sometimes i wish my thighs were the size of my ankles and my ankles were the size of my wrists but maybe what i really want is for my heart to be the size of my brain so that love can speak louder than the way i think of myself
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder - especially if you’re in recovery - self care is probably one of the most overused phrases you know. Everyone tells you that putting yourself first and taking it one day at a time is all you can do. If you’re anything like me, then you’ve probably asked yourself what the hell that even means multiple times per day. How is it possible to take care of yourself when you have a disorder that opposes the entire concept of self care?
Holiday gatherings with family can be tough. Before your next meal, try to put your energy into one action that will make you feel a little more confident. Highlight your face, define your eyebrows, paint your nails, or do your hair. If makeup isn’t your thing, then take a bubble bath or use a body scrub. Give yourself anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours of YOU time. This is essential if you’re going to be around friends/family throughout the holiday season.
II. “Don’t take it personally.”
Why is it that the people who love you most feel the need to say the most thoughtless things? One of your aunts might comment on your weight, or your new piercings, or your hair, clothes, etc. One of you friends might get so excited about the new diet she’s on and tell you all about her post-holiday workout plans. Something I’ve learned is that you just have to assume the people in your life have good intentions.
You are your own worst critic. There is nothing someone else can say that will surpass everything eating disorder hasn’t already caused you to believe about yourself up until this point. However, the words of others can add fuel to the fire. Guess what, though? You took that time (hell yeah you did, and you deserve it) for self care and no matter what your friends/family say, tell yourself something positive to counteract their words. Your grandma doesn’t like what you’ve done with your hair or that you’re wearing yoga leggings again? Cool for your granny. Also, you’ve got some bomb eyebrows or really smooth skin as a result of you 30 minutes - 2 hours of you time. Roll your eyes at your family, scream internally, step outside for some air. Your feelings are valid, but for the sake of your sanity, take a rain check on processing them. You can and will get through this meal.
III. “Acknowledge that you’re trying.”
Having an eating disorder is an everyday battle, and it’s about so much more than food. You didn’t choose to be sick and you are so much more than your fears, insecurities, and doubts. I promise. Goals for holiday meals are great, but do you know what’s even better? Effort.
I know that everyone does not feel at home or safe with friends and family. If that sounds like you, then I hope that you will still find a way to apply this last piece of advice: try to find one thing to be grateful for. One. The sunrise you saw in the car on your way to see family, the cute snaps from your friends, the support from your recovery family on tumblr, or the sound of your little brother’s laughter. The feeling of a warm mug of tea and sitting on a soft couch after dinner, knowing that even if it was hard, you tried.
I know that the holidays are scary and there is nothing more threatening to your disorder than feeling like you’re being watched, judged, or forced into a part of recovery you may not be ready for. I swear your are not alone. You have gotten through every holiday to date, and that’s pretty rad. You will get through today, too.
You are not alone. If you catch yourself doubting this fact, take a deep breath and remember that someone out there cares about you so much.
You can do this. We can do this. Happy holidays.
What’s cited most often as a reason to recover from ED? Curves? Being able to eat more foods? Becoming healthy? These are all good reasons, but the problem is that in the depths of my disorder, I didn’t want any of those things. All I wanted was to be thin. Almost nothing else mattered. The very thought of being “curvy” disgusted me. To me, health meant living in fear – of skipped workouts, of starch, of fat – all for that surge of adrenaline I felt every morning as I stepped on the scale, one cold blue foot at a time. It didn’t matter that I hated everything, that I was always miserable, because I figured that happiness was something that would come later, when I became ~thin. When I’m skinny, I told myself, I’ll be able to wear the clothes I want, and take pictures, and hang out, and do everything I want. When I’m skinny, my life will finally be able to begin.
It didn’t work out that way. I hit those “goal weights” but never felt quite satisfied, so I continued using my disordered behaviors and picked up a few new ones along the way. Before I knew it, I was shipped back home on an indefinite medical leave from the school of my dreams, hopping from one clinic to the next and starting all over at a new school.
Since then, a year has passed, and my life could not be more different. Sure, I’ve gained about forty pounds – and to be honest, sometimes I don’t feel great about the way I look or the way my clothes fit – but I’ve learned that happiness isn’t correlated with thinness. I would never trade the fleeting moments of insecurity I have now for devoting every second of my life to MyFitnessPal and the elliptical. Happiness comes from prom photos and mango smoothies and going out to lunch with friends. You don’t have to shrink yourself into nothingness to do what you want. You don’t have to wait for your life to begin – buy those cute clothes now, in whatever size you are; reach out to people now, because real friends stay with you no matter how much you weigh; take selfies now, because happiness is a better look than emaciation will ever be.
The girl on the left is skinny, but she’s also dying and lonely and depressed. The girl on the right eats birthday cake and quesadillas with her friends, and she’s happy because she’s finally started living.
Last year I saw Ed live and I was in the 4th row and I was jamming so hard and full-on freakout dancing and singing along and Ed looked me dead in the eyes and I had a straight face while I jammed and he just fucking lost it. He laughed so hard he had to stop singing for a second and that my friends is how I want to be remembered.
So I'm a college student which means that I have to schedule my own meals and go to the dining hall, blah blah blah. But so I'm pretty sure I have anxiety, like Im always overthinking such small things and Im so concerned about what people think of me and I think they're always watching. And bc of this, I find it really difficult to go to the dining hall alone, so I don't go very often.. Ive actually lost quite a few lbs bc of this but I'm not sure if this could be considered an ed? ://thank u x
:( i’m not an expert or a doctor so i can’t diagnose you or anything but i will say that i understand having anxiety abt that i did the same the in middle school but if you’re not eating at /all/, it’s really important that u do. try to find a place where u can eat alone and maybe even someone who can get your food for you until u overcome your anxiety?? and if you’re genuinely concerned that u might be developing an ED, definitely talk to a doctor if you can. i’m sorry you’re going through that and i hope it gets better for you 💓