I had an epiphany last night (that’s not a euphemism).
Last week I realised I needed to try to push through the depression to go for a walk each day, something I haven’t been successful in. Last night I realised that instead of just wanting to be slim and healthy, I have to believe I can get there.
My counsellor mentions that I have to believe in myself pretty often. She believes I can get over this whole Eating Disorder malarkey, but she says I need to believe in myself. I figured when I started to lose weight maybe I’d start believing I could do it, but really I was sure it was impossible.
Last night I was reading I Can Make You Thin by Paul McKenna. It loses points for having the word ‘thin’ in the title, which to me conjures up an unattainable aesthetic that I don’t want to be, but it was recommended by a fellow blogger, who has since deleted his account. There is a visualisation technique in it which requires you to imagine yourself ‘thin’, imagine seeing a film of yourself doing everyday tasks and you’re slim. The book asks you to envisage how you sound, how you talk to yourself. And then when you’ve done this, imagine you are slim.
In my imagination, my slim self – note, not thin, not skinny, I will always have a healthy bum – was happy. It kind of surprised me just how happy my slim self was, and in my slim-self fantasy, I was eating a strawberry and laughing, like it was no big deal.
Strawberries aren’t exactly the food of death, but I’d be very aware of eating the right amount of strawberries rather than too many that I’m overeating or too little that I won’t get 1 of my 5 a day. In my imagination, I’m aware that I’m eating a strawberry, but not bothered by it.
And that’s what ‘recovery’ means to me.
I know some of these thoughts and obsessions are never going to go away, and I hope to be able to acknowledge them in the future but ultimately not be overpowered by them.
An ex-housemate once left a box of chocolates lying on the sofa overnight that she’d forgotten about, and it blew my mind. How could she have left chocolate, a half full box of chocolates downstairs AWAY FROM HER on the sofa where anybody could have had them ALL NIGHT and not been thinking about them every second?
I couldn’t fathom it. I kept looking at them, obsessing about them for her – I would never have eaten them, they weren’t mine. There was temptation though, don’t go thinking I’m a saint.
I don’t know if I’ll ever have that attitude to food, that nonchalance. I think that’s too far the other way for me. But recovery to me means that I’d acknowledge the box of chocolates, accept the thoughts of stealing them and bingeing on them and somehow trying to replace them and eat the exact same chocolates so she wouldn’t be suspicious, and then move on.
What does ‘recovery’ mean to you? And have you ever been in that will-I-get-caught-if-I-nab-that-biscuit kind of situation?