Well – we’ve figured it out, ladies and gentlemen! This is it…. we’ve cracked the code! This information comes to you from the lovely ladies at skinny camp! 🙂 You would not believe what we have done…. we have stumbled on the fix for these pesky eating disorders!!! Now it only took 3 teachers and an astro physicist (I think that’s what Jennie Ann is). Either way, we should paten this because we hold the key …. apparently this is ROCKET SCIENCE!!! If you want to beat the eating disorder…… you have to follow your meal plan. (womp. womp. I bet you thought that was going to be deep!)
We talked a lot about how much we hate this process and how mad we are that we have to push through and keep gaining weight. Body image sucks! It’s really hard to follow your meal plan when you really hate how you look and you know your weight is going up! When you are trying to balance out your metabolism, your weight can go up for a bit. We had a long discussion about how we have starved our bodies for too long and how they are holding onto every little thing we eat because they don’t trust us – and truthfully, why should they??…. we did starve them for quite some time! Once our metabolism starts to balance out, our weight will stabilize, but that takes time and trust (what we most often lack).
Monica (friend from treatment) and I had dinner together and as I was talking to her about her struggles I realized there is only one way to do this (beat Ed), and that is to go all in! There will never be a day when you are ready to fight, or strong enough to do it. This battle will have to happen someday… it’s now or later. Which is better? Do you want to sit and struggle for a while longer? Because where we are right now sucks quite a bit! We are blunt with each other and I said – “you have a choice – you can keep screwing around with your meal plan and stay “stuck” or you can do it and follow it 100% and try to make this happen. There will be a point when you have to follow it 100%… you will do it; you will be that sick of the disorder that you do…. So do you want to struggle longer or not?”
Now, this sounds so easy – it’s not – I’m not even kidding. This is the worst thing I’ve been through. Every time I’m faced with following the meal plan 100% it’s tough! Recovery is NOT EASY. Each step is filled with anxiety or fear. When we defy our eating disorder, we will feel like we may lose the (fake) control we get from it. We feel like we won’t know who we are or how to live without it, and that is frightening. I am finding that the eating disorder will NOT go down without a fight! In fact, as we get stronger, it fights harder. Lisa, my medical doctor, has been repeating this at every medical when I talk to her about my ED thoughts getting harder to beat…. They are getting louder because I’m becoming stronger. The more I take control of myself, the weaker it gets, so it becomes louder (almost like a frustrated person who has nothing left but to scream louder). What I know is we have to sit with what feels terrible (as my therapist keeps repeating). At the exact moment that we feel the most scared or anxious, we have to push through it, and that is the hardest thing to do because it feels so wrong. Typically, at that point, we turn and run. We say we were too scared and just couldn’t do it. Well, that is the role we will always play if we can’t just force it! We won’t wake up and say “let’s do this ED thing! Woo hoo” (sounds harsh, I know!) This all sounds so great written down…. In practice IT IS TERRIBLE! IT SUCKS! IT’S HARD! IT’S AWFUL! But it also brings one hell of a sense of pride when you turn around and realize what you have just accomplished when you start the fight and get a few sucker punches down.
As I was sitting in group with the girls, I realized 1 year ago I was entering skinny camp (treatment) and I was in a bad place. I was sick, my weight was not stable and I had quite a few health concerns. I can remember following all the rules and eating like they said because I was not happy, and the low weight did not give what it promised (yet, today, in anxiety filled moments, Ed works hard to convince me that I want to be there and sometimes I believe him). This is kind of hilarious – but we had a “lesson learned” moment as we were leaving tonight. It was pouring outside (as our picture shows)
We had to stop and laugh hysterically because Jennie Ann let her ED thoughts decide where to park. This black car behind her wasn’t there and she could have had a spot right up front, but instead, she listened to the Ed voice that said “Jennie Ann, you need to walk farther, so park farther away” and look where it got her today…. WET! (she parked in the way back of the parking lot) Haha… Thanks for the awesome guidance, Ed!
In group, we talked a lot about the fact that we have to come to peace with ourselves. We have to come to a place where we are okay with who we are. This is hard. I think this is hard for anyone. Guilt and shame comes on strong with eating disorders and we talked about letting go of some of that. We didn’t choose this illness, and we wouldn’t wish it on our worst enemy. If we can let go of the guilt of having it, and the shame that comes with it, we can begin to be at peace and allow ourselves to make mistakes and stumble down the road to recovery.
Are you at peace with yourself? Self-talk is how to start getting there. If you aren’t what kinds of things do you say to yourself, and will that bring you to a place where you can be happy with who you are?