I look at myself in the mirror in my shorts and a (semi) crop top in the mirror and feel defeated. Bad body image days hit occasionally, and they have a mean right hook.
As I stared at my refection and silently tear myself apart in my mind, my husband walks by and asks what’s wrong.
I told him, “I’m having a hard time accepting how my body looks today.”
His response was brash and to the point. “Well, you could stop eating, run _____ miles a day, purge, or you could just do all of the above and live a life with ED instead of the life you deserve.” He gave an eyebrow raise with a sarcastic shoulder shrug.
His words hit me hard. My first thought is “Hell no!” (because I have learned to love food); my second thought was, “I remember that life. It was miserable.”
After a moment, I looked back into the mirror and said to my husband, “Thank you for that… I needed to get back to my wise mind.”
He replied, “You’re welcome”, and then left me to the mirror.
Logic vs. feelings
Even when you’re well into recovery and have a good grip on what’s an ED thought and what’s true in your wise mind, there can still be hard days. Logic doesn’t always comfort your feelings in the moment.
I have a round face, soft belly, and strong arms. There is nothing wrong with my body. Logically, know this. Yet, it can be hard to accept logic at times.
I occasionally eat breakfast foods that is not diet culture accepted. There is nothing wrong with eating food for pleasure, yet sometimes those “health food” ads creep into my enjoyment of said foods.
But even though there are hard moments, I know I’ve come a long way. I’m now moving my body in a way that’s mentally healthy for me as a recovering exercise addict. I don’t run anymore and only go to the gym a couple time a week. Yet, seeing social media posts of races, workouts, and exercise can trigger guilt that is not rooted in truth.
On the days my eating disorder seeps into my joy, it’s written all over my face.
A smile is hard to force. Getting dressed is a chore. Focusing is harder than ever. I feel as though I could cry at any moment, yet my body is too consumed with numbness to produce a single tear.
Have you experienced these days? These set-backs in your recovery from time to time?
I have. But let’s be honest – we are constantly changing and evolving. Everything is temporary.
So, my conclusion about these rough days? Restricting will never fix the inner issues I’m experiencing at the moment.
Purging will not get out the feelings that are begging to be heard. I cannot outrun my life. Eventually, have to go home and face my problems. Using an eating disorder behavior will not solve my problems; it will only add to them.
So, look in the mirror. Have a hard conversation with yourself in those moments. And remember, your worth is not in your body; it in your heart.