I know it has been awhile since I have updated this blog and I apologize – I was needing to take some time off; however, in hindsight I realize that it is very likely I was taking time off from the very things that could be the most help to what I am going through right now.
Basically, my eating has sort of gone a bit ‘out of control’.
Now, I realize that the nature of this blog is mostly ‘tips’ and encouragement related to Intuitive Eating, and I don’t often share the ramblings of my struggles with food; however, I want to be real and honest, and pretending like everything is or has been OK as of late would be fake. And being a fake is the one thing I try my hardest to avoid.
I think this plays a major role in why I haven’t written lately – on the one hand I knew I couldn’t ‘pretend’ everything was OK and like I still was living the ‘intuitive lifestyle’ and yet on the other hand I was afraid of admitting that I was struggling.
I think mostly I was afraid that by admitting that food has become an issue again I would possibly lose your respect or support or you would wonder why you would bother continuing to follow posts by someone claiming to be an ‘Intuitive Eating Advocate’ who still struggles with compulsive eating.
But I also realized that sometimes the most encouraging thing for me personally is to hear someone else admit that they are not perfect, and that they still deal with the things i deal with. And that’s why I wanted to open up and be honest and post this ‘note’.
So in short:
As many of you know, I struggled with an Eating Disorder (namely: anorexia turned bulimia) and though I have for the most part overcome my ED behaviours (I haven’t purged in over a year – yay! and I no longer go for days restricting) I haven’t fully recovered yet. Food is still an issue for me.
I had a good 3+ months where I felt I’d fully gotten the ‘hang’ of Intuitive Eating and food really wasn’t a problem and during this time I felt energized, healthy, and ALIVE. However, this semester has proven to be a very challenging one emotionally and I have experienced a sort of ‘relapse’ not into a full-out anorexia/bulimia relapse, but more of a ‘Disordered Eating’ relapse.
In a nutshell, I have been eating compulsively, I’ve had days where I’ve restricted in the morning/afternoon then overeaten at night. And I have had my occasional binge (though they haven’t been as severe as in my Bulimia days – again, this is progress!).
On the one hand I am proud of myself because I haven’t resorted back to my E.D. behaviours – meaning I haven’t purged once throughout all of this (which is AMAZING!) and I haven’t restricted or overexercised to compensate for my overeating. And I do give myself credit for this (because any progress is always deserving of credit). However, I realize that though these are amazing achievements, I still need to address the thing that I am not doing so great at – and that’s my disordered eating.
Today was Easter – and I ate compulsively all day (as I have for the past 2+ days). But beyond just this holiday weekend, over the past 2+ months my eating has been up and down and overall this has resulted in me feeling lethargic, unmotivated, depressed, moody, guilty, and angry. In addition, I’ve had to go back on medication for my stomach acid (which up until now I’d been managing naturally through intuitive eating and Apple Cider Vinegar pills) and my body image issues have returned.
All of these things can easily be combined into one umbrella problem:I am not livingfully.
Food is once again getting in the way of me living a full, healthy, happy life. And this is NOT OK, and I do not want to continue down this road; firstly, because I realize it does pose a threat of me returning to my ED, but secondly, because I don’t want to feel like this anymore! It’s not good enough.
One of my favourite songs (by Switchfoot) says: “I wanna thrive, not just survive” – and right now I am definitely not thriving – Instead I am simply ‘surviving’ because I am staying away from full-out E.D. behaviours and yet I am giving in to Disordered Eating.
As I mentioned before, I went through a good 3+ months where my relationship with food was better than I’d ever imagined – and I felt great! And I understand that nobody is perfect and that it is OK for me to have ‘slipped back’ into bad patterns, but what is not OK is for me to stay stuck in these bad patterns. I consider those three months as a time when I got to ‘taste’ the freedom that comes with living Intuitively, and now that is my target, that is where my aim is set.
And I am here to say that I will stop at nothing until I get there again. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can get there andI will.
And, no, I am not expecting perfection of myself. Intuitive Eating is not about perfection – but it is about commitment and a desire to do the best that you can. And it’s about taking back control rather than giving in.
And so in closing, I just want you guys to know that if you are experiencing a ‘set back’ in your Intuitive Eating journey or if you are going through a relapse or if you are just starting out on the road and it is feeling a bit daunting -you are not alone.And I also want you to know that I am not perfect and that Intuitive Eating isn’t about being perfect, so don’t expect that of yourself. Just do the best that you can.
But I can tell you this: living a life where food is no longer an issueis possible- I know this because I was there, I tasted it, I felt it. And it feels amazing!
So don’t give up! Keep going. And if you’ve fallen ‘off track’ as I have, I encourage you to get back up with me and keep moving forward. We are all in this together.
And in the same way that I am here to support all of you, I am asking for your support as well – becauseno one,not even us ‘bloggers’, can do it alone.
I hope you will continue to walk with me on this journey. And I will be updating you each step of the way with the things I learn and experience as I commit once again to moving forward towards a balanced, healthy life, free from ED, Disordered Eating, and everything in between.
– Lauren B.