I’m going strong with recovery and finally feel like I’ve turned that corner when it gets somewhat easier. I’m just home from a vacation abroad with my husband, and at some point I smiled at the knowledge that whatever I ate, no matter how much bread and pasta and wine, I would keep it down. It wasn’t an option to do otherwise.
I had a productive therapy session before leaving, where I vented a bit about how frustrated I was with my current body size. I feel like no matter what I do, my body wants to stay at this size. My stomach still feels bloated after eating, and I’m simply uncomfortable in my skin a lot of the time. (Couple this all with the fact that my husband, who doesn’t exercise at all, decided he wanted to lose some weight before our trip, so he literally took like four 20-minute walks outside and lost something like 8 pounds. He’s also naturally petite, with a metabolism that allows him to eat dessert at every meal and never consider caloric content.)
Anyhow. During that session, I said that maybe the 26 years of bulimia are to blame for my body not knowing how to process real food on the regular, and that maybe it’s thrown off my metabolism to boot. My therapist began talking about exercise and healthy eating as an investment in the future, and she also pointed out that people who are over-investing now (the people whose bodies I envy) will not be able to sustain that in another few decades when their bodies begin to change, and then there will be an unavoidable reckoning.
I’ve thought about this a lot. For the 26 years I was engaged in constant bingeing and purging cycles, I was taking out loans against my body–at incredibly high interest. I’ve come to the inescapable point when I have to repay those, and it comes at a cost, even though it has to be done and it is the “right” thing to do in order to be responsible for this body. It’s not comfortable or easy, but in the end, it will ultimately set me free. I’m in a new phase of investing, and it’s also not easy or routine yet, but it’s the much more reliable and predictable way forward. I’m not exercising or restricting as a means of depleting, but rather moving my body and fueling it in order to invest in a healthy body that will be around and mobile for my kids as long as possible.
I’m still struggling to shift my thinking, but it’s making it a little easier to approach recovery not as a daily hurdle to “just make it through”, but more like a positive giving back, investing in something more.