woman wearing red jacket

I Am More Than My Body

Trigger warning: eating disorders

My eating disorder is screaming. It says I am not good enough. Unworthy. If I put on weight, I am weak and pathetic. No willpower. My anorexia tells me to starve. That unless I have that strength, I am stupid. Anorexia tells me I am still too fat to be sick. And it’s all a lie. I don’t need help. And I want to be strong enough to fight back. But I completely believe what my anorexia tells me. I believe I am not sick enough, and need to have enough willpower to starve. I believe I am weak if I do eat. Not thin enough to actually be sick. I am torn with this belief that my anorexia is trying to help me and people telling me that anorexia is only hurting me. But I don’t feel like it’s hurting me. Not all of the time.

This is a small glimpse into the thoughts that go through my mind on the daily basis. Over time, I have been able to quiet that voice in my mind that screams at me and tells me I’m not allowed to eat. And when you comment, when you make a remark on my food intake, food portion, or body, that voice gets loud again once again. It gives the eating disorder voice a little extra power. It doesn’t take much for the eating disorder voice to be louder than me. It’s one comment and that’s it. My mind is focused on that one comment and whatever could it mean when you say “you don’t eat much” or “you don’t look like you eat.” These comments have only ever been harmful for me, because it pushes all my focus onto the fact my restriction is noticeable. It solicits this idea that my restriction and other eating disorder behaviours aren’t going unnoticed and it’s worthwhile. That it isn’t all for nothing. That feeling dizzy and nauseous is worth it if people are going to notice these things.

Reality tells me that it is not worth it. That restriction and compensation are not a way to live life. Reality shows me I’m missing out on doing other things because I can’t bear the possibility of someone commenting negatively on my body. But my eating disorder clouds reality most of the time.

So please, I beg you, do not comment on how much or how little I eat. Do not talk about food with me or weight or diets unless you are my psychologist or dietician. Please do not comment on my body. Maybe in years to come, these topics won’t be so triggering for me, but right now they are. Right now these topics push me a step back from choosing recovery rather than going towards it. And I don’t think it would take much for me to give up on even trying to recover. At least, not so early in the process. Right now, I only feel weak and unable. Right now, I’m focusing on not paying every ounce of attention I have onto food and weight and reminding myself my body and weight is not my worth.

So please, leave your comments to yourself. Talk to me about books or coffee or the ocean. Talk to me about art or animals, traveling or your job. Talk to me about your passions and what motivates you to live your life the way you do. But please remember, I am worth more than my weight or the shape of my body.

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