7 (Real) Truths About Eating Disorder Recovery

7 (Real) Truths About Eating Disorder Recovery:

(Because there ain’t no sense lying about it)

recoveryis

1.) Pant Suit Is The New Black?:

Your style changes. Maybe not drastically- but it will.

Roll with it.

Go through phases; experiment.

I spent 8 years in over-sized t-shirts and sweatpants. I was like a walking groupie for Iggy Azalea.

Concert t-shirts, college sweatshirts, fraternity function v-necks-

And the sweatpants. Oh, the pants. Victoria Secret black sweatpants that dragged at the feet. Seen here:

all black again

And here (CRINGE):

Spring Break
Spring Break 2010

I loved those thigh-hiding safety nets. I wore them everywhere. Throw on a pair of Sheepskin Boots and at any given point, heat or snow, I had only 10 fingers visible on my whole body.

Hideous in retrospect. I don’t quite know what I was trying to ”pull off” other than I can remember thinking:

“Oh, you’re just chill- yo. You’re mad chill and you just don’t like dressing up.”

Truthfully, I don’t like dressing up. It doesn’t come naturally for me, but those sweatpants were not an attempt to prove my ”chill” factor, and my style has been a constant source of evolution the past year and a half.

Even when I first exited rehab, I wore leggings and big t-shirts everywhere.

“Hey,” I thought to myself. “At least I’m wearing form-fitting tights.”

That too, has since changed. My career, I imagine, has played a part; New York/Colorado as well.

But so has just simply rolling with the current of recovery.

I’m still figuring out what I like; what feels flattering to my body. My friends joke, but I feel like at 26 I’m a pubescent teen in terms of figuring out what my “style” actually is.

It often depends on the stage of recovery I’m in that day.

This summer, I’m attempting to wear shorts again and it’s a struggle. I’ve got cut-off, ratty denim shorts, black linen Gap shorts, knee-length cargo shorts- the options are endless and I still can’t decide.

I haven’t worn shorts since my anorexia days so I’m feeling around blindly in the dark.

On another hand, I banned dresses at the end of last year in an attempt to “define” my style, but as the days reach 90-degrees I’m finding that all I yearn for a bit of a breeze on the thighs.

Even in gym clothes – I no longer wear baggy t-shirts to work out in, but still sometimes find myself running in leggings when the weather calls for shorts.

One day, I’ll wear a bikini and rock my version of a ”screw it” attitude – but other days, I’ll feel more self-conscious and wear black-on-black-on-black.

It’s fluid- just as recovery is fluid- and I’m realizing no clothing is “off limits” as I once believed, which has opened up doors and windows.

Your waist isn’t too short, your legs aren’t too chubby, your arms aren’t too skinny. Your chest isn’t too flat.

And, hey, if pant suits are what you enjoy, then rock ’em-

2.) Battlefield Wounds:

Consequences are consequences.

And straight up, my feet are foul.

feet
My thighs/feet featured as part of the #thighreading Twitter campaign by @princess_labia

Running ruined my feet. Not just because I’ve never been a fan of spending money on pedicures, but because I didn’t tend to them in the prime of my exercise addiction.

So wrapped up in clocking miles and burning calories, I ignored the hang nails, and the blood blisters. I scoffed at the calluses and the ingrown nail.

“The price you pay,” I reasoned.

Binge-eating, Bulimia, Anorexia – those choices affect your body outward and inward. Fluctuating weight over the years has left stretch-marks on my thighs (as seen above).

There are great social media campaigns going on right now over stretch-marks and thighs. #ThighReading on Twitter. Check it out; it’s comforting (and you can see my blistery little feet)

As I continue on this journey of self-love, I’m realizing even the nail beds of your feet are yours to protect.

I used to run on stress fractures and shin splints. At some point, I was told I had bones of a 70-year old.

What’s beautiful, however, is that often your body is resilient, and wants to fight for you.

I ran last night in Central Park and at some point it dawned on me how strong I felt- gliding up and down the path.

Nothing hurt- and as T-Swift “Bad Blood” kept me revved up,  I ran 3 miles appreciating what it feels like to be healthy.

Accept that you’ve put your body through hell- in whatever way ”hell” is to you- and be gentle in the recovery of it.

Continue reading “7 (Real) Truths About Eating Disorder Recovery”

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Rehab Truth: The 20-Year Break Up

2nd grade

The first time we fought, I tell people we were in the 2nd grade.

Truth is, it might have been 3rd, but neither of us remember anymore so at some point we resigned ourselves to this story.

End of the day– walking out of class- you snuck up behind me and pulled on the tail of my backpack.

Your bag isn’t cool, you said, brushing past me.

It’s Lion King, I said– making a face.

No one wears those. You pointed at your back. We wear Jansport.

I don’t like Jansport, I said.

Then you’re not very cool, you said.

What follows next is hazy -we’d admit- but after telling the story for 20 years we’ve agreed that you were likely being obnoxious and at some point I turned, fist clenched, and socked you in the face.

“SHUT UP,” I yelled, bearing down on your cheek.

You grinned in response.

I glared.

Perhaps, I should have known then.

Continue reading “Rehab Truth: The 20-Year Break Up”

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The Eating Disorder No One Talks About

I’ve been trying to write this post for months but the truth is I detest writing about binge eating.

Anorexia? Bulimia? Drunkorexia? Sure thing. I’ll write about that till the cows come home ’cause a year and a half into recovery doesn’t change the surge of pride I still feel when I write about the lost days of thin.

Perhaps I’ll always have a twisted sense of validation when I write about the ”success” of anorexia. It’s like the boys baseball coach who’s still talking about his “1976 glory days” even though they’re long gone.

I worked hard at being thin; I spent hours feeling the bones in my shoulder as some sort of ritualistic celebration- so subconsciously I still have a tendency to talk about it with the same kind of nostalgia that Hemingway wrote about the Parisian Jazz Era.

As shameful as it “should be” to admit that I stuck my fingers down my throat, it’s actually far more vulnerable to publicly acknowledge the aspects of my eating disorder where I felt the opposite. Sure, I’ve made quips here and there. I’ve joked about binge-eating gallons of ice cream, but I’ve never talked about it in a way that mirrors honesty because it’s embarrassing to me.

And frankly, binge eating is not attractive… so we rarely talk about it. Face it: our culture LOVES looking at anorexics like they’re Madame Medusas with snakes for limbs.

medusa
Medusa- for reference

Continue reading “The Eating Disorder No One Talks About”