Things I learned this weekend that taught me I'm not fully recovered, but I'm getting there/I'm on Seventeen.com!!
Weekends are generally a struggle for me. From Monday to Friday I have routine. I wake up, I eat, I work, I go to the gym, I work more, I teach POP Pilates, I come home. That's my general routine. My meals are generally the same, I'm working out consistently. It's routine. I'm safe and I'm happy.
Then the weekend roles around and things change. I have this flexibility and freedom. I get invited to go out for dinner. I spend time with people I love. All good things, but I'm not in my safe routine. This past weekend was a challenge, and it was for some reason, a more challenging weekend that I've had in a while. I struggled. I think I struggle more when I'm stressed about other things in my life, hence why my ED developed in the first place. But life is all about ups and downs and you just need to live through it, accept it, deal and move on.
Here's what happened and what I learned.
1. Trying on clothes brings back all the ED feels.
Shopping for clothes can generally be a not-so-fun experience for a lot of women, not just those overcoming an eating disorder. Let's talk about the lighting in the change rooms - not always the most flattering. Hello cellulite. Hello bloaty stomach. Hello every flaw I could pick out. Now let's talk about pants and shorts - the most horrible thing to try on. It fits here, but it's too small here. I need like size 3.75. I'm not a 2 or a 4 - I'm somewhere in the middle. Am I too skinny? Should I be a bigger size? I thought I had more muscle? Ugh. Why don't they make clothes that fit me properly? By body must not be "right." Things aren't flattering, things aren't fitting right. So, what's my thought? "Let's suppress my hunger the rest of the day. Yes, that will fix things." Yes, I had that thought. Did I let it rule me? No. But the thought was there. The thoughts still fucking linger. I'm so over these stupid thoughts.
2. Eating at restaurants is still terrifying.
Ever had East Side Marios? During high school I used to eat there all the time! Hello endless salad, bread and pasta. Carbs on carbs on carbs. This weekend my date wanted to go to East Sides for our "cheat meal." Well, actually it was my idea. But this was the same day I had the stupid shopping for clothes experience. My body-image was negative. I felt fat. I was tired. I couldn't recognize my hunger cues. But I went. I went, and I ate. I didn't overeat, I didn't under-eat. I just ate. It was fucking scary. If you're a "normal" person reading this, you must think how absurd it is for eating food to be "fucking scary", but it is and it sucks. But I did it. I challenged fear foods. Then I woke up the next day. Felt the same. I was happy. I was okay. The little moments of fear make me stronger.
3. My ED still hinders my relationships (but he understands).
When you're having a bad day and ED thoughts are all over the place, you are generally more stressed, anxious, irritable. Basically, I'm a bitch. Yep, I said it. I'm mad at myself, I'm mad at the world. I don't feel good so that makes spending time with people not-so-fun. And that obviously takes a damper on your relationships. I mean, who wants to date a girl that's insecure and afraid of food? I'm prone to take out my own problems on that person and create fights that are unnecessary and it's because of me. My own fault.
So, how do you deal with it? I don't know. I don't have the answers. I just have my thought processes. Being an introvert, I need time to process things. Think about how I'm feeling and what I can do to make this better for myself and the people I care about.
In terms of the eating out for dinner thing - I told him, "this is giving me anxiety." Now, he knows. He's aware that this experience is difficult for me. Probably doesn't understand it. And that's okay. But I had to be honest. Now, he'll understand that my mood is affected because I'm feeling this way. He didn't force me to eat food. He offered me food. I took what I wanted, and I said no when I didn't want it.
This post is titled "Things I learned this weekend that taught me I'm not fully recovered but I'm getting there." How do I know "I'm getting there". Because I'm recognizing it. I'm aware of these thoughts and triggers. I'm acknowledging them. And what makes me know that I'm improving, is that I'm not letting them take over me. I'm fighting them. I'm fighting for freedom and balance.
What do you do when you're having triggering thoughts or bad days? Is there someone you go to for help? Do you write in a journal? How do you deal with the thoughts. I'm eager to know your coping mechanisms!
If you're looking for balance in workouts, I suggest PIIT28 and if you're looking for balance with food, I suggest The 28 Day Reset Program.
When #Fitspos Hurts More Than Helps
Guys, after 8 months - yes EIGHT months of working on this piece for seventeen.com, it is FINALLY published. Michelle found me in September through the Blogilates community. She wanted to learn more about my ED story and it's connection with #Fitspos because she was writing a piece for Seventeen. I was happy to share with her my journey and excited that this could potentially reach more of an audience than my Instagram followers. It is my duty in life to help people going through EDs, unhealthy relationships with food and/or exercise. I KNOW that I went through this for a reason, and it's to help. We all have struggles, but they turn into strengths. I hope you read the article and take something from it. Share it with your friends and family who may benefit.
THANK YOU! And a HUGE thank you to Michelle who is the most patient person in the world! Check out more of Michelle's work HERE.