So even this happy chica has her days of feeling that nothing is right with her body, that all of this good eating and good food have put unpleasant pounds right where she doesn't want them -- in short, today I am experiencing a rebellion against all that it means to be well fed and to be a rounder person than I was at the same time last year.
It is harder, in some ways, to gain weight in recovery and know that I will not do anything intentional to take it off, than to let myself go down that old path of restriction and exercise -- I am done with that. And still -- and still. It dies hard.
I am in the middle of my finals for the semester; I have been battling a sore throat for nearly a week; and the weather has turned lousy here in New York. So I know that it is not just my extra weight that is making me feel down, and I have tried to stay positive in the midst of it all, even though I don't like optimistic jingles and Pollyanna tunes. I have tried to will my mind's attention away from my weight, to replace those punishing thoughts with messages of love and comfort -- but I feel, tonight, as if I had reached my limit with that particular ruse. The mind-game just isn't working right now, and I am not sure what to do if I can't make it work again.
Every day I tell myself that weight doesn't matter, that the person I really am inside will stay the same regardless of my pant size. But that feels like a lie, because it still is important to me -- and there's the rub. On the one hand, I ask myself, What kind of woman are you that you value your looks above your heart and your brain? What kind of feminist do you call yourself? while another part of me asks How can you stand to look this way? What if you gain more weight? What then? What then?
Today, more than most days, it is hard to reconcile the two voices, both of which have nothing pleasant to say to me. Nagging, relentless harpies, stuck round and round in my head. This is what it means to revisit the eating disorder, for an evening. And because this is such an unpleasant reminder of what things used to be like for me, I am quite ready to call it a night, crawl into bed, and wait for another day to look better than this one.
And, maybe tomorrow, there will even be a recipe to coax me out of my glum, to remind me that food can nourish me even as I am uncertain about how to nurture myself. At the very least, I can put my faith into the simple act of cutting a carrot -- only that much. The rest will follow.