My brain is the fierce protector of my heart

I started this post in July of 2014.  At the time it was called “Feelings follow thoughts,” because it had been a topic of much discussion with my therapist and I had briefly touched on it a little in a previous post.


There’s a saying (which the internet attributes to Henry Ford, so let’s go with that), that says “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.

I used to think this meant that if you think you can’t you won’t try, thus confirming your “can’t” status.  While that may very well be the case, I now think there is a deeper, more useful meaning to this quote. **I have to laugh at my knack for the dramatic… this is literally where I stopped two years ago, without making any notes about what my grand epiphany might have been, but thankfully I have some new insights to finish this up.**

When I was still in the beginning stages of my healing journey, my therapist was trying to convince me that the negative feelings I had about myself weren’t necessarily true, and they only felt like they were true, because I believed they were true.  Let’s all say hello to my old friend Circular Reasoning.

I hated this idea for several reasons.  1.  It meant my negative feelings were my own fault, because they came from my own negative thoughts.  2. I liked to believe that my feelings were my moral guide, as in: if it feels wrong to do something, it probably is.  3. I really didn’t like the idea that I couldn’t trust my feelings, because they were supposedly so easy to change (read: manipulate).

But in retrospect (present day 2016 at this point), having changed my thoughts and feelings a lot, starting to believe that I CAN, I recognize that negative thoughts protected my sensitive heart at a time when my heart wouldn’t have been strong enough to bounce back from being disappointed or broken. My brain processed and rationalized EVERYTHING, never allowing any of it to sink all the way into my heart, where I would have to actually *feel* it. Brain would just explain away the cruelty of the world. Brain would build up a wall of words for me to hide behind.

Unfortunately this plan wasn’t entirely bulletproof (obviously), because brain also grew up with the core belief that I was the problem. I was not good enough. I was not worthy of receiving the care and love I needed. I believed it was my fault when people abandoned me. I believed all the *I cants* and set myself up for all kinds of failure. So, some of that rationalizing ended up hurting my heart more than protecting it (which is why I had a therapist explaining brain science to me all these years later).

I see it more now. I still rationalize… a lot. I still go round and round with my therapist sometimes. I still try to find a way to avoid feeling the actual pain. I recognize now that this is an attempt to control my emotions, but some things just need to be felt, before you can really move forward and knowing THAT is half the battle.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Flamingos became my Recovery Spirit Animal

**Thigh gaps are for flamingos.**

Thigh gaps are for flamingos

I first heard this phrase about a year ago from a peer in treatment and immediately loved it (this post is technically from the drafts series, but I really only had the headline). While pursuit of specific physical attributes does *sometimes* play a role, EDs are usually about much more than that.  Similarly, this statement is not necessarily about thigh gaps in particular, it’s much more about the awareness that there are many different body types, just like there are different heights and eye colors and shoe sizes.

To me, this is an empowering statement about unrealistic body standards and expectations and moralization.  Flamingos have thigh gaps.  That doesn’t make them good flamingos, or bad flamingos, they are just flamingos.  Penguins don’t have thigh gaps.  They don’t even really have thighs.  That does not make them good or bad, that’s just how they are.  Nobody would dream of telling a penguin to work on getting a thigh gap, because that’s just not how their bodies are made.

Unless you are a proverbial flamingo, which would also be perfectly acceptable, a thigh gap may not be a realistic expectation for you.  That doesn’t make your body any less perfect or lovable and this is an important awareness for me. My body is a good body. Just because my body type isn’t flamingo, does not mean it is a bad body.

Given this connotation in my mind, I adopted the flamingo as my recovery spirit animal.  I have acquired several items of clothing featuring flamingos and when I feel anxious about being among people, or insecure about my body, I wear one of these items and am confident in the knowledge that my body is a good body and my attributes need no justification.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Finding recovery in purpose and purpose in recovery

This draft was started just a few months ago.  It’s like recovery inception, which kept getting too wordy for my inner perfectionist.  So, this is fair warning, I’m not editing this post once it’s finished and it might get rambly. 😉


I’ve been aware of the meek 5-10% success rate of long term weight-loss for a pretty long time.  Unsurprisingly, given the belligerent messaging from the diet industry, that didn’t keep me from believing that trying just a little harder, cracking some mysterious code, would allow me to be one of those illusive success stories.  However, if you read a lot of these stories, they tend to have one thing in common: a hook, something powerful enough to justify even the most restrictive or abusive rules around food in the long term (although, spoiler alert, this does not necessarily guarantee long term, 5+ years, success or better health either).  It might be a medical diagnosis, the threat of death, having/wanting to live for/be able to play with and chase after children, the love of someone other than yourself, etc.

Realizing that a hook was imperative to the possibility of success was frustrating for me, because I hated my life and my self so much that I regularly fantasized about some tragic, life shortening diagnosis or spontaneous death, I didn’t have children (still don’t), and I always thought I was a burden to the people I loved and they would be better off without me.  I was hookless.  There was never a consequence so severe that I wasn’t willing to act out and risk it.

Through eating disorder treatment and recovery, I learned to love myself and care for my life.  I learned to love my body and I learned to want to protect and nurture it.  I was never able to force myself not to binge for fear of consequences.  I was never able to stay on one of the many restrictive diets I went on to atone for my most recent failure.  Binges lead to diets, which lead to binges, which lead to more diets.  I never had a compelling enough reason not to make “bad” choices…

…until I learned to love myself.

Self care became a worthy enough cause.  A purpose in and of itself.  And once I started to take care of myself, instead of punishing and abusing myself, I felt less compelled to use my eating disorder for that end (of abuse).  Circular reasoning finally makes itself useful.  Learning to love myself through recovery and finding purpose and satisfaction in caring for myself has helped me put some space between me and my ED behaviors.

And then, through the strength and joy I found in recovering from those ED behaviors, I found purpose (and a new career) in paying it forward and supporting others in their recovery, which, in turn, filled more of the emptiness in my heart and made the bingeing that much more redundant and unnecessary.  Recovery begets recovery.  The better I get, the better I get.

Recovery –> purpose –> more recovery –> more purpose.

I do want to be very clear though, that recovery does not equal weight-loss.  While I have ultimately lost some weight and not gained it back after more than a year without any kind of dieting, that has NOT been the purpose of recovery for me.  Recovery has been about accepting my body for what it does, not what it looks like or what other people think of it.  Recovery has been about learning that I am not wrong or bad or unlovable, simply because our society is obsessed with a certain body type.  Recovery has been about not obsessing about food or weight and letting go of behaviors, regardless of whether that has any effect on my body. And purpose.  Recovery has been about finding meaning and purpose in my life.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Secrets Keep Us Sick

I’m in a pretty good place in my recovery and life in general these days, have been for several months now.  My stress, anxiety, depression and self hatred are at an all time low, I am genuinely happy and thankful for the breath in my body most of the time, I have an AMAZING support system and I’m the least out-of-control I’ve ever been around food.

But old habits die hard and when I find myself in situations in which food used to be my comfort, I sometimes find myself defaulting to old behaviors without even thinking about it; or especially because I’m not thinking about it.  Auto pilot is so much easier than intentional, mindful action.  Without even formulating an actual thought about it, every fiber of my old self remembers how comforting this old behavior is.  After all, it wasn’t my safety blanked for 25 years because it didn’t do anything for my limbic system.

Once my cells are reminded of why I was addicted to this behavior in the first place, I start to crave the comfort it used to give me.  (**Spoiler alert** it doesn’t actually provide the same comfort anymore, but remembering that part takes a little more active thought.)  THIS is a critical point for me.  My disorder wants me to keep this craving to myself.  My shame only wants people to see my recovery side, only see me moving forward, never backwards.  This is when toddler logic kicks in: if nobody sees me doing it, then it didn’t really happen.

Secrets keep us sick

Secrets keep us sick

When I start to catch myself hiding food or wrappers, or waiting for my husband to go to bed to eat the thing that’s been calling my name, keeping secrets, I know it’s time to tell on myself and ask for support, because the shame of engaging in disordered behavior is only compounded by the shame of hiding and lying about it.  And when the secret gets to be too big and the shame gets to be too much, I become less and less likely/willing/able to tell somebody and more and more likely to keep using the same behavior to make myself feel better about it (hello circular reasoning).  Keeping my eating disorder and consequent behaviors a secret has a direct effect on my inability to stop them.

It’s a good best-practice to make a list of all the behaviors that are definitely eating disordered for you, as well as a list of borderline behaviors that might not be directly disordered, but might be warning signs.  For example, for me, sneaking food or hiding wrappers doesn’t necessarily mean I’m bingeing, but it’s a slippery slope.  Other things that are borderline behaviors for me are frequent weighing, skipping meals, planning/ideating/talking about restrictive meal plans for weight-loss (because-spoiler alert- these almost always lead to rebound bingeing and weight gain) and isolating.  Being aware of behaviors that might be benign for others, but are problematic for me, helps me notice and address them as soon they creep back in, before they can take over my life again.

I have the tools and the support to stop these thoughts and behaviors when they come up, but only if I am honest about them with myself, my higher power, and my tribe.  These are the times when I need to be reminded that I am not in this alone and that there is no shame in imperfection.  We all step backwards occasionally.  This doesn’t make us bad, or unworthy.  It doesn’t undo all the work and progress we have made.  It’s an opportunity to check in and decide where we go from here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“Shame cannot survive being spoken”-Brené Brown

This is the first of the 10 posts in drafts I’ve committed to finishing and publishing by the end of this month.  I started this one in October of 2015.


Today I have decided to go public about my struggle with food and self worth, because “shame cannot survive being spoken.”  This is ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING, but it has to be done.  I’m putting shame on notice that I’m taking ownership of my life.  Here goes…

I have spent the majority of my life ashamed of my body. Not just because of what it looks like, but because of  all the things they say being fat means about me as a person. I’m sure you’ve heard them. Just a few weeks ago some lady claiming to be a comedian went on a whole tirade about it. I was taught to believe that being fat means I’m lazy, I don’t have any willpower or self control, I don’t care about myself, I’m stupid, ugly, I smell bad, I’m inconsiderate, ignorant, oblivious, a burden to society (medical costs), I don’t deserve to be loved.  I’m told that I could very easily do something about it, if I just made that choice (let’s talk about how false and harmful this is some other time), making me also feel incapable.  Ashamed.

Maybe you are thinking “who cares what strangers on the internet say,” or “who is *they* anyway,” but it’s more than some anonymous, imaginary foe. I started getting these messages at home long before I was aware of a greater social narrative.  I started dieting in first grade, counting calories with my mother.  My grandfather once told me that I probably only thought about dieting when I wasn’t eating.  My father used to tell me that I have such a lovely face, I could be so stunning, if only I could suck in my tummy and tuck in my butt.  I spent most of high school in the same few clothes, because regular stores didn’t cary things that fit, but I didn’t know where else to go.  I was teased, hurt, but I couldn’t even be angry about it, because I believed that I had brought this shame on myself.

In my recovery, I have found peers and friends around whom I have been able to speak about my shame and be met with empathy.  People who understand this common struggle of disordered eating and self/body hatred.  But I also found that I am still too ashamed to share my story with people who might not understand, might not empathize, so I continue to hide.  To suffer in silence.  To remind myself why these things aren’t talked about.

I tried to move forward without having to be vulnerable and put my whole self out there, but as long as I am too ashamed to embrace my full story, what I’ve been through and where I’ve come from, shame gets to keep its death grip on my life and happiness.  So today I say NO MORE.  Here’s the truth I’ve been too ashamed for anybody to know:

Hi, my name is Margo, and I have an eating disorder.


Given that it is now June of 2016, you’ve probably guessed that I didn’t end up going public quite at that time.  However, I did leave my job in December and explained to a number of people that my eating disorder was a big reason for the life and career change, which was a pretty huge step for me, and then in February I “came clean” on my personal Facebook page.  And to my great relief, I was met with a mountain of love and understanding from a huge number of friends and a pretty significant and surprising number of “me too”s.   Here’s the post I shared:

In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week this week (2/21-27), I want to share something I don’t talk about very much. I was officially diagnosed with an eating disorder about 3 years ago, after 25 years of struggling with food, body and worth, and being told by family, doctors, friends, society, that I could change if I JUST worked a little harder, cared a little more, wanted it badly enough.

I thought I was fairly well educated about eating disorders, but I never thought for a second that my own inability to control compulsive behavior or obsessive thoughts around food, binges, shame, anxiety, depression, restricting, chronic dieting, daily (or multiple times a day) weighing, and more were a real medical condition. So I suffered in silence, too ashamed to talk about it, or ask for help, for fear that others would judge and hate me for my “failure” as much as I judged and hated myself.

Through treatment, an amazing support system, and some of the most incredible people you could ever hope to meet, I have come a VERY long way these last few years. I’ve changed in ways I never even imagined were possible. I’ve learned to love myself, value my life, and appreciate my body for the amazing things it does every single day.

My recovery journey has put me on a new career path, to use my own experience and pay it forward. I could have and should have gotten help so much sooner, if there had been more awareness and education around eating disorders, especially in the medical community. I am grateful for the opportunity to use my own experience to have an impact and pay it forward.

In the meantime, for anyone who might be suffering in silence, like I did, I want you to know:

**you are not alone
**you are worthy of recovery
**recovery IS possible
**help is available
**I am here to support you

AND if you don’t know whether your own struggles with weight or food might be an eating disorder, check out this free, anonymous screening.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blank journals and the debilitating nature of perfection

I’ve been returning the cursor to the beginning of this post for 5 weeks now.  If I’ve written a hundred sentences, I’ve written a thousand; all of them the first and all of them inadequate.  I love to write and I love sharing my story, but every time I sit down to write about what’s on my mind (and there’s a lot, I have more posts started in drafts than I have published over the last 4 years) I get overwhelmed by my expectations for how detailed and well researched and perfect the post has to be.  So I end up working on it for a few hours and then run out of time, or steam, or just generally lose track of where I was going with my thoughts in the first place and all of the clutter just stays stuck in my head, swirling round and round, mixing with the shame about my inability to finish a post.

I have always liked the idea of journaling.  I especially love blank books and journals. I love the fresh, clean, crips pages, and the different headers that allow you to keep track of the date or day of the entry.  I love the different covers and various pictures, or inspirational quotes intersperced between the lined pages, the smooth covers, the unbroken spines.  They start out so perfect, flawless.

With loves like these, you might expect me to be a prolific journaler, but I have this debilitating fear that the first word, or sentence, or page I write in a perfect, new, blank journal will not be good enough and will ruin the book’s untouched perfection.  I can’t even tell you how many formerly blank books are on my shelves with one or two pages of writing, or the first several pages removed, to try to restore the tranquility of blankness.

This is not even half of the blank journals and fancy notebooks in my office alone.  And that's not even counting the books with one or two pages written on.

This is not even half of the blank journals and fancy notebooks in my office alone. And that’s not even counting the books with one or two pages written on.

It sounds kind of crazy, when I’m trying to explain this fear of imperfection to others (except of course in recovery circles, where people understand this sort of insanity), but inside my brain it seems like the most logical, rational thing in the world.  No matter how far I’ve come believing in my worthiness, I still don’t value my thoughts and words enough to believe that they enhance a blank page, rather than diminish it.

This is actually one of the reasons I was drawn to blogging.  It’s much easier to remove a flaw from a digital page than it is from paper.  However, it is the same feeling of not being good enough that frequently keeps me from finishing a post and publishing it.  I had a lot of lofty goals for this headline.  I wanted it to be some grand revelation, that would get people to see that being a perfectionist isn’t a cute way to dodge an interview question about your weaknesses, it can actually be completely paralyzing.  But now that I’m too many paragraphs in to put the cursor back at the top of the page, I’m recognizing that telling you about my fear is enough of an accomplishment for this post.

I’m taking my power back. I am no longer willing to expend this amount of energy trying to hide my flaws.  I will instead direct that energy towards acceptance.  And to practice getting past the anxiety of posting something flawed, I’m going to finish and post at least 10 started posts from my drafts by the end of June.  I will spend a pre-determined amount of time to finish them and then I will publish them without agonizing, checking and double checking.  And that’s all I have to say about that.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sharing article: “Dear Doctor: your patient has an eating disorder”

I have been hoarding articles to share with you, but I always want to add commentary, which requires time and a big enough screen to flip back and forth.  I just came across this article today, but felt too urgently about it to put it in the archive with all the other links.

One of the things that caused a lot of anger at different points in my recovery was the fact that it took 25 years for me to be diagnosed and get help. Instead of being diagnosed with an eating disorder, I was “diagnosed” with obesity and all the *lazy slothiness* it presumably entails, but every time I was told to diet more, work harder, I became more cruel to myself, more rigid, more ashamed, more hopeless, and more sick.  If even one of over a dozen doctors in various cities, states and countries had diagnosed these symptoms/”complaints”/diagnoses described in this article correctly, I could have saved myself years of struggle and my body years of abuse.

One of my long term goals, once I have the education to be taken seriously, is to educate doctors on eating disorders and how to identify and treat them, and more importantly, how not to make them worse.

In the meantime, this is a very thorough, well researched article about some of the misconceptions doctors have about eating disorders and some information you could use to (a) educate your own doctor, if you are already in treatment or recovery (I have a story about this for you one of these days) or (b) identify some of your own beliefs and objections and recognize that, in spite of what your doctor says, you might have an eating disorder.

Quick disclaimer though, I don’t agree with point 3. Some of us DO have an issue with binges and sometimes they have more to do with blocking feelings and numbing out than with not being sufficiently nourished. Also, while a lot of this article fit for me personally, the finer details can and absolutely do definitely vary among individuals.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Healthy Body, Period.

Before ED recovery, I had never met a single woman who was excited about getting her period.  The experiences seemed to range from nuisance to discomfort to pain to outright debilitating.  One of my best friends got so sick with every single cycle that she missed at least two days of work EACH MONTH.  So I always considered myself pretty lucky that my periods were *irregular*.

I never thought too much about what was causing the arbitrary intervals of my cycle, but wasn’t particularly surprised when I was officially diagnosed with PCOS a couple of years ago (irregular periods are a common symptom) when I moved and switched to a new OBGYN. In addition to this diagnosis, she told me that if I wasn’t having a period naturally at least every 3 months, I needed to chemically induce one, to avoid serious health consequences including osteoporosis and uterine cancer.  At that point it had been about 10 months since my last cycle.  I decided I could probably tolerate the inconvenience, discomfort and expense (that one’s a rant for another day) 3-4ish times a year in the interest of preserving my longer term health.

Now that you know more than you probably wanted to about my plumbing, let me get to the actual point of this story.  The treatment program I participated in used to be designed around Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita Johnston and there was a whole chapter devoted to “Moontime,” (insert heavy sarcasm font) that magical time when women “connect to the rhythms and pulse of life” and gain access to the “special link to emotions and the wisdom inherent in nature’s cycles.”  Of course this notion was so completely different from what we are taught by a society that doesn’t value soft femininity and intuition, that it initially sounds completely ridiculous.  I laughed so hard the first time I read the chapter with a group that I almost passed out from lack of oxygen.

But over time, I learned more about how my body operates and the masterful mechanisms at work every second of my life, through every breath I take.  I learned that the ability to create life is not just something that happens, it’s the female body’s superpower.  Just to be clear, this doesn’t mean I’m obligated to have babies, just because I CAN.  The point is that the menstrual cycle is a signal from the healthy body that it is strong enough, capable of sustaining life; even if that’s just my own.

-Moontime- is a privilege

Looking back at the gaps I previously considered to be arbitrary, I realized that the length of the time between cycles was directly correlated to where I was in my disorder.  I had longer gaps when I was starving myself on extremely low calorie diets, and I had longer gaps when I spent my days restricting and my evenings bingeing, and I had longer gaps when I was cutting out carbs and eating protein to the point of numbness at every meal.  Once I stopped dieting, got a handle on the binges, significantly reduced my stress level and started paying more attention to getting enough balanced nutrients (carbs, fats and protein) to support my body’s needs, I suddenly settled into a fairly predictable, regular, 45 (ish) day cycle.

I still have a knee jerk reaction of annoyance, especially when the timing happens to coincide with New Year’s and Valentine’s Day, but then I am also filled with gratitude for my healthy body, gratitude for the reminder that my body can handle me not being perfect, gratitude that my body knows what to do, as long as I hold up my end of the bargain.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Days go by

… and still I think of you.  My “Recovering Girl’ Facebook Page keeps reminding me that it has been WAY TOO LONG since my last post. And I’ve been meaning to write. I have LOTS of things I want to talk about and tell you about, but I’ve been struggling to focus and find the words (you don’t even want to know how many unfinished posts are in my draft folder).

I’ve always been afraid to commit to a number of posts in a given time period, because I didn’t want to over-promise and under-deliver.  Incidentally, the assumption that I wouldn’t be able to keep whatever goal I set for myself is also why I used to diet in secret.  I always thought it would be better to be successful at not trying than to fail (here’s just one of many examples of that).  But setting no goals for myself is really just enabling me to procrastinate and continue to hide, which is not really what I WANT to be doing either.  So… I’m sending it out into the universe and committing to at least one more new post in the next week.  And if that goes well, then I’ll commit again for the week after that.  Just like recovery, one day/post at a time.

Now that that’s established, the last couple of months have been pretty magical.  I quit my fancy corporate job in December and got a part time job doing very similar work for significantly fewer hours each week and with considerably more flexibility.  I’ve also started school.  About a year and a half ago I wrote about transformation and wanting to use what I have learned in recovery to help others.  That turned out to be the right plan, but the wrong time.  I wasn’t ready yet.  I had somehow worked myself up to an optimistic, almost manic high that ended up in a pretty colossal crash and a depression that took a lot of time and work to climb back out of.  But I’ve come a VERY long way since then and feel ready to help others who struggle, because (a) everybody deserves to know that they are unconditionally worthy of happiness and recovery and (b) supporting others in their recovery supports me in mine.

I have LOTS of prerequisites to take, before I can start a master’s degree program in a totally different field and as luck would have it, they are all prerequisites for EACH OTHER, so I can’t even take them simultaneously.  In the past I probably wouldn’t have been able to get past that news and would have given up, just thinking about how long it’s going to take before I can even start the actual program, but I’m getting more and more comfortable with enjoying the journey instead of focusing on the outcome.

That sounds pretty simple, but I actually didn’t come by it easily.  I was starting to feel very empty and unfulfilled again, just working towards being able to contribute in a meaningful way in the future, but not actually *doing* anything NOW wasn’t enough, and I was noticing that I was starting to fill that emptiness with food again.  I was so desperate to start living my purpose and so disappointed that I wouldn’t be “qualified” to do that for several years, it was really bumming me out.  But I realized (with a little help from my friends/peers/therapist) that I gain the most feeling of purpose when I am working with people and I see that I am making an impact.  I *just* (my favorite 4 letter word) needed to figure out HOW to work and connect with people in the meantime, so I decided in lieu of being a qualified professional, I would be a qualified volunteer and started an EDA meeting (Eating Disorders Anonymous) in my city, which has been absolutely FANTASTIC.

I also went “public” about my ED recovery journey on the Facebook during NEDAwareness Week at the end of February.  There’s a blog post in my drafts from a year or so ago talking all about why I WANT to go public, but can’t.  Well, I did it and nothing bad happened.  In fact, I learned that a couple of other people I have known for most of my life ALSO struggle with eating disorders.  I’m sad that we all feel obligated to suffer in silence, because of shame and stigma, leading us to not know something so profound about each other.  We could have been supporting each other all these years.

I am reminded that silence keeps us sick and that recovery (at least for me) is in vulnerability and connection.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dear Body: Thank you!

I should be packing right now, but instead of celebrating the privilege that I am able to travel with my husband to see family and friends for the holidays this year, I am thinking about my body.  I realized this afternoon that my current favorite / *most flattering* clothes need to be washed, but there is not enough time for them to dry before we leave tomorrow.

I was also reminded today that millions of women and I were raised to hate our bodies, no matter what, and I realized that this is the reason I don’t want to pack.  I even tried to convince my husband that we should leave a day later.  I’m getting worked up, because I am assuming that my friends and family will be judging my body as harshly as I sometimes do.  I assume that they are thinking about how much weight I could have/should have lost in the many months or years that have passed.  Have I gained weight?  Lost some?  When did they see me last? Will I be able to handle well meaning, but misguided comments about my health?

I find myself preparing the words to justify my fatness and just that quickly I am sucked into the vortex of self-hatred and shame about how being fat is an unforgivable personal failure.  I feel sad, because I forget so easily HOW. FREAKING. AWESOME. my body really is.  So I wanted to write myself a quick reminder.

My body is a self contained masterpiece.  I take a deep breath and feel the air filling my lungs, reminding me that I am alive.  I notice that I can feel the cold air on my skin.  My toes are tucked under the dog and I can feel his warmth and soft fur.  My toes can feel his breath gently making his puppy belly rise and fall.  I can hear the traffic in the street, along with the clicking of my keyboard.  I can see as the words appear on the screen.  I am amazed that my fingers just know what to do.  I realize that my thoughts have trailed off, but I am still breathing, without any input from me.  I am tired and I can feel my eyes; they are heavy, but they continue to blink to clean and moisturize themselves.  I don’t move for a few seconds and notice that I can feel my heart beating.  I am in complete awe that my heart can beat and my lungs can fill and I am grateful that my body sustains me, even though I can be so hateful towards it.  I feel the bruise on my knee, from where I bumped it yesterday.  My amazing body knows how to repair this damage. This makes me think about my joints and muscles and how they all work together to allow me to move.  I can barely operate a marionette, but somehow my body can stand and sit and walk and dance and skip and swim and BREATHE.  No matter what I am doing, my body just breathes for me.  I am tired, which reminds me of the brilliant signaling system my body has, when it needs something from me.  It tells me when to sleep, when to wake, when to eat, when to drink water, when to go to the bathroom.  My body is just ticking away, processing food and liquid into waste, meanwhile I am sitting here and can’t even come up with the words to express HOW COOL that is.  I think a little more about the food that is being processed; through years of dieting and restricting and bingeing and overriding, I have not been a consistent, trustworthy provider of fuel and I am beyond grateful that my body figured out how to protect itself in the meantime.

Dear Body: THANK YOU for sustaining me through everything.  I am ready to trust and support you, instead of overriding you.  Please continue to be patient with me.



There.  That feels a lot better.  Let’s get this bag packed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments