If you’re part of the mindfoodly Instagram family you probably know that last weekend I had an appointment and weigh in with my dietitian. The couple of weeks leading up to the appointment were really draining. I knew I would find out how much weight I had put on since my last visit. It was really playing on my mind and causing me a lot of anxiety.
Thankfully, the appointment went well and my dietitian was happy with how I was progressing with eating. In fact, I put on the most amount of weight between sessions that I ever had, so everyone (my dietitian, Matt, mum and dad) was really excited.
Everyone except the ED of course.
As soon as I heard how much weight I had put on the ED immediately piped up saying, “Well that’s it; you’ve got to slow down with your recovery!” (The opposite of what the dietitian said, of course. She explained that I still had a ways to go, and need to continue to increase the amount and variety of food I’m eating and begin to look at reducing my reliance on exercise.)
After the drive home and an hour or so to digest all the information (I always need this quiet time after an appointment) Matt and I started to talk about the session. I told him I’m scared because there are still many eating goals I want to accomplish but I’m already putting on weight. I explained my fear that if I continue ‘letting go’ I’ll pass my healthy weight range and end up overweight.
After a quick prayer, I realised that I was at a fork in the road. I had come to a point in my recovery journey where I needed to make a choice. Heading backwards was not an option, but I had to choose between stalling (and remaining in this state: underweight and in submission to the eating disorder) and moving forward (continuing to let go, eat and learn how to listen to my body).
Even though I knew I needed to make a choice and talking to Matt about it I still couldn’t choose which way I wanted to go. Recognising the monumental, life-altering decision I was about to make the ED put on its loudest, most persuasive voice. Then Matt said something that cut straight through the noise. He told me to think about my future. To think about one day raising a daughter of my own, and consider the kind of example I want to be; how I would show her what it means to live a healthy, free life.
For the first time since developing an eating disorder I caught a glimpse of what the past years must have been like for my loved ones, watching me make choices every day that were negatively affecting my body, relationships and health. Watching the ED take away the wife, daughter, sister and friend they knew.
I broke down. Tears streamed down my face as I imagined having a daughter and watching her go through what I have, continuing to choose the ED over life while the people who love her watch on helplessly.
I knew I had to act. I felt so terrible for what I had done to my loved ones and knew the choice I had to make. Even if I wasn’t totally sure I wanted to keep fighting the ED, I knew I wanted to do it for them.
For the rest of the morning Matt and I created my ‘fear list’, which includes foods I’m scared of, exercise habits that are dangerous and many other rules the ED is still enforcing.
My list includes 17 items that I’ve committed to conquering before my next dietitian appointment. I haven’t included my list in the blog because I don’t want it to be a trigger for anyone else—everyone has their own fears and they are no better or worse than anyone else’s. We will post about ticking off the list on Instagram so keep an eye out.
To end this post, I really want to apologise to my loved ones for all I’ve put them through over the past few years.
To my brothers: I’m sorry I took all our parents’ attention and focus.
To mum and dad: I’m sorry that I caused you so much heart ache and worry that I turned your lives upside down and ruined so many special occasions.
To Matt: I’m sorry that I took away the focus of our wedding, the start of our married life and that I took over your life with all my health concerns.
I promise you all that I won’t go backwards, I’ll continue to let go and move forward because you’ve all put in too much effort and I’ve come too far to throw it away now.
Here’s a little gallery of some of the goals I’ve already started to tick off. For more check out our Instagram.