Eight Lessons my Eating Disorder has taught me (the hard way…)
1. You’re not a character from The Sims.
You can’t, and shouldn’t try to, customise yourself.
2. You can’t choose where you want to loose weight from.
In the same way that you can’t choose what shoe size you want to be, nor can you choose where you shed your weight from.
3. Avoid any YouTube video that makes the claim that it will help you to loose weight from a specific area.
As the previous point says, you can’t choose where you loose weight from. It comes off where it comes off, therefore videos that claim they can help you achieve your ‘dream thigh gap’, should be avoided, like the plague.
4. Your body is the least interesting thing about you.
Think about this for a minute; of all the people you look up to, how many of them do you admire primarily because of their body? I can guess that the answer is zero, at least, it is in my case, anyway. The people who I look up to are strong, and their strength is what inspires me, not their weight. In fact, their weight is so irrelevant that I don’t even care to know it. The same is true about you. When people meet you, they are not thinking about your weight, but the meaningful qualities that make you, you. They’re admiring you for your kindness and selflessness. Remember that the next time you’re feeling insecure about your body.
5. Bodies change- You’re not supposed to look the same as you did when you were 12.
At 12, yes, I had a thigh gap, but I also had size 4 feet and was 5 foot 2. I don’t long for my feet to be smaller, or for my height to be shorter now, because I accept that these are just two of the many factors involved in growing up, transitioning from being a child, to being an adult, so why is my weight any different? It shouldn’t be. My thighs have more fat on them now, they are bigger, because I am no longer a girl. I am a woman, and this is my body. It is the miraculous thing that has adapted to allow me to birth a child, when I am ready. I should be filled with admiration for that, not hatred.
6. If you were supposed to have a thigh gap, you would have one without needing to restrict your food intake, or exercise to excess.
Your body should look however it looks when you are eating freely and exercising mindfully. Remember this if, like me, you find yourself longing for something you don’t have, or wishing you didn’t have something you do have. You’re perfect exactly as you are. As long as you’re healthy and happy, you’re exactly where you should be.
7. Our bodies are absolutely incredible machines. They work to keep us alive, daily.
When we are in the depths of an eating disorder, our bodies start to shut down, focusing all of their limited energy on keeping our vital organs working. This is why many women struggling with a restrictive eating disorder loose their periods. Menstruating is not a priority for our bodies when they feel under threat. They prioritise keeping us alive rather than making room for us to keep something else alive ( a baby.) Although you might not recognise the downside of not having periods right now, its important to remember that having them is a sign that your body is working as a healthy female, and that it trusts you again. If you have lost your period, getting it back should be a top priority for you. You can work with your body by nourishing it consistently. This will aid you in getting your period back.
8. !! WE’VE GOT THIS !!
I know how hard it is to overcome something that feels like it’s such a big part of you, a part that, at many times, feels like it is ingrained inside of you, but, it is possible. You can get through this. I believe in you <3