs. That is simply and honestly my reality. I was overweight (clinically obese) for a good part of my life and although I have lost a very, very considerable amount of weight, my body in my ways is still “overweight”. Not in terms of the number on the scale, but the way that my body shape is and the way that my fat is stored on my body. (Not to mention the excess skin that I have as a result of losing as much weight as I did, which in grand sum, from my highest to the approximate weight I’m at now, was 70 pounds)
So there are certain things that I need to personally just accept and acknowledge as MY REALITY. I have struggled with comparing my body’s appearance to others who are the same height that I am…asking myself “how is it that their abs are completely flat and I have this excess stomach flub?” or “why do their arms not jiggle when they move them?” or “why do I have cellulite on my legs, and they don’t?” Well, I really only have one answer to those questions…I am NOT them. I am Elise.
Granted, I do realize that there are things that I can do to work on these parts of my body. I know I can exercise and work to tone up. But there is a reality that I need to live with…no matter how much I work out and no matter how hard I try to tone up these parts of my body, they will never be perfect nor will they ever be comparable to other women my age, height and weight. And that is something that I still try to accept and be comfortable with. It’s something that is very hard for me.
But the sooner I come to accept this, the sooner I can move on and not let this weigh me down. I can be free. Once I accept this, I can work on learning to be okay with this reality…and learn to appreciate my body for what it is and what it does for me. It’s so easy to focus on all the bad things, all the negatives. I think that is a natural tendency, often times associated with body image. We look at what we can “fix” or what we can “correct” or “improve”…all the while implying that our bodies are just not good enough. How unfair that is. And how disastrous that thinking can be. Now don’t get me wrong…I see no harm in trying to be fit and exercise and even try to tone up one’s body. But if it’s done in a way that belittles what your current body looks like or cuts on who you are as a person, your worth, or makes you feel like you are just not good enough, then that is a problem.
I can recognize this. I struggle with this, clearly. But this is something that I am very, very motivated to work on and correct. I need to.
I purchased a book yesterday that I am super excited to start reading, Intuitive Eating – A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch.
In flipping through the pages and looking at the chapters, I think if I really read it and really try to apply what I’m reading in my life, that this could be a really powerful and life-changing book for me. I’m really excited to start digging in. This could be exactly what I need to get my mind in a better place with eating and to get me focused on moving forward and being the healthiest me I can be!
Well enough of this for now, on to bigger, better, more exciting things! The hubster and I are heading down to Chicago for the weekend 😀 And I am super excited! We bought tickets a long time ago for the Maroon 5 concert and now it’s finally here! I want to go to Chicago and just have fun and a good time. It’ll be nice to just enjoy myself with the hubster. So I’m super pumped for that! I’m also hoping to challenge myself a bit this weekend too with my eating, especially because we’ll be somewhere fun where I can get some good eats (if I just let myself!) Updates will follow…so stay tuned 🙂