I've been venturing through Time Hop. You know, the magical (and scary) app that takes you back in time. While a lot of it holds good memories, it also holds a lot of slightly regretful ones.
"What are those eybrows?"
"What was that two-toned hair trying to pass for ombre?"
It's fun to laugh at these beauty blunders. but to also realize they're just physicalities.
Seeing past these, and looking at the girl behind them is what really has me reflecting. I say "girl" because that's what I was at twenty-four years old. I had so much learning to do, about myself and the world.
I didn't know who I was in the realm of self-love, confidence, fitness, and health. The four things I tried desperately to promote and preach. Perhaps I tried so hard in order convince myself. I was following along with what others deemed successful.
Attempting recovery from an eating disorder is like tumbling down the rabbit hole. It's pitch-dark and you're so scared of landing because you don't know what's down there.
Is it weight gain? Is it relapse? Is it recovery? Is it self-acceptance? Is it failure?
You wonder if it's the right decision to venture away from something that gave you comfort for so long. Your arms are flailing as you are
Reaching out for anything that will give you those quick results again. That will fulfill you again.
And man, were their options.
I'm the type of person who is all in. If I set my mind on something, it's on. Especially with diets. I read up on it in magazines, books, websites, blogs, success stories. It's important to do research, but I took it to extremes. Then I would dump out perfectly good food and remodel my fridge and pantry with all the food that so-and-so said to get. I downloaded the diet apps or I put the meal plan on my fridge. I spent a good chunk of time just analyzing lists and information and numbers.
I wasted a good part of my life on my obsession with dieting.
I missed out on moments I won't ever get back.
I would try the diet out for a few months, see results, plateau, and then I would find a new one with a glossy cover page filled with promises.
It was new and exciting to try new diets, workout plans, and lifestyles. Each with their own promise. A promise of abs. A promise of shapely legs. A promise of a five-pound weight loss.
But none of these diets (or so-called "lifestyles) promised self-love, confidence, or peace with food. Sure, they promised physicalities, but there was no mention of improvements to the soul, spirit, mind, or heart. It's as if appearance has taken precedence over anything else. Eventually, you're left with the question of
Diets not only label you, but they label foods as:
Every label is based on the premise of guilt. You're good if you eat a carrot, but you're a failure if you eat a burger. You're patted on the head of organic, and you're slapped on the hand for anything but. Everything is either dangerous or it will make you fat.
As if we don't have enough to be judged on already. We are judged on our clothes, our skin, who we love, our jobs, where we are from, our bodies. Now food is added to the mix? This just feeds into the triggers of an eating disorder.
Take someone who wants to make a change in their eating habits. They go from ice cream to yogurt, from Doritos to pita chips, from Skittles to apples. They are trying. Or maybe, someone is just trying to eat food again. Then the food police come and and do this,
"That's the wrong brand of yogurt. Those pita chips are made with the wrong oil, that apple isn't organic."
How discouraged do you think that person will feel when they are genuinely trying?
I totally agree that food plays a big role in how we feel, how e perform, and weight management. I'm not blind or naive to these facts. I am in no way advocating a diet solely consisting of pizza, french fries, and cake every day. However, I do believe in
I believe in cupcakes, black olive and pepperoni pizza, and Taco Bell chalupas. I believe in sugary margaritas. I believe in going to a restaurant and having their specialty fried chicken, and not opting for the salad. I believe in having a slice of birthday cake...or two.
My heart likes it. My taste buds like it. My ED soldier likes it. I like it. I like me for it.
Hell, I love me for it.
Two years ago, I would have cried over a tablespoon of peanut butter for an hour or so. Add another twenty minutes if it was not organic.
That's the girl I used to be. The woman I am now doesn't live by labels. She doesn't label herself. She doesn't compare her lifestyle to anyone else's. She doesn't see if she measures up to anyone's standards. She is unapologetic for being herself. She is unapologetic for what she eats.