Day 39: Welcome Back Shira

Good morning everyone,

I feel like I have finally begun to taste freedom, and I am actually starting to fall in love with it.

When I first started having moments of freedom from my eating disorder, they were beautiful, but they were scary. I did not know how to navigate myself in the world without my eating disorder giving me the directions.

Over the past almost 40 days now, I have slowly been getting acquainted with freedom.  It is almost like the first time you taste a new food-for me personally, I can relate this to the first time I tried sushi.

The first time I tried sushi, I literally spit it out. Everyone told me to give it a second try, and so I did. The second time around, I still did not like it, but I was able to at least eat it.  As time went on, I began to try sushi again and again, and now I actually like it-sometimes, I even crave it.

I feel like my relationship with embracing freedom from my eating disorder is similar to that experience.  At first, I could hardly bare the idea of freedom-while I wanted to have it, I did not know how.  Day by day, meal by meal, and step by step, I have slowly begun to warm up to the idea of freedom from Ed a little bit  more.  I can now say, that after the past three days, not only am I liking freedom, I am craving it.

I woke up this morning craving for that euphoric and free feeling I had all of yesterday.

There are two things that I did to challenge my eating disorder yesterday that gave me a taste of freedom.

The first thing, was that I was five minutes late to my workout session because I stopped to take time to eat my breakfast.

I knew that my workout would only consist of stretching, and it will stay that way for quite a while.  Even though my eating disorder told me that stretching burns absolutely zero calories and therefore skipping breakfast is totally OK, I fought him back.

I was hungry, I knew I was heading to do some kind of movement with my body, and I wanted to nourish it, and so I did.

I still am in shock, that I, Shira Moskowitz, was late to a workout because I was eating.

When I was working with this trainer six months ago, she actually stopped training me because she knew I was not feeding my body properly.  To walk into that gym yesterday and tell her that I was late because I was busy eating, was such an incredible feeling and a huge blow to Ed (my eating disorder).

Later at night, I was on my way to take my little brothers to a Lakers game, and I knew it was dinner time.

I had a few options that Ed laid out for me. They were:

1) Go pick up my brothers and say that I ate dinner already (even though I did’t)

2) When my step mom asks me if I ate dinner, I could say I would eat at the Lakers game (but really not get anything).

3) Stop somewhere on the way to picking up my brothers and getting an Ed approved dinner that was definitely not on the meal plan.

I cannot lie and say that I did not think about every single one of those options thoroughly, and all throughout the day-because I did.  But in the end, I decided to listen to myself-not to Ed, and I actually asked my step mom to make me dinner at home and I ate with my family.

That moment last night-the moment where I told my step mom I wanted her to make me dinner and that I wanted to sit and eat with them, was a moment that I will never forget. I’ll never forget how my step mom cried tears of happiness as she was cooking that meal, I’ll never forget the way my little brother stood and kept me company as I was eating, and I will never forget that feeling that I had when I realized that I had just taken another leap outside of my comfort zone.

Last night, the days of my eating disorder telling me that I was only allowed to eat with my family on Friday night Shabbat dinners, officially ended.

I got ice cream with my brothers at the Lakers game-I laughed with them-I cheered with them-I was free with them,and for the first time in what feels like years, I started to feel like me again.

I felt my own laughter coming back, I could feel my soul warming itself up with the love I am starting to have for myself.  I sang as loud as I could to old 90’s songs with my sister the entire drive home–I was me and I was truly tasting freedom from Ed.

I know that this is only the beginning of me experiencing true freedom-it is only a taste, and that is good enough for me right now.

The fact that I am starting to feel my old self come back to life is the most liberating and exhilarating feeling that I have felt in a long time.

You may think I am crazy for saying what I am about to say, but last night, the last thought that went through my head as I laid down to go to sleep, was, “Welcome back Shira.”

Yup, I just welcomed myself back to my own life.

And it is a life that is no longer going to be controlled by my eating disorder-it’s a life that I am going to  take control of.

I am coming back to life, and my eating disorder is not coming with me, and to that I can genuinely say, “hello life.”