Sometimes I see a body, or I overhear a weight, or I listen to discussions about diets and exercise and the walls that I’ve built up around my ‘eating disorder voice’ crack. Thoughts start to dribble through into the safe space that I’ve created.
Then I’ll see the body I dreamed of having, walk past me in the gym and I’d ache with sadness.
I’ll overhear ‘goals weights’ and my insides squirm with the knowledge that I was so far off my own ‘goals’.
Those numbers are still there, etched into my mind. I won’t forget my own goal weight, the calorie content of the foods I love, I will struggle to shake the ‘ideal’ body image and the strict exercise regimes.
I will still, on occasion, see a petite frame glide past me and a brick will collapse away from my carefully constructed wall. Or I will hear a woman complain about her weight or her body not being small enough (granted, they may be struggling too). But seeing someone already so small and vocally disliking their size just reaffirms that where I am with my weight right now is worlds away from that goal I once had and another crack will appear.
The foundations that I’ve built are strong enough to withstand the wear and tear experienced in these situations but I still need to work at it and I still need to patch up those holes.
So for anyone who may be struggling, who may be comparing themselves to certain body types or appearances, this is for you. I won’t say stop, because I haven’t quite mastered that myself. But I will say, when you catch yourself sinking into that way of thinking, your body is feeling gross and you’re imagining all the ways in which you can change it, pause and give yourselves and gentle reminder:
Your body is exactly where it needs to be right now.
Those cravings that you give into do not mean that you are greedy or lacking self control. It means that you are listening to what your body needs.
The amount you weigh does not dictate your worth.
Your muscle percentage does not equate to how wonderful you are.
That extra bit of weight you have is exactly where it needs to be.
Your cellulite, your body hair, your jiggly bits are all perfect.
Challenge that voice that creeps up when you’re low,
when it tells you to restrict, eat!
When it tells you to burn calories, sit down, read a book, watch the telly, do something other than exercise.
When it tells you to cut out food groups, so the opposite.
If it tells you that bingeing will fill that void, plate up a normal sized portion.
Yes it’s uncomfortable, yes it feels alien. But it’s so much better than feeding into those destructive thoughts.
So take a moment, take a breath, remind yourself how far you’ve come and repair the cracks.