It is 12:20 a.m. and I’m hot. Sweaty. And decidedly not hungry in spite of the fact that I’ve barely eaten all day.
Then I look at my thighs. My upper arms. The little pouch of my stomach. And I groan, realizing that I’m about thirty pounds heavier than my lowest weight while in the midst of anorexia.
I want to be healthy, right? I want to be free of anorexia. . . yes?
Or am I still ambivalent after all this time?
It has happened every summer. The heat causes me to lose my appetite, and I cut back. At first it is not intentional. I’m simply too hot to eat.
But as I well know, it is a slippery slope. The less I eat, the less I want to eat.
Okay, I’m not very hungry, so I’ll just have a salad and some fruit. That’s healthy, right?
Hmm, maybe I should tone up and eat less junk. That’s healthy, right?
Just because I have (had?) an eating disorder doesn’t mean I have to eat junk all the time!!!
Look at my thighs! They’re huge. . . What has happened to my body? I’ve let myself go!!!
The internal dialogue is fine-tuned and knows just what to say. It knows my vulnerabilities and goes for the jugular.
Add that to the fact that this is bikini-season, the season of impossibly well-toned bodies, and I’m sometimes ready to ditch recovery right out the window.
I’ve always stressed that eating disorders, and anorexia in particular, are not caused by media images of models and celebrities.
But it certainly doesn’t help.
So how do I combat these things?
First, I’ve ditched all the magazines that promote unrealistic standards of beauty.
Next, I confront my inability to eat. There is nothing inherently wrong with eating healthy, as long as it is not a disguise for an eating disorder.
So I decided to once again go back to my old stand-bye, Ensure Plus. I’m not advocating substituting supplements for food, but it is important for me to have a high-calorie food readily available. Some people make smoothies or other things, but some people are more adept around the kitchen than I am.
And then I keep working hard to combat that negative inner voice. Simple? Yes. Hard? Definitely.