Sunday, January 29, 2012

Inside Out

This is hard. It's harder than I expected it would be. I only have myself to keep me in line and accountable at this point. No big deal, right? I guess it wouldn't be if I could consistently believe in the process that I was going through but when I go back and forth from day to day, hour to hour, even minute to minute, it's a little frightening to realize that the only one who is really keeping this train moving in the right direction at the end of the day is me. Maybe that should be a comforting thought. After all, at the end of the day, we really only ever have ourselves to count on. This process, this journey and the steps that I need to take along the way cannot belong to someone else, nor can they be for someone else. They have to be my own and they must certainly be for me. Where other people's involvement comes into play in this process is on days like the ones that I've been having; days like today when I'm not really sure I'm completely sold on this whole idea of recovery and when it seems as though it would be far easier to just go back to living the way that I was rather than take the steps necessary to give myself the opportunity to live somehow differently. There's no arguing that it would be easier to go back. I'm good at having an eating disorder, good at being miserable, good at being sick and hiding it so that no one knows, good at being alone and scared, frightened or overwhelmed by the thought of moving forward in my life. I know that I can do those things and perhaps that's exactly why I still find myself following this damn meal plan even on days like today when all I can seem to think about is how much better my entire life would be if I could just lose five pounds. Maybe it's the fact that I've never allowed myself to take the easy way out that keeps me pushing forward when there are moments when every fiber of my being is telling my that the answer to all my questions and all of my problems lies in those five pouunds. And what's to stop me now? I'm out of the program, I don't have someone that's weighing me two times a week to make sure that what I'm writing down on my meal plan is in fact what's actually happening. I could restrict all day long and be completely honest about it on my meal plan and no one would be any wiser. Would I feel better though? Maybe. Maybe momentarily. In the long run, probably not. Would losing five pounds really give me the answer to any of my questions or truly make any of my struggles somehow more manageable. Reastically, no. That doesn't mean that there isn't an incredibley persuasive and seemingly perfectly logical argument to back up the idea that losing those five pounds would make all of my dreams come true though. If I could lose five pounds, then I could finally accept the body that I'm in because then I would finally feel as though it were where it wants to be naturally. I'll agree that what I was doing five months ago was not natural and that it's silly to think that my body wants to be at the point that it was in terms of weight. But right now I swear to god that I feel as though I'm being punished by forcing myself to stay in the physical space that I find myself. It just doesn't seem like it should seem like such hard work to keep my body where it naturally wants to be. Then again, perhaps my definition of natural is slightly off and a little skewed and perhaps the things that I do on a daily basis in terms of exercise wouldn't necessarily fall under the category of natural either and I'm just reluctant to accept that doing one must inevitabley lead to doing the other when it comes to exercising and food intake. I can't seem to shake the thought that my body was able to do so much with so little for so long that giving it so much to do so much less at this point seems incredibley wrong and unnatural in the entirely opposite direction. What I was doing to myself was wrong, I can accept that, but what I'm currently doing to myself doesn't feel any more right; it feels just as wrong for a new set of reasons. Honestly, a big part of this whole argument that's been rattling back and forth in my head is that right now I feel like I'm at my binge weight. This is unsettling for a couple of reasons. First, my binge weight is associated with periods of time when I am doing absolutely nothing to take care of myself and living in what feels like a perpetual state of self-destruction, not riding, eating to excess every chance I get with no thought of the possible consequences for my actions and then compensating for it with a purge. So, to be where I'm at physically and be told that this is a healthy weight and that this is where my body wants to be just doesn't sit well with me because of all of the things that have been associated with this space in the past. Second, and this may or may not make any sense to those of you reading, but I'm at my freaking binge weight and I'm not getting to binge! It doesn't seem fair. Part of what made being in this space tolerable at any point before now was knowing that getting here involved glorious binges and periods of absolutely zero self control and all of the other highs and lows that go along with a binge. I could accept hating the way that I looked and all the discomfort that I felt with being in my own skin for a period of time if I knew that I was enjoying the hell out of myself in getting there and with the knowledge that once I finally reached the point of being fed up and disgusted with my body, the situation would be handled with a period of severe restriction and discipline which would then eventually begin a whole new cycle of bingeing. It's a pattern that I'm familiar with. It's comfortable and the idea that this is where my body wants to be and that this is permanent and the discomfort that I feel with myself is going to be permanent seems completely unnacceptable on days like today. It's such a discomforting thought that I get into a space where I all but convince myself that I can lose five pounds and be okay and don't allow myself to remember that all I've ever wanted to do was lose five pounds. That's it, simple and innocent, just a few pounds never hurt anyone. I was trying to lose five pounds and wound up weighing 70 pounds and knocking on death's door. And did I feel better about myself at that point. Yes, absolutely. I was completely confident in the way that I looked and felt completely comfortable in my body; but the funny thing is, the important thing is, that I also recognize that even at that point, the desire to lose five pounds was still alive and well. So, believing that I could simply lose five pounds, be satisfied and move on with my life is quite unrealistic given where I've taken such a desire in the past and given the fact that I know that although my comfort within my own skin might improve, my drive and desire to continue pushing myself to a different physical space would not disappear. If anything, that desire would become stronger, fueled by the fact that I allowed myself to listen to it and believe that somehow my appearance could somehow have an impact on my success as a human being. If I give it an inch, I know that it will take a mile. But then, that brings me back to the question of whether or not where I'm at right now is even right to begin with. Who's to say that this is the right place for my body and that a place five pounds lighter than I am now is wrong? Who gets to make that decision? I guess in a normal setting, the body would be able to find it's most comfortable space so long as I was eating when I was hungry and not eating when I was full but it seems that I find myself in the interesting position of being able to completely ignore any and all hunger signals on either end of the spectrum whenever I want, so then what? Then, you get a meal plan and then someone does indeed get to say that this is or isn't where my body wants to be because I have done a fine job of proving that I don't have the ability to allow my body to settle where it wants to be naturally. I need to be in control. I need to be in charge of where my body is and the idea that it will naturally settle is uncomfortable in and of itself. Right now though, I'd argue the hell out of the point that I'm not eating when I'm hungry and not when I'm full. I feel like I'm just constantly eating for the sake of eating and to satisfy this stupid meal plan. It would be one thing if I were under weight and making an effort to pack on the pounds and it would be another thing if I were in the mental space of wanting to say "fuck it" to all the rules and guidelines that I place on myself when it comes to diet and exercise and was setting out into the binge portion of the cycle and making a production about the weight that I was gaining. But, I don't feel like any of those things is true or happening. I feel like I'm overeating constantly simply so that I can maintain a weight which someone else feels is the correct one for me. Of course, I know that if it were truly left to me and I was really only eating when I felt hungry, the result would be somewhat disastrous because that's one of the issues. I don't feel hungry and I feel full quickly and associate the feeling of being full with doing something wrong and so I try to avoid it at all costs. So, I guess, given what I know about what I would do if I didn't have the meal plan and given what I know about the road to losing five pounds having no real final destination, perhaps doing what I'm doing is really the only thing to be doing...

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