Hey loves! 🤍 Before we get into today’s post, I wanted to give you all a heads up.
First, I’d like to add a disclaimer to this post, as within it, I speak openly regarding eating disorders, weight loss, and recovery. If you find any of these subjects to be triggering, please proceed with caution and care.
Second, you might find that this post is written in a different style than my previous ones. That is because, it was written from within the mind frame and mind set of someone spiraling down into the depths of their emotions as they were feeling them. Therefore, this will be one of my most raw, and unedited blog posts so far. So I ask that you please, read it with that knowledge in your heart.
Thank you, and enjoy!
Recovery is a slippery slope that no one ever prepares you for. It’s the nights on the cold bathroom tile alone, holding your knees close to your chest as if your grasp is the only thing holding you together. It’s also the happy dance followed by a round of applause you give yourself after you stepped on the scale, and finally reached your goal weight.
It’s neither a sinner or a saint, heaven or hell. Almost like a book I read in Middle School, Limbo.
You see, recovery can look different for everyone, yet it isn't ever just butterflies and rainbows. It’s more self doubt followed by a scratch in the record. Only the scratch can do more damage sometimes than others.
Somedays, I wake up and I feel fine. Happy even. Proud to be alive, and thankful for how far I’ve come. It’s been a year and a month now, and I’ve lost 25 pounds, which when I think about it, and I often do, is insane. But for me, recovery is much more complex than just losing weight.
I’ve come a long way from where I once was, mentally and physically that is, but just today when I caught a glimpse of an old picture of myself, I can undone. So undone that I was brought to tears. I saw a girl, lost, hopeless, and so so mad at herself. So mad in fact, she starved herself, denied herself what her body craved, and used exercise as a form of punishment. She ate when no one was looking, and always made sure to keep that extra cookie in her room for later. Because in her mind if no one saw it, it didn’t happen.
Well, that isn’t the reality of an experience like that. Because I saw it all, I lived it all. The bingeing episodes, the crying, the feeling of my skin on the back of my nails as I scratched so hard in hopes I would just disappear into thin air.
Thin.. that’s what I wanted to be. To be thin was to be beautiful. To have a flat stomach, perfect toned thighs, long hair, the laugh, the smile.
That was what I wanted. That was ALL I wanted.
And at some point down the line, it connected in my head, it all made sense. If that’s what I wanted to be, then I could not be me. And so, I fell down the rabbit hole of self hatred, self deprecation, and aggression, to ignite the fire to fuel change.
But what I know now, and only wish I could have grasped then, is that health is not obtained by punishment. It is obtained by love and nurture.
I wasn’t quite ready for that though. I couldn’t except myself. Me, no not me, Celina, the little fat girl. I couldn’t accept her. So, I beat her. I overworked her until I couldn’t anymore. And when she finally broke. She shattered into a million pieces. But you already know this. My self acceptance journey.
This story, has now become my road to recovery. But even she is bittersweet.
You see, even now, when I reflect on seeing those old photos, I feel the uncontrollable urge to cry. But only this time, it’s reality settling in. The realization of how much time I had spent hating her, crushing her, when all she needed was love, a hug, a shoulder to cry on and someone to tell her she was beautiful.
And that is something I won’t ever understand why I couldn’t do for her. I want to hate myself for it, but I can’t. It is not my fault, there is no one to blame. It is just sadly how recovery works, for me at least.
At the same time, as I wipe the tears from my face, I feel a sense of anxiety rise within me. Something I would love to label as unreasonably so but I try my best to steer clear from those hard labels.
Yes, it’s been a year. Yes, I lost 22 pounds. Yes, I am grateful. But.. am I happy?
Did those 22 pounds really change anything?
In one aspect they did. Within the span of time it took for me to lose said weight, I lost a lot of bad habits simultaneously. The binge eating, the constant mirror checks, the self blame.
And in some ways, going through all the ups and downs taught me how to love myself. Because it dawned on me that I was never going to get where I wanted if I didn’t have the mindset to match.
So, I began my self love journey, and practicing things like Alphabet soup, mediation, and creating a self care routine. I even started a gratitude journal which I write in at the end of every day.
But losing the actual weight was not what changed me. It’s not what made me the strong woman I see in the mirror today.
And as much work as I know I have put in, I know there is so much more to be done.
It’s like a constant tug a war, “I’m so proud of you,” but we still have a long way to go, “I lost 22 pounds,” but I’m only halfway through my journey.
This push and pull of happiness and discontent, pride and pity, this is what recovery has been like for me.
I often wake up grateful, happy, and somedays I really do believe I am meant to be here. While others I wake up feeling bloated beyond belief, and feeling less of myself than usual. No matter what though, I try doing everything I can to make that day the best possible day it can be.
I try to keep my routine the same even when I don’t feel okay. Workout, make a healthy breakfast, work on some writing, and spend time with loved ones. Sometimes trying something new, like taking a walk down a different path, calling a friend, or visiting my sister in a different city.
But sometimes none of these things work. And nothing feels good enough.
I keep these habits, these routines, to feel strong, and help me re-center. But I get into mental ruts, and road blocks, all because of a bloated feeling I find myself waking up to, and my body manifests these awful feelings into reality and triggers my mind to check my refection in the mirror.
“Just do it Celina, you know you look bloated anyway, why not face it”.
It mocks me, my own mind challenges all my strength, all my progress and with one look, I come undone.
Or in those moment when my family is sitting at the table enjoying a pizza pie, I often find myself staring at my plate of sweet potatoes, green beans and a turkey burger. Food I love, but food that feels so tasteless next to something I’ve told myself I’ll be able to eat one day… just not today.
Because I needed to hit my macros, and I didn’t have enough calories left over in the day to have the slice. And because in some ways I have convinced myself that if I ate it I’d die.
Now trust me, these thoughts have become easier to get through today than they used to be, because I’ve grown stronger mentally, but those days, those days, when nothing seems right to me, I break down and run to my room. I close the door and hide.
Hide my shame, my fears, and tell myself, I did the right thing. That it’s okay.
But its not…
Like I said, recovery is a slippery slope, and I don’t know how much closer to the edge I can slide.
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