what are you meant to do? Deal with it? Adjust your intake? Exercise more? Journal about it?
I recently saw some photos from a trip away and it made me feel awful seeing myself in swimmers, post-baby, with a body I don’t even recognise. Instinctively (as in ed instinctively) I thought to myself “I need to restrict” and I need to do it quickly and furiously.. But now I’ve slept on it I am trying to tell myself that this is not the answer. But the problem is now, I don’t just feel fat, I ‘feel’ like I ‘look’ fat, which is differently to when I was underweight and felt fat all the time.. I kind of can’t explain it, but it’s different.
I’ve been trying these past few weeks to move closer to a place of body acceptance with for me is actually 6-7kgs above my pre-pregnancy and borderline ‘healthy’ weight. But this is hard… But so is restricting I guess, and so is being consumed by an ED, not to mention trying to maintain this behaviour with a one-year-old. So once again, I am caught at a place of conflict. Wanting to loose weight on the one hand, and wanting to accept myself and move away from the ED on the other. The thing is I am less motivated to engage in ED behaviours these days, so therefore you would think that ‘acceptance’ is what I would naturally choose. But when I consciously say to myself, “I am going to love my post-pregnancy body”, I am going to embrace the changes that have allowed me to create an awesome tiny human” it just doesn’t happen!! I thought when I finally decided to accept my body at a healthier weight than what the ED permitted, and when I finally decided to let go of the ED no mater what weight I was, that it would all come naturally, I’d love and accept my body, or at the very least wouldn’t care… I always thought the problem was that I was not wiling to entertain the thought of accepting my body at a higher weight. But in fact when I have moved to a place in my mind whereby I’m “willing” to try and be happy and comfortable in my own skin, it has not been automatic. I feel like I am ‘faking it every time I reassure that voice in my head that keeps saying ‘I am fat’. I don’t believe myself when I tell myself that I can be happy at this weight, I am ok, I am not fat etc. I never truly thought that I would have to convince myself to be accepting of my body once I had made the decision to stop actively pursuing thinness and thus stopping ED behaviours. I thought the battle, the struggle, was in getting to a place where I was willing to accept it… So not the case..
So where to from here?
My dietician said yesterday that I absolutely don’t need to be in a place of ‘I love my body’ right now, and furthermore I don’t really have to even accept it right now. But what I do need to do is continuing to challenge ed thoughts about restricting, exercising, etc. despite how I might be feeling about my body at any given time. It’s like once I came around to the idea of not pursuing thinness anymore, not loosing weight, not identifying with and ED I would automatically be ‘recoverd’, which is oh so wrong! I’ve got a long, long, long, way to go until I am truly comfort level in this new body and my skin as it is now, in any future pregnancies and the future, whatever my weight may be. But.. I am so far from where I used to be and I am actually at a place where thoughts about weightloss no longer turn into action the way they used to. I’m slowly moving to this (elusive it seems) place of acceptance, with the ultimate goal of course being a place of love and confidence in my own skin no matter what it is (provided of course I continue to eat a balanced and healthy diet most of the time). Maybe on a scale of 1-10, 1 being self disgust and funnily enough where the Ed is the loudest, and 10 being total self love and acceptance, i am at about a 5-6 currently which is a long way from 1 where I was in the throes of my ED.