Day 13: Embracing The Gray Areas Of Recovery

Hi Everyone,

Despite the fact that I told myself and the people who are reading my blog that I would not body check yesterday,  I did it anyway and I feel like I have failed.

After I wrote my blog post yesterday,  I did go to my bathroom with my clothes and had the intentions of not body checking, especially since my bathroom mirror is high enough that I can only see my face in it.

But as I was getting undressed, I had this overwhelming need to do my body check.  I literally stood up on top of my bathroom sink so I could see my stomach in the mirror.

The minute I did it, I felt terrible about myself.  I felt that I failed. I felt that I did not rise to the challenge that I gave to myself. This feeling of guilt and shame lasted pretty much all day.

These negative thoughts and feelings even carried over into me eating more sweets than I normally would,and of course, I felt like I totally sabotaged my body by doing that. In a twisted way, I think I did that to subconsciously punish myself for feeling like I failed.

To me, there is not a worse feeling in the world than the feeling of being mad at yourself and feeling that you’ve let yourself down.

I have a very “all or nothing” and “black and white” way of thinking.  If I am doing something, I am doing it all the way. If I don’t do something, I don’t do it at all.

With black and white thinking, there is no guessing that needs to be done; if I starve, I know I will lose weight.  If I binge, I know I have to find a way to get rid of it or starve the next day to make up for it.  It is straight forward and factual.

I am beginning to see that recovery is not and will not be black and white.

I wish that I could throw away my scale for a year, stop body checking, stop trying on my skinny jeans and start to re-feed myself all at once and have everything just be over in 13 days.  But I am now realizing that that is not a reality.

As of now, I need to accept that I am facing part 1 of this journey to recovery and that is not weighing myself or an entire year.

Recovery is going to be full of gray areas, and that is a hard fact for me to accept.

I wish I could say that I will give myself a break today from all my harsh self criticism and my immense amount of self judgement, but I know myself all too well to be able to say that to you all and actually believe it.

So yes, even though I am not weighing myself, I might go through today body checking again; I might go through today feeling bad for every bite of food I eat; and I might feel guilty for enjoying a piece of chocolate–but I am going to try to embrace the fact that going through these things are temporary.  They are the gray areas of recovery that I know will one day pass.

One day, even though it might not be today or tomorrow or even a month from now-one day, I know that  I will be able to not engage in my eating disorder behaviors, and that is something exciting and beautiful for me to look forward to.

But for the mean time, I am going to look forward to simply making it through another day of recovery. And to that I will say, “hello life.”

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Day 12: Changing My Morning Routine

Every day for the past year and a half, I have started my morning like this:

I wake up, walk to the mirror, lift my shirt, inspect my body and then weigh myself.  And even though for the past 12 days I have not weighed myself,  I have continued this exhausting process of what I call body checking every single morning.

My body checks go exactly like this:

First I look at my waist, then I look at my upper stomach and then I move down to my lower stomach.  After this I look at my chest bones, my shoulder bones and then my arms.  Lastly, I look at my cheeks and my jaw bones.

Once I get dressed, I complete the body checking process by checking how the  front of my legs look in my jeans, then the inside of my legs, and then the outside of my legs.  Every single part of my body has to be in check-meaning that it has to look exactly the same way it did the day before, and if it doesn’t,(which lately it definitely hasn’t), my eating disorder starts to tell me all the unhealthy things to do to fix it.

Ever since I have stopped weighing myself,  my body checking has become more intense than ever before. I find myself checking how my stomach looks and how my skin hangs from multiple angles in the mirror every single morning.

Beyond that, every day this week when I have gotten dressed, I have purposely made the conscience choice to wear the skinniest and smallest pants that I own to see if they fit tighter on me.

And it really makes me think, “why am I doing this to myself?”  It is pure cruelty.

If I saw a woman on the street treat herself the same way I have been treating myself,  I would take her hand, look into her eyes and tell her how beautiful she is and how deserving she is of treating herself well.

It makes me so sad to think that I would treat a complete stranger better than I treat myself.  It is a true measure of how far I have let my eating disorder go, and it hurts me to realize that.

But instead of continuing to feel sad and sorry for myself, I am going to make a decision right now to make a change.  I am committing to myself and to those reading this blog entry,  that I will not body check today when I get out of bed and I will not try on pants that I know I bought when I was starving myself. I simply will not do it.

I cannot say that I can do this every day, but I will do it for today.

The reason I will not body check today is because I feel that I need to make a change in the way that I treat myself, and it is going to start now.

I know that if I challenge myself every single day to make one small change at a time,  that I will successfully carry myself all the way to the finish line of recovery.

I know that getting up and getting dressed in my bathroom without a mirror will be extremely hard.  I know that learning to be kind to myself again will take a lot of time and adjustment–but I am ready to make it happen.

Today, instead of walking to the mirror and lifting my shirt to look at my stomach,  I am going to walk over to that mirror, look into my own eyes and tell myself, “hello life.”