For several decades, I knew my eating habits weren’t “normal,” but was never told I had a problem. Well, I WAS told I had a PROBLEM – a problem eating too much, too soon, too often, too fast, too unhealthy, too whatever. I was told to diet, lose weight, fast, have will power, practice self-control and not eat in between meals (meals, whose timing was determined by someone other than myself). The “things” I put myself through, for everybody else, took many a toll not only on my body, but on the strength, control and power within me.
Two years ago, while taking my final elective class for my Master’s degree, I not only learned that I had an eating disorder, but that I wasn’t the only one. There were others that I could actually identify with and relate to. Where had they all been hiding???
Then, I discovered a therapist that actually specialized in “Eating Disorders.” I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant, but after unearthing a new view of my food issues, I was ready to try something new!
The first several months of therapy were quite confusing to me. I wanted to be fixed … NOW, but that apparently wasn’t the way it was going to work. We discussed stages of change. Ok, I knew about the stages and decided that I was at the contemplation, almost ready for action, stage. Then came the “phases of an eating disorders.” What the heck are the “phases?” I hadn’t heard of those before, but as we started talking about phases, the decision was made that I was at #4, the “I want to change but I don’t know how and I’m scared” phase. And at that point, “scared” was an understatement.
After close to two years and hundreds of tears, emotions, rages, panic attacks and confusion, I can say “E.D.” is no longer in my head. Well, very rarely anyway. The constant, consistent thoughts of food are gone. I eat almost anything I want. I literally crushed my scale. I seldom look at the tags on my clothes (although I do get upset when I JUST bought that and it has to go into the giveaway pile). I arise in the morning ready to eat breakfast (not something I ever liked doing). I make some remarkable attempts at preparing for the day when I know I’ll be out for long periods of time. I am able to avoid fast food drive-thrus about 85% of the time, taking fruit, crackers, nuts, cheese sticks, and the like with me so I have something to eat when my body says “feed me” (and I actually listen). In addition to helping myself, I inform, educate, and advocate in regards to dieting, eating disorders, and acceptance.
Was it easy? NO!
Coming from the viewpoint of “there was NO light in the depths of my pit (as in pitch black, can’t even imagine the light, because I had never seen it before) to climbing out of the pit, into the vivid light, and seeing a whole new world that isn’t just about food.
WOW! Who knew !!??
As for now, I continue my work in order to get rid of the “ALMOST” and solely say “RECOVERED.”
By Guest Blogger, S.M.