Ugh I KNOW, I'm the WORST. Sorry for no blogging about anything remotely interesting. I'm still home, still being lazy and spoiled, still reading excessively, still navigating this whole food-and-exercise-outside-my-comfort-zone-and-with-parental-supervision thing, but doing okay and feeling pretty good.
I came across some old photographs on my dad's camera from this trip almost two years ago. Back then, I weighed double digits less than I do now and at the time, was positively mortified by how fat I looked. In fact, that trip (ahem food poisoning) was the tipping point that sent me from semi-subclinical-restricting to full-on Sorry Everyone I'm Done With this Shit, Not Gonna Eat. I lost an additional XX after that trip, which nearly got my butt stuck in inpatient by May. Looking back, I can't believe how nuts I was.
Anyway. Did I have a point? I guess what I meant to say was, my body image now is a hundred million times better than it was back then, even though my weight is much higher. I just feel healthier and nourished and satisfied. I struggle with snacks when I'm home and my days always tend to be bottom-heavy (eating more late in the day as opposed to spreading calories out evenly throughout the day....CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY THE HECK I DO THIS???) but overall I am doing very well with getting in enough calories.
I've been thinking a lot about how I got here. "Here" meaning my current status of having a relatively okay body image at a perfectly healthy weight, being okay with eating a healthy amount of calories, eating cookies and white bread and cheese and candy and all that without freaking out, and not thinking about food every second of the day. I don't see a dietitian anymore, and never found them very helpful anyway, but it feels like I've gotten myself to a place—through cobbling together various sources of knowledge and inspiration, through trying and messing up and trying again, through experimenting with different ingredients and combinations—where I feel like my diet is pretty solidly healthy and robust and I am okay with eating the way I do. My weight has been rock-solid for almost six months now and my periods come every thirty days like clockwork, so it seems pretty clear that things are falling into place. I didn't get here by accident, but by a lot of research and experimentation, trial-and-error, and obsessing.
Obviously there are still snags. I still count calories. I still weigh myself. I stil run pretty compulsively. I still base my intake more on caloric content rather than hunger or preference, although I am getting better at that. And I'm hopeful that time will help.
It's hard to imagine that the person in those old vacation photos was still fully entrenched in an eating disorder. I was also still stuck in treatment three times a week, between my therapist and dietitian. Even just a year ago, I was still getting formal ED treatment and came home each Wednesday afternoon with an updated meal plan and those stupid dietary worksheets. Maybe I'm just a freak, but I've never been successful in treatment. Recovery has only clicked for me when I made the decision for myself, committed myself, and never looked back. I know this probably sounds kind of snotty and ungrateful, but I really feel like the months and years of therapy didn't really do squat for my anorexia. I'm sure the process took much longer than it needed to—and obviously I'm not totally done yet— because I flat-out refused to engage with my team 90 percent of the time, but the only thing that has kept me moving forward has been my own internal motivation. Largely inspired by my physical health problems, but still primarily from within. No one makes me eat, you know?
I've still got a lot to work on, but my head is in the right place. And up until about a year ago, my head was in a totally awful place regarding the eating disorder, and no amount of therapy would have pulled me out. I'm not bashing therapy because I know that it is a crucial piece of the puzzle in ED treatment and I absolutely ADORE my current therapist....but for me, for the anorexia, it just never seemed to click. Can't decide if that's depressing or empowering. Maybe a little of both.