If December is the most wonderful time of the year, then perhaps… for those who are suffering from/recovering from eating disorders, January becomes the worst! I may be being a little negative, but as the festive season comes to comes to an end it feels like the world is consumed with incessant pressure to diet. Of course, January is traditionally the time for a new you, new life, new personality… you name it, apparently it needs to be changed. I’m feeling somewhat fed up of seeing a multitude of instructions to sign up to the latest diet program, take diet pills, cut out, restrict, fix and yet I feel frustrated that I have to try and ignore it all.
I am in recovery. It’s a slightly confusing, muddly journey… but I’m hoping that my general trajectory is in the right direction, towards the life I wish to lead. A life that is free from the controls and constraints on my being. It’s not new news that I’m battling my eating disorder; I completed an inpatient program, am back to work and Uni and living independently. I am a healthy weight and have been now for a number of months. I eat normally a lot of the time. But it doesn’t mean the struggles aren’t still there and unfortunately this time of year is quite a tricky one.
After the indulgence of Christmas, there’s bound to be discussions of shifting the Christmas weight and detoxing after the merriment of the festive season. I understand that it’s impossible to avoid anything that might be triggering and that I must learn to manage those times when my eating disordered beliefs are activated… but it would be nice if the media around me wasn’t quite so reflective of some of the unhelpful beliefs that my illness clings on to. Perhaps we could think about other ways to start the new year afresh that don’t need to revolve around food, weightloss and unrealistic goals! I have a feeling I have a little more worth than the number on the scales.
It would be really helpful to avoid the topic of dieting. I’m fairly well read in all sorts of weightloss and have probably tried a majority of the different ideas that are being shared at the moment. I don’t mind if you decide to take part in them, but it’s really hard to listen to the type of talk that comes with these kind of topics… such as bodyshaming of any kind and the strong links to being a better person if you’re losing weight. As I am recovering, it’s quite important for me to try and let my body find it’s set point weight, without trying to influence it using my eating disorder. At times it feels like a scary and impossible task, but it’s something I’m trying hard to do! So for that reason I won’t be partaking in this type of talk… I will be popping on my blinkers and trying to keep my eyes on the prize that I’m heading for… the chance to live the recovered life I deserve. So perhaps we could all think about ways of loving the ‘you you’ve got’ rather than trying to find a new one this new year!