Trigger and content warning:**** after much wrestling with my feelings about posting something that would be hateful and negative and after asking about it here, I’ve decided to write a post centered around my current struggles with trying not to return to my eating disorder. It seemed that a detailed trigger warning was the way to go, so if you decide to read this post anyway, you go into it knowing it’s not nice. Eating disorders can cause some really negative, ugly thoughts that aren’t indicative of how the individual really feels when they’re not sick. I’m going to talk about these ugly thoughts in an honest way and I don’t want any of my readers who struggle with their weight, whether they are overweight or underweight or whatever, to feel like this is aimed at them because it is not. What I’m talking about is where my head goes when old behaviors try to swallow me up. I also think it’s good to get these things out in the open because it could be helpful and it’s what happens even if it’s not nice. If you feel like reading this would cause you too much pain then don’t read it. It’s fine with me if you don’t. If you do read it then just know that it’s not the real me, it’s the disordered eating me who feels like this. Also, if you’re expecting a positive spin or some nice ending you would be wrong. ****trigger warning ended.
It seems like hate is coloring everything I see these days and that hate is coming from me. I’m hating life and I’m sick of waking up everyday and being swallowed up by more hatred.
I tried to be healthy. I did. I’ve been eating normally since February 2013 and I’ve gained so much weight that I feel like an alien. I walk around everyday in a body that is not mine and it feels wrong so I feel wrong. This goes beyond just being disappointed in being overweight. Maybe I should have consulted a physician before I started eating a normal amount of calories but no one told me to do that. There is no information out there on what the hell I should have been expecting when I started eating again. There’s no timeline saying ‘if you were anorexic this long you can expect it to take at least this long to get your metabolism back on track’. There’s no help here. I’m just sinking.
And my therapist who is supposed to be an “expert” in eating disorders is pissing me off with her incessant speeches telling me not to count calories, just ‘listen to your body’, “eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full”. That is bulls%$*. I’ve been doing that and I’m a whale. Hell, I’ve been vegetarian much of the time and it makes no difference. I’ve done cardio 3-5 times a week and it does nothing! And no this is not my body settling into it’s natural weight! I know what my healthy weight is and I remember how it felt to be lighter and skinnier. I had an eating disorder but I was a hell of lot happier in some ways.
I don’t look as overweight as I am because my height hides it but I know what I look like in the mirror and it disgusts me.
When you have an eating disorder, and I don’t know if it’s the same if the disorder is binge-based or about compulsive eating, but when you have an eating disorder centered around excessive calorie restriction and over-exercising…fat makes you sick and fat people make you sick.
When I first gained weight because of being on medication it gave me an empathy for overweight people that I thought made me more understanding and accepting of others. I thought that I had learned a good lesson. I found out that people can be overweight because of reasons outside of their control like illness or prescription side effects. It was something I hadn’t thought about when I was skinny. I didn’t judge people based on their looks.
Recently I was watching a tv show and there was a character on the show who was fat, and I’m saying fat because it shows the change in my thinking. When she was onscreen all I could see was how fat she was, how many chins she had, how round her face was. It made me sick. I hated her…I mean I really hated her. I started wishing that they would kill her off on the show (it didn’t help that her character wasn’t exactly likeable but my reaction wasn’t really based on that). Well, I got my wish and her character was killed. I was glad because I didn’t have to look at her anymore. In fact I played the scene again just to see her die again. Something was wrong with me but i wasn’t in touch with it at the time.
The ferocity of my hatred took me by surprise. I actually stopped and I asked myself what in the hell was going on? I couldn’t tell yet. It got worse because every time I saw an overweight person, I felt hatred and disgust with them for being lazy and greedy. I didn’t want to see them walking around where I had to look at them. So much hate.
I started pushing myself to exercise more and I was still tracking all my calories. I think that things actually got worse when I saw a dietician in December. She wanted me to try a 1200 calorie diet and she suggested exercising at least 5 days a week. Don’t get me wrong…she said that if I got hungry on 1200 calories that we needed to change it immediately because she would not have me going around hungry. But there’s no way in hell that I can exercise 5 days a week! I have other chronic health problems that make that impossible. Still I tried. I exercised the days that I could and I pushed until I was shaking. But there was more hate.
I would wake up in the morning and weigh myself. Hate. Because no matter what I did the scale would go up, then down and give me hope and then go right back up. Hate.
I was eating organic, healthy food…being vegetarian at least 80% of the time and when I ate meat it was only very lean turkey or chicken or fish. Hate. Because it was never good enough. Or maybe one day I would be bad and eat potato chips or a something else that I shouldn’t have and then…hate. I hated myself for being weak…for giving in…for being fat…Hate.
It was around this time that I realized that the hatred that I had been feeling towards the overweight or obese was actually about me. I hated myself. I hated myself so much that it couldn’t be contained inside me. It had to be directed outwards, so I directed it towards people who represented what I see as a severe failure on my part. I’m overweight so I hate people who are overweight. I disgust myself so they disgust me. I wish they were dead and sometimes I feel that way too.
I know I’m using past tense but this is still a current problem. I’m just more in touch with the source now.
I talked to my therapist because I’ve been tempted to restrict my eating again. I keep thinking that I can just do it for a little while and then stop. But then I wonder if I could stop and wouldn’t I just be back here again with my body broken from unhealthy habits?
Last month I took a bunch of screenshots on my cell phone of thinspiration so I could look at them as motivation. Yesterday I spent about half an hour or so making a screensaver for my computer that is made up of thinspiration of skinny women and sayings about being fat. It’s not good.
My therapist said that the first step to losing weight is to stop hating my body. We argued about that for the rest of my session because I thought she was crazy. I tried to tell her that it’s easy for her to say since she’s skinny. She just doesn’t know what I’m feeling. She did help me to see that I was being really hateful to myself and hard on myself but that hasn’t really helped.
I tried to “relax” and stop trying so hard for about a week and all I did was get fat and it did nothing. I don’t care that I don’t look fat. I care about how I feel. I feel sluggish and ugly and awful and I hate the sight of myself in the mirror. At the same time I just want to be a healthy weight. I want to be healthy. I tried to avoid all the health problems that run in my family by being healthy in what I eat and being more active than my relatives have been but no matter what I eat or how healthy it is, the scale won’t budge.
The worst days are when I lose a pound or two and I feel that most awful of emotions: Hope. I feel hope and I think that maybe, just maybe things have started to change. Then I keep eating well and exercising and I gain those pounds right back. And I die a little inside every single day that this goes on.