Eating disordered life revolves around rules. No eating after certain times. No more than 5 tablespoons of yoghurt. 7 cups of tea a day. 4 kilometres to be swam; fewer calories to be eaten. Count your steps; how many times you bite that apple you consume. These are just a few examples of my own. I also only allowed myself a certain amount of almonds each day because I tended to binge on them regularly and it was a big issue. I used to wear baggy clothes that hid my body – to me, that was far more important than looking dressy or good – I really didn’t care at that point as long as people didn’t think that I was fat.
Learning to eat again, I had to get into new routines – eat every 2-3 hours. Eat a certain amount of carbs and veggies and fruit and protein (and fats!). Discover what I enjoyed eating. It was fun, for a while.
But then my eating disorder took over again. Suddenly, I had to eat every 2-3 hours – religiously, really. I had to eat the same foods (so my safe food list had just grown bigger). I had to be at home to eat, I couldn’t just eat on the run. I had to know what foods I would be eating each meal time; I had to know what was going to be cooked for dinner.
Coming to Canberra has helped me to come out of that a little. Sometimes you can’t eat morning tea each day because you’re busy doing other things. Sometimes you just don’t feel like it. Or, alternatively, sometimes you feel like eating an extra chocolate biscuit at supper time because you just do. No other explanation required. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to exercise for longer the next day. Our lives can’t revolve around rules and rigidity because life is so unpredictable. As nice as it is to sit down and enjoy a meal or snack, sometimes it just isn’t possible. Sometimes you need to eat some crackers and an apple on the run.
So – seeing these two wonderful girls and spending some time away from routine and all the rest has been a very good thing, I believe.
I don’t want to worry or stress about all of these things anymore. The day I become carefree will be a very good day indeed.
So I ask – what comfort zones are holding you back?
Love, Rebekah X