I hear that quote thrown around a lot, meaninglessly, without actually stopping to think about its relevance let alone how god damn true it is.
Today really is the first day of the rest of my life. I woke up this morning feeling incredibly motivated, I thought how much I have accomplished over the past year since I started my recovery from my eating disorder, and also what I have accomplished in my life in general so far. I have broken in a dangerous horse who is now safe to ride and have had the courage to pass him on to someone who has more time to care for him that I do. I have survived another horrible divorce in my family and managed to come out the other side stronger than before. I am battling the demons in my head and surely winning. I am becoming more confident in my body and mind, so much that I plucked up the courage to ignore my social anxiety and get myself a job. A job I love and am working with amazing people and earning a lot of money. I have a car and am sure to pass my test in a few weeks. I am doing well in school and have admitted to myself that although I may not have done aswell as I’d have liked in my final Geography exam, I can retake it next year. I have goals and aims for the future and I’m not looking back.
So what else can I do? Work on improving myself. Now I’m an advocate for self love and that’s something I’m definitely learning to do at the moment, but in order to achieve this I have to overcome one final demon in my life. Calorie counting.
At the start of recovery I found this a very successful tool in helping me gain weight, my views of a healthy portion were so distorted that I honestly couldn’t actually tell what was a healthy amount. But now I’m a year into it and 4 pounds off my goal weight, I have realised what happens when I’m classed as “healthy”? They’ll discharge me, they’ll forget about me, and I’ll keep going as usual. Calorie counting for the rest of my life. Do I want to grow old with pointless numbers rattling around my head, half of which are not accurate anyway? And what do they actually matter? If I go over my goal one day will I gain weight, or if I go under my goal one day will I lose it? Maybe, but it will even out, because our bodies are smarter than we give them credit- they know exactly where the next calorie will go and what it will do.
So yeah, if you’re starting recovery and are concerned for your health then go ahead, but it will become an obsession. For me and many others I’m sure, you no longer focus on the food you’re eating but the calories that are going in. The food on you’re plate loses its taste as you only see the digits you consume. Unexpected meals or snacks out with friends and family become a nightmare for fear that you’ll go over your limit. You ignore your hunger cues and find your self eating a high calorie snack that you don’t necessarily enjoy after a low calorie but filling meal that was not satisfying in the slightest just to get to your goal.
I sat here this morning, pondering this and finally admitted to myself that I am obsessed with counting calories in a last minute attempt for my anorexia to gain some control over my diet. If I continue with this until I’m weight restored- I will never be free.Yes, I have a problem, so I have decided that today is the first day of the rest of my life. Today I choose to count absolutely no calories, do a light workout and see how I feel. I got up, exhilarated at the thought of being free at last and for the first time in 3 years, poured myself a bowl of
crunchy nut and chopped up a banana and sloshed on a healthy serving of milk. Was it scary? Of course! It took me 2 minutes to prepare, compared to how long it would have taken to measure and weigh everything and work it out on my calculator. I was able to sit in bed and enjoy what I was eating and surprisingly enough, there had been no anxiety or guilt as of yet. The only feeling I’m experiencing right now is pride. I am ready for this, I want this vile bitch out of my life for ever. I am ready to let go and I think that’s something I only half wanted before.
My advice for anyone struggling with letting go? Don’t stop unless you are 100% sure you want it out of your life. I’ll be honest- if you only half want it (like anything else in life) you won’t do it properly, and you’ll more than likely go backwards. So make sure you want it, you’re doing it for you not to make other people happy, and go for it, even if you’re scared. I promise the power you’ll feel from regaining control will outweigh the fear. Go for it. Be free.