Why NOW: Recovering from Anorexia “7 Years Later?”
How are you?!
This post is a long time coming. But it is being written for the one who finds his or herself in the same position that I am about to outline here.
It’s a position I feel a heavy call to write about, share about, and, hopefully, encourage others while doing so.
And it is this:
I have not told the whole truth, many times, directly related to my eating disorders.
Let me reiterate: I have, many times after eating more than anorexia would have wanted me to, said that “I am doing Minnie Maud!! I am!” When really, I needed to say that in order to justify the immense guilt, shame, and disgust I felt for eating against “Ana’s” rules. Then, I would often go days without eating anything but chicken breast and spinach again.
I would eat “too much” again. Back to spinach. Back to “too much.” I thought this was Minnie Maud…. but deep down knew it wasn’t.
I told doctors, “I’m eating so much!”, because I would… sometimes. But then I wouldn’t eat for days. Not ONLY because of the eating disorder voice, but also because I would be very stuffed – because I hadn’t continued to eat normally, eat meals and snacks, eat to regain health and body fat and my period.
This severe cycle took place over two years ago now. It has been a long time since the habits and cyclical eating and obsession has been like this, praise God.
And while I now eat a more “balanced amount every day,” not hyper-thinking about that balance, but just “doing it,” I have never gone through a real and true period of Minnie Maud recovery. I have said I’ve done it… but I haven’t.
I believe my body is still in an energy deficit, am convinced that it’s still malnourished, and have been convicted for some time that ACTUALLY doing Minnie Maud would probably fix this.
I just didn’t think the time to start, kick into gear, and have my brain and hunger cues enlivened would be one month from my wedding, but here we are.
25 pounds above my lowest weight, and feeling that physically, mentally, and emotionally, I am having a more difficult time with this than I care to admit.
But here’s the thing: I know it’s a mental battle. I know it’s a battle against legalism and rules and rituals.
It’s dumb, because even though this number is 60 pounds less than my pre-anorexia weight, all my brain wants to think about– or, should I say, all the devil wants me to think about — is that it’s 25 pounds higher than the lowest.
I should be the lowest on my wedding day of all days, society, the disorder, and the devil scream. At least I know where this thought comes from now, have confidence that this isn’t really me speaking, but the devil.
It’s funny, because, just prior to discovering this weight gain, I had looked in the mirror and thought, Dang, I look good. Healthy. More vibrant.
But the number. Something inside of me haaated the freaking number.
There was a time that I numbingly jolted in disbelief at the thought of how LOW this number was… but, even still, it wasn’t low enough.
Nothing is for an anorexia.
So I’m using this space to choose vulnerability and to say that I am not fully okay mentally with these changes.
It’s a struggle and a battlefield in my mind, but I’m choosing to trust Jesus.
I am fearful and know that my fears seem fickle and small, but my word, how much more great do the blessings feel.
How incredible that I can be so fully honest with my incredible fiance, who pushes me onward and says that he knows the weight gain is good.
Who helps me to refocus on my goal this season: of gaining my period, health, and a normal relationship with food.
I wish I could say it was all easy. I wish I could align with so many of the blog posts and health guru articles and eating disorder bloggers who say that recovery, that being on the other side, is great.
Honestly, I have days where I don’t want it. Days in which the devil reminds me of the comfort that came with starvation and what felt like control.
But it is knowing this, knowing that these days occur and these moments in which hope feels bleak creep in that convince me of my dire need to be on guard, to be rooted in Truth, and to practice what I preach and believe.
An evil voice sees this photo and sees…. You look more like your old self than ever. Your fat, out-of-control self.
Another voice entirely sees this photo and sees… You look more like YOU than ever. Literally ever. You’re healthy, you’re putting “underweight” behind you, and you’re not overweight either. You should be thrilled! What’s more… you’re truly not defined but what you weigh or what you look like.
And JESUS says… My child, stop fixating on YOU, and fixate on me.
Oh Jesus, I know that is the way. I know that YOU are the way. Help me, complete me, and fix me. I love You entirely, and YOU are my identity. More of YOU, and less of me, Jesus.