I’ve been listening to a series of podcasts. A good friend of mine (you know who you are Mrs. I want to end this madness called a house renovation), got me into them months ago when we had dinner at her house. She listens to them all the time. Different topics and different speakers.
So, I downloaded the app and searched – what else? Eating Disorders.
There are a TON. And they are great. It’s almost like free therapy. Listening to people who have struggled, professionals talking about their point of view and different human interest stories.
One of them really resonated with me.
It was about how an Eating Disorder is a vicious cycle and a work in progress. Mistakes will happen and it’s not something that will change overnight, in a week a month or even a year. It is an illness that took a while to ‘perfect’, so it will take even longer to unlearn it. The bad news is that it’s a vicious cycle. You talk yourself into things and you talk yourself right out of them too.
I was chatting with a “newish” but “oldish” friend I know from years ago. We connected and have found each other as a great support system. For breakfast the other day, she had half a banana and felt guilty. Saying that food is basically the enemy. I told her that she knows it’s not true. She of course knows that. But she has trained herself to think the opposite.
As she put it “I tell myself crazy things. Food is weight. But I know it’s not really.”
She is smart, intelligent and yes – you are beautiful. But after 26 years of thinking like this imagine trying to turn it off. She wishes she could. Trust me.
The good news about it being a vicious cycle is that you can get off at anytime you want. If you have had a “bad” day where you have eaten things that make you uncomfortable – instead of allowing ED to continue the cycle – get off. Don’t decide to restrict the next day. Don’t try and purge out what you have eaten. Get off and get out of the cycle. Remind yourself that you are allowed, you don’t do it every day and that the chocolate bar you just ate is part of living. That one moment where you step back is you winning the battle. It’s one step towards recovery. It will be a series of steps. Baby steps. Not one giant leap. So why not start now?
Remember that it’s a cycle and you choose when it ends.
I’ve often compared my eating disorder to a merry go round. I can never get off. But that’s not true. It always stops. The ride stops, you get off and new people get on. My goal is to make sure when I get off – nobody else takes the ride.