Old habits die hard
Yesterday didn’t feel like a great day.
I’m coming up to 15 months since I ended my 20 long year battle with bulimia once and for all. I don’t talk about my recovery often, mainly because when I finally arrived in the right place, recovery was seemingly easy. I say that, but then I’m reminded of every New Year’s Eve where I vowed as my resolution to not bring it into another year, and when that failed I’d again promise on the 29th of March- the night before my birthday, that that would be it, but year after year, sometimes after months clean, it’d make its way back.
I’m not sure what the difference was the final time.
Actually, that’s a lie.
With every year that my 3 beautiful children grew older, the fear of them catching me mid-purge became more of a reality. I knew that the direction I was headed, meant that at some point I would be caught out, and I was not prepared to deal with that situation eventuating or with the difficult conversation that would ensue, with them or with my husband. I knew it needed to be on my terms and so when I found myself ready, with much work and relearning, I finally arrived in a different place.
I don’t talk about my recovery much because no two journeys are the same, and I don’t want to be the reason that another person feels like they’re failing because their story is different to mine.
What I do share though is how I’ve gone from someone whose entire being was immersed in diet culture, to someone who no longer buys into it. I share the lessons I’ve learned and the new understandings that shifted the way I feel and see myself.
For anyone that has given up the safety of dieting; safety in that if you need to lose a few quick kilos you have somewhere to turn, you would know that it’s a winding road. I’ve given up so much; diets, scales, numbers, counting, the quest for perfection, and the need to fit an unattainable standard of beauty.
Yesterday I had a bad day. Two friends of my husband’s, two lovely and beautiful men, both have teensy tiny wives. One is Indonesian and the other from Thailand. Both of these women are highly educated, articulate and impressive women, both of them genetically made up of wonderful bone structure and arms and legs that would fit into one of mine. Next to them I feel large.
Now no one other than me is thinking of this stuff, but for some reason, seeing them makes me so conscious of how I’m never going to be smaller again. Over the 10 or so years that I’ve known these women, even at my smallest, I was never as small as they were, but when I was small I felt like it mattered less.
The point is, I didn’t feel good yesterday. I was stuck in my head. It felt like I was a kid who’d developed early; on the outside I looked grown up, but on the inside, I was acting like a baby. For goodness sake, I wrote and published a book this year! I’ve started a Movement, I’m creating change. I’m bloody awesome, with or without being small!
15 Months on and this gig is not straightforward. As a culture we’ve been fed the idea for such a long time that things happen quickly- get rich quick, lose 5 kilos in time for Summer.
The reality is, nothing worthwhile happens quickly.
I follow many women on social media who like me, are living free from diet culture, and even they have down days, so I know it’s normal.
I guess I just want to put it out there to anyone reading this, that it’s ok not to feel great about yourself all the time. I feel like a broken record sometimes and I feel like I should print this on a t-shirt, but it’s a journey and a true forever lifestyle change.
Life is full of bumps in the road, I guess the important part is how we get over them.
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