The sunshine yesterday made me so excited that I brought out my summer wardrobe. I put on my cute, flowy dress that I'd been hungry to wear for a while. Funny, I don’t remember it pinching my waist this much last year. Are my arms really that flabby? Damn, my thighs jiggle. A lot.
It really fucking sucks when you try your clothes on and they no longer fit.
I’ve put on weight this winter. Tally up the pounds over the last few years, and I’ve gained a lot. What can I say? It’s a shitty feeling. I’m conflicted when I see posts of people sharing–and succeeding–with their ‘clean eating’. On the one hand, I’m genuinely happy that they’ve found effective methods that have led them to better health. On the other, I look down at the bulging belly sticking out below me and I feel regret, disgust, and immense shame. How did I let myself go like this?
I’m not unfamiliar with exercise and dieting; as many of you know, I’m a little too aware of it. I can tell you the nutritional content in almost everything (no, really! If only that was a useful skill for my acting resume…). I’m aware of healthy portion sizes, how many calories one should be eating depending on their body type/activity level, and the benefits of numerous exercises. Unfortunately, having an ED throws this obsessive knowledge completely out of whack. Sometimes I want to be part of the group and join in on the detox cleanse, but it’s hard to embark on a new diet regime when your dietitian is still giving you basic tips on how to eat breakfast without having a panic attack.
I’m impatient. I like to see results fast. When things aren’t changing, I’m determined to improve until I meet my expectations. Recovering from an ED doesn’t work like that–it's messy, exhausting, and extremely fickle. One small bite of the wrong thing and you risk setting yourself up for a spiral.
I wish I could offer substantial advice for those who are going through something similar, but what I will say is this: you’re not alone. Clothes don’t fit? Don’t wear them. Buy a few new affordable things that make you feel awesome and cut off the size tag. Clothes are material. A bundle of fabric. They don’t matter. You matter. They should work for your lifestyle–not the other way around. You’re too important to let something inanimate consume what you have to offer the world.
I’m relieved that today is cloudy. I can wear my dark baggy clothes and go back to hiding. Or maybe not. Maybe I will put on something I know will fit and make me feel good. I will be mindful of my eating, being compassionate of my dieting history. I will do the best I can for today and be proud of it.