Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A bit of hope

So tonight was spaghetti night. I ate too much by anyone’s standards and now I’m miserable. I feel like maybe I have gained weight but I haven’t been on the scale. I used to weigh myself literally every time I walked into the bathroom. Now I do it once a week at the most. I am at a “normal” body weight for my height but it feels fat to me compared to how thin I used to be. How sick I used to be. When I go to the doctor I still do blind weigh-ins. I turn around and mount the scale backwards so I don’t have to see the numbers. As soon as I see them, I get panicky and feel like throwing up, no matter how low they are. The problem is, recovery or no recovery, they're never low enough. The nurse doesn't tell me what the scale says. I don’t care what I weigh now. It’s better not to know.

I would feel better about my body if I went to the gym more often. I used to work out every single day, sometimes more than once, but lately I haven’t had the energy to do anything. I’m in a rut. Physically, mentally, emotionally.

Sometimes I forget how crucial my boyfriend is to this whole recovery process. We live together, and if we didn’t, I’m sure I’d eat less. He’s part of the reason I began eating again in the first place. We were friends before we were in a relationship and I felt like I could really open up to him about my anorexia. Unlike everyone else in my life, he was willing to listen, and though he didn’t really understand, he made an effort. He helped me to see how important eating is, as silly as that sounds. I had to relearn that food is good for you. It nourishes your body. It has vitamins and minerals. Anorexics don’t care about any of those things.

My initial solution to eating again was to start throwing up. Before long I was throwing up about 8 times a day. It became unmanageable. When I was an undergrad and living in the dorms I could get away with starving and binging/purging much easier. No one kept tabs on me. But when my boyfriend and I moved in together (it was two years in May) I had to stop. Suddenly there was someone watching me all the time, asking me what I had eaten, if I had eaten. He was there listening outside the bathroom door, accusing me of throwing up whether I had or I hadn't. I wasn’t used to it. I hated it. But I think maybe it saved me.

I wanted to throw up tonight because I had dessert (some coconut milk "ice cream") but I couldn’t for three reasons. 1). My boyfriend made dinner. 2). I’m scared of letting him down. 3). Most importantly, I'm scared of letting myself down. I can do this. I have to.

The difference between today and two years ago is that today I didn’t throw up. I don’t know how many calories I took in and I don’t care anymore. In the past, I had to count every single calorie. I had to be fully conscious of it. I kept a running tally in my head all day long. I knew how many calories I would be allowed to have that day before the day even began. If I exceeded the limit, I had two options: workout until I burned it all off, or throw up until there was nothing left inside of me. Regardless of which path of punishment I chose, I starved for the next three days straight.

I don’t care how many calories I had today. I haven’t weighed myself today. I haven’t done any sit-ups or crunches. I haven’t cried. I haven’t called myself fat. And guess what?

The world didn’t end.

Someone still loves me.

I’m learning to love me too.

I can do this.

I have to.


  1. Good job today :) your post was so inspirational and I'm sitting here smiling after reading it. You have accomplished a lot. My best friend/boyfriend is a lot like yours, we were friends first and I initially started eating more because I wanted to prove to him that I could be healthy. It's good to have someone to hold us accountable. Keep it up :)

  2. Thanks, Emmy! It is really a blessing to have someone in our lives who understands or at least attempts to understand. My boyfriend is a chef which is sort of a weird match, but he really has taught me (if only a little bit) to start to appreciate food again and to understand how important it is to eat healthily. :)