Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing well. I’m doing pretty good. Things have been quite busy.
I’m planning on making big changes to the blog. I’m going to change the focus from ED recovery to life after ED. As important as it is to talk about coping with disordered eating, it’s also important to acknowledge that your life doesn’t end with an eating disorder, but instead it begins anew once you’re far enough into recovery.
As part of this shift I would like to introduce myself, as Michelle. I used Emma K. as a “stage name” with the blog because it hit on such deep personal issues. Although I was comfortable sharing, I still wanted some level of privacy when it came to my identity. However, now that I have come so far in my journey I have no problem declaring my name on the blog. My name is Michelle, and although I have struggled with disordered eating in terms of both restricting and binging, I am not defined by my past or my struggles. I am defined by my present, my now.
Unfortunately, my once healthy eating and exercising habits were derailed by over a year of severely disordered eating. I really do love eating healthy food and breaking a sweat at the gym, but can you find balance with food and fitness after an eating disorder? Can you look at food as just food, not a judgment of your own self worth? Can you go to the gym and enjoy a good workout without wondering if you burned as many calories as possible?
I’m here to prove that you can! I’m here to prove that a healthy relationship with food and exercise does have a place in your life, even after it’s been warped and manipulated for so long.
I’m also here to prove that self-improvement comes from within, not by the size you are, but by the fuel you give your body and the shape you keep it in.
This has been a challenging fall semester so far, and unfortunately at times it has affected by eating and exercising habits. I’ve still never had a binge like last year. Big success there. However, I have fallen prey to too much eating that was driven by emotions over hunger, and I’ve let negative feelings keep me out of the gym.
My depression has gotten much better since last year, but there are still some things I struggle with. It’s been a hard couple of months for the family, my dad’s been in the hospital for the majority of fall semester. There were times when we weren’t sure if he’d make it to the end of the year. It’s been emotionally taxing, but I’ve also expressed very little emotion over it openly. I’ve occasionally broken down with my mom, and once with my roommate. Otherwise, I talk about it as if I’m talking about the weather. Not that I don’t love him and don’t feel fear and sadness. But when it comes to expressing it, I draw a blank.
In general these days, I feel more numb than anything. I’m hoping that with a newfound commitment to healthy eating and getting to the gym, I can start to feel better. I always see a difference after a few days when I’m eating better, and exercise is like therapy. I really enjoy a good, heavy sweat. It’s like you release the negative and plus, at the gym I leave all my baggage at the door. The gym means time for me.
So there has to be a catch right? I mean there has to be a mandatory number of hours in the gym or miles ran a week. Or there has to be an absolute max calorie intake. Nope. All of those disordered thoughts have no place in this blog. I’m bringing healthy habits back into my daily life, for good. With everyday I hope to make choices that respect my body. By showing self-respect, you show yourself love, and then you can show others love too.
I do have some minor goals, and since my personality test for my business course assignment just said I’m very Type A, I’ll list them for you! 😛
- Gym Mon-Fri @ 6:45am. Why so early? If I go when they open I have no excuses. There’s nothing else that I’d be doing at that hour than sleep, so if I get myself out of bed there’s no better place for me to be. I really like starting my day with exercise, and I am such a morning person. 😀 It’s also a great feeling to put in a really good workout, then check the clock and see it’s only 8:30am. How can you not feel like you have the world in the palm of your hands at that point??
- Take the time to make my meals. Sometimes when I get really depressed I feel like all the energy I have is to toast a bagel. But I’m never satisfied with that. I’m always satisfied with a meal I take time to make, and since it rarely takes more than 30 minutes, there’s no reason not too.
- Really listen to myself. Am I hungry? Did I just eat an hour ago? Is there something else going on? If there’s something else, then I’ll make an effort to focus on that, not avoid it by eating. If I’m genuinely hungry, then I’ll eat. Sometimes a lunch that’s really delicious just isn’t fully satisfying to your hunger and you have to eat an hour later. Other days you’ll eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and have no hunger in between. You can’t predict your body’s needs, or tell it what it needs, but you can listen to your natural cues and respect them. So if my body says “Feed me, I’m sad” then I’ll call my mom, or watch a comedy, or reach out to a friend. If my body says “Feed me, I’m hungry!” then bring on the food
- NO SPECIFIC RULES ON FOOD. No “avoid all processed foods” or “no nighttime eating” or “only three servings of bread a day”. Throw all that disordered trash out the window! I know how to eat healthy (it’s my major!), so why couldn’t I just trust myself in the past?! I don’t know, but now I am resolving to trust my instincts, they will treat me well.
- Get strong, not skinny! I want to look toned and healthy, not frail or weak. I want to have meat on my bones, I want to fill out my figure, but I also want it to be a fit figure, one that can stand up for itself.
So, I’d like to conclude this lengthy post by saying, I’m taking control of my health and my well-being in a post-ED life. I’m looking at food and exercise the way I used to. I’m moving beyond my past insecurities and difficulties. I’m moving on to a better me. I’m definitely happier and healthier than I was this time last year, but (in the words of Emeril), it’s time to kick it up a notch!