Being back at school is weird in so many ways, but one of the weirdest parts is that it almost feels like I never left. Same crew of friends, same set-up in my bedroom, same furniture. Then my stomach growls at lunchtime and I remember that I eat meals now. Or I look down and remember that I was skinnier before.
The hardest thing is running into people I haven't seen since January. Obviously, I am heavier than I was then. It is noticeable. So I imagine people gawking, trying to hide their shock/disgust/omg look how fat she got over the summer! I am fully aware that not everyone is as obsessed with my weight as I am, but still. It's not like people won't notice. So that's hard.
It's also a little lonely. I've spent so many months wrapped up in my own obsessions and insecurities, finally coming to terms with gaining weight and eating well - now, I realize that life has gone on. I feel like the whole world has been turned upside down, and no one even seems to notice. No one quite realizes how fucking hard it is to navigate Move-In Weekend with all the restaurant meals and lack of gym time and general unpredictability when all you can think about is food and weight and calories, and you are counting and recounting and recounting. It was easier when I was restricting because the landscape was simple: eat as little as possible. All the time. Endure the obligatory meals out, then make up for it as soon as possible. But now, I don't know what the end goal is anymore. I want to maintain my weight. I want to lose weight. I want to eat. I don't.
On a brighter note, my apartment is beautiful. We have a full kitchen this year, which I think will make staying on track much, much easier. Last year (my sophomore), the switch from home-eating during the summer to school-eating in the fall threw me for a loop. I was already teetering on the edge of a pretty big cliff last summer in terms of eating and exercise, and I think the unpredictability of cafeteria food was too much for me and really sent my eating disorder spiraling out of control.
Other things that are stressing me out:
- My new apartment is quite far from the campus fitness center, meaning it will take me about 45 min roundtrip to walk there, plus the workout time. This is a much larger chunk of time than I have ever had to devote to exercise - the gym at home is literally two minutes from my house. So I either have to cut down on my workout, or cut down on other things to make time for working out.
- My schedule is still up in the air. I met with my advisor today about what I need to do to graduate on time (which is hopefully the goal), but I left feeling even more conflicted and confused about which courses I should take now and which ones I should save for next semester.
- I haven't weighed myself since getting here, and I'm worried out about having put on tons and tons of weight in the past three days. My stomach feels bloated and my rings are tight, so I'm afraid to step on the scale and see the damage. Logically, I know I'm probably retaining water from all the salty restaurant meals and it isn't real weight, but I'm shaky enough that seeing an elevated number will freak me the hell out.
The ED clinic in College City couldn't fit me in for an appointment for another week and a half, so I'm trying to police myself until then. Periods of limbo are super hard for me, and I really want to stay on track this week and next until I restart therapy.
Hope everyone stayed safe from Irene!