*Disclaimer: what I write here is true for MY personal experience. However, eating disorders are unique to the individual, and though we may share some thoughts and feelings, the way that an eating disorder manifests is NOT identical person to person.
Eating disorders are NOT about appearance. They aren’t. But that doesn’t mean that appearance isn’t a sore spot. Eating disorders are sneaky little bitches. They trick you. They tell you that if you just lose ONE more pound, you’ll be perfect. And, if you do, they say it again… and again…. and again. They tell you that the number on the scale is your self-worth. It is your blue ribbon. If it goes down, you’re winning. They say that space between your thighs, the illustrious thigh gap, means that you are okay; if your thighs touch, you failed. They tell you that having “fat” on your thighs, stomach, arms, etc means you are out of control. They show you a false reflection in the mirror.
But there are SO many wonderful things out there better than being skinny. Because skinny does not define your worth. The eating disorder lies, manipulates, distorts. Skinny is not everything. Skinny, really, is nothing…
What, then, is better than being skinny? So many, many things.
- having the energy to walk up the stairs to see a sunset on the top floor
- smiling a REAL smile, one that includes your eyes
- taking a walk on the beach and feeling the sand in between your toes
- laughing, and truly laughing, because it’s enjoyable and not just something you do to make people think you are happy
- the smell of coffee in the early morning
- feeling the wind come off the water as a storm moves in and not think you would fall over from the gusts
- having color in your skin and looking vibrant
- midnight Wawa runs
- dancing to music because you want to and not feeling like your legs were going to collapse
- being able to get out of bed in the morning without working up the energy to do so for 10 minutes
- adventuring… because you can!
- the view of the world through a camera
- the smell of flowers
- being able to enjoy the crisp fall air without 10,000 layers
- pillow fights
- bubble baths
- jumping in puddles after a rain
- amusement parks you can actually go to without feeling like you were too exhausted to move around them
- bright eyes
- book plots you will remember because you have cognition again
- spontaneous drives
- fire crackling
- walking around to explore and not to burn as many calories as possible
- a warm bed on a winter morning
- breakfast in bed
- journaling in a cafe and enjoying just sitting there
- being able to sit on the ground and play with puppies, kittens, children, etc without your butt hurting because you don’t have anything to sit ON
- taking a day to do absolutely nothing
- reading on rainy, cool days
- curling up in a blanket
- movie marathons with best friends (or just you! because time to yourself is necessary)
- having the energy to go out with friends
- SO SO SO MUCH MORE
You will never be defined by the size of your clothes or the number on a scale. A scale can not show you who you are inside. It cannot tell you how important you are to the world and to those around you. You are so much more than a body. You are a soul. You are a free, independent, capable spirit.