It seems like no matter what I do, or say to myself, I am always looking for someone else to give me an answer. I feel like there is someone out there who knows exactly what I need to overcome this whole process and patiently I am waiting for them to show their face to me. For a while it was vegans, the it was Tosca Reno, then it was those who turn away from grains, now it is the website youreatopia.
They all advocate their own vision of health. YourEatopia, focuses more on body restoration and I 100% support that. However none of them ring true for me. Some of them echo ‘truth’, but on the whole they are not for me. To be honest, I walk a fine line here. Should anyone from the site read this, I worry I will be plagued with judgement of having my “ED talk for me”. But, I know that this isn’t the case. Do I need to gain some weight to prove to myself mentally that it doesn’t matter? Yes. Should I be OK with that? Yes. Do I agree that as humans there is no ‘healthy’ way to lose weight? Or that some people are just suppose to be heavier. I totally agree that the ‘healthy weight range’ as per BMI and a lot of standards by the diet industry are relatively low, and not at all representative of the population. But I do feel that there is likely an optimal weight for your body to be at. Now, true, while a lot of people would want that to be in the 100-120 pound range (for women, specifically), it is likely to be more in the 140-170 for the larger group of us. And, yes, that is OK. I also agree to the claim that every body is different. Some people who are 120 are unhealthy while others are not. Similarly, a girl at 165 could be drastically more health than one at 120. Weight is not a huge indicator of health and many other things do go into someone’s weight.
But something about the whole process does not attune with me. I feel like we should eat what we want when we want yes, but I am also a huge advocate for balance. This is not my ED talking. This is just me. A girl who is very much a health advocate.
I am growing to be OK with the idea of gaining weight, there are parts of me evening embracing the idea. I am not interested in adopting an unhealthy diet to do so. I do need to practice flexibility in my diet. If someone offers me an ‘unhealthy’ food, I should take it if it pleases me. But I should not feel I need to take it, either.
I also love yoga and exercise. It is a huge part of my life and I have been actively trying to prove myself not reliant on it. Was I once? Yes. Am I now? Some days, but not overly. I am becoming more and more adaptable. I take rest days off, and always check in with what I want to do before doing anything. So, while the idea of stopping exercising does not scare me, it doesn’t appeal to me either. I will tone down (focusing on mostly yoga for now) but health and fitness will always be a huge part of my life. I have developed a love for it outside of my ED and in fact, it is what saved me.
This whole process has caused me to really look at my journey. I have had really bad times. I have made poor choices, all of which I regret, but I have also learned a lot. About myself and my body. I am not comparing myself to others, but a lot of people have made comments on my strength during my ED. Unlike most people, I stopped myself before it got bad. Why? The biggest reason is because in so many ways having an ED contrasts one of my biggest beliefs: women should never change how they look for anyone, but learn to love themselves as they are. This means, ‘fat’, thin, tall, short… anything. Love it. Work it. Having an ED is changing your body for someone. As is losing weight but if you can do that in a humane and caring way, remembering that your weight is not you, then you’re better off mentally than, well, me. The key is to learn to love yourself.
Realizing this caused me feel heightened levels of cognitive dissonance. How can I so passionately assert women to love themselves no matter their size… two, or 12, or 2x, or more, then go home and purge, or restrict. Living lie.
As a result, I stopped myself as soon as possible. I immediately started to make changes. I feel that I have mended the damage I have done in most ways. I have had my hormones checked and while some are low, I could be far worse.
I think I need to stop right here. I am 850 words in and I do not think I have reached my point. So, let’s take stock:
- While I appreciate and love what the Eatopia website is advocating and support their beliefs, I do not think I need to go to that level. I do not feel EH nor do have any symptoms other than my loss of period. Which could likely be a result of many factors – my anxiety medication, my stress levels (which are high), perhaps my recent stopping of my birth control… who knows.
- I love yoga and health and find that in so many ways these two things have pulled me out of my ED, not further in. I believe in holistic health; I believe in honouring your body. No one can tell you how to eat or what to eat. I do advocate exercise and nothing I read will make me stop believing that. Perhaps some might think that this is my ED talking, but … honestly I don’t think that it is.
I think that concludes the ‘stock’…
The point is… I know I have to gain weight. I know my body wants it. Even needs it. And it is not up to me to tell it that it does not deserve it. My body deserves to be healthy and able. I deserve happiness. And so do you. But both you and I need to define that for ourselves. We can’t read it out of a book, nor a magazine, nor a website. We need to find what makes up happy and roll with it.
For me, I know, happiness is yoga. Happiness is enjoying health foods and baked goods without regret (while I am not 100% there, yet, I will get there). Happiness is doing what I want, how I want, when I want with whom I want.
I guess my issue is when I look for those answers… I end up looking in all the wrong places. I should not be looking all over the place; I should just be looking at myself and my body. We have the answers.