It’s been a long weekend of reflection and panic, and anxiety. But I am awake on a Monday morning feeling a little lighter for letting out all the confusion.
It has me wondering, do any of us ever get to that place of peace and rest after experiencing disordered eating? Or is there always the risk of slipping back some distance and falling back into those old behaviour patterns?
One thing that is very clear is that I need exercise now. I need to be able to get out and exert all that bubbling energy, and feel my body getting tired. While I grumbled about walking for hours and hours, it obviously helped me in many ways mentally and physically. And not being able to get out and walk sent me into a spiral of panic, believing again I am incapable of looking after myself, unable to make good food choices, unable to be in control. Thank goodness for friends of old who have been there, who know how quickly food thinking can become disordered and all consuming. Thank goodness for those voices that say “You’re ok. You’re doing ok.” For those people who understand how quickly those of us with past food issues can quickly fall back in to the abyss of erratic irrational behaviour to try and beat our bodies into submission.
I was reading tweets from a well known diet show host this week, you’ll know the one if you have seen Fat Families on Sky, and I was getting really angry with his “help” for “fatties”. Advice such as this;
LEARN TO DESPISE FAT TODAY
1. Share with it your disgust.
2. Let it make you feel angry.
3. Inform it that it’s not welcome.
4. Look at it with a dismissive style.
5. Talk to fat feeding foods and let them know you are the boss.
6. Remind fat that you’re sacking it.
7. Imagine fat as the slime that you’re melting.
YOU HAVE THE POWER OVER FAT
ENJOY REGAINING YOUR CONTROL OF FAT
YOUR POWER OVER FAT IS BACK
For a while there I couldn’t put my finger on what I despise about it. On the surface it looks pretty harmless, but then to a person with an eating disorder it feels like one huge catalyst to feel absolutely useless. Does this man honestly think I want to be fat? Does he honestly think I haven’t spent many years grabbing parts of my body and told them I despise them and hate them and want them gone? “Let it make you feel angry”. Wow. Maybe I’m just not apathetic enough to be one of this man’s clients. Because I have spent a good chunk of my life angry, upset, hurt. Hating myself, trying to fix myself. “YOU HAVE THE POWER OVER FAT” really? So what happens when I’ve walked and walked and walked, and stuck to those non fat feeding foods, and the FAT is still hanging around? When it’s not disappearing as quickly as I want? Clearly then I’m not in control. I better do something else to get into control. Like purge. Because then I’m really in control aren’t I?
Obviously I do not mean that. Obviously I’m writing this because purging again was a great big signal that something is wrong. But Mr Steve Miller, the writer of the above quote (you can find him if you really want to, I’m not linking) is speaking to the masses who want the quick fix. And I wonder how much it actually interests him that his words are dynamite for a disordered eater. For the woman who has spent so many years trying to reach that magic number. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt angry enough to cross swords with this man. He made a very dismissive comment about intuitive eaters in the past. How intuitive eating is pandering to fat people who want to be told they’re ok. Which actually shows how limited his understanding of Intuitive Eating is. He’s against diets, apparently. But he’s absolutely fine with fat shaming. It’s ok to call fat people fat, otherwise it’s just pandering and letting them avoid the issues!
Maybe poor Steve is getting the brunt of my anger after my triggers have returned. Maybe he doesn’t deserve this. After all he was fat once “I lost four stone – I was fat, fat because I was lazy and ate too much rubbish.” Oh wait. No. Sorry. We’re talking from different places completely then aren’t we Mr Miller. Because you were lazy and ate too much rubbish. I’ve just completed a 26.2 mile moonwalk, after months and months of training. Certainly not lazy. And the food? Well ok, it’s not perfect. But I don’t eat chocolate or sweets, hardly every touch crisps, have had a mostly vegan diet for the last year…..too much rubbish, no, not I. Because I care about my body and am trying so hard to be healthy. But my body has gone through a lot with a life of disordered eating and maybe it just takes longer to lose the weight. And maybe, part of my journey is to accept this fat, as it is now. To accept this body, in total love. To thank it for all it has done.
One thing I have decided though, is that I will continue to fight against Fat Shaming. No one deserves to be belittled because of this man’s very narrow experience. One size does not fit all. And for all those people with eating issues, we deserve the positive messages that lift us up and bring us a feeling of peace.
And so I leave you with this, beautiful, powerful message