Not today, Satan - Day 9330 of anorexia recovery

Preface on the title: Last week, a friend of mine was wearing a unicorn t-shirt with the phrase "not today satan." It may or may not be my favorite shirt I've seen - even topping my UFO abducting Sasquatch t-shirt & my glow in the dark constellations shirt. Since seeing said shirt, I've caught myself jokingly saying "not today Satan" to any & everything that seems even the slightest bit appropriate. In case you want one of these glorious shirts - here's an Amazon link to make all your wildest dreams come true. Now back to the regularly scheduled programming. 

Something magical happens when you get sick of eating your own BS. 

We're talking the same level of magic that happens when some talented graphic designer decides to bless us with a unicorn t-shirt that says "not today Satan."

This morning I hit my limit with my own bs. Today marks 9330 days walking in recovery from anorexia. Today also marks the first day in that 9330 days where I didn't measure out my breakfast before eating. Not today Satan. 

I know this probably sounds pretty dang trivial to a lot of people, but coming from someone who admittedly travels with measuring spoons - this morning was no joke. I wish I could create "freedom goggles" that allowed you to experience the Oprah-worthy moment that was me cooking a meal without measuring the ingredients. I think this deserves one more ~not 2day Satan~ for the home team.

 My eating disorder history is far from a secret & I am even further from shy about talking about it - in the past tense. To be honest, talking about my past struggle with food feels more rehearsed than a 16-year-old's excuse about why curfew his or her curfew was missed.

There's an ugly truth I must have missed the memo on when I first started recovery almost 9 years ago. No matter how long I've been walking in recovery, some days are going to really suck. I'm going to fall, & those falls can get really messy. Some days I'm a complete jerk to my friends & family because I can't stop having a mental fist fight with a bite of a cookie I ate. Days still pop up where I crave going back to the gym even though I know that stepping foot into a cardio room at a gym is my equivalent of taking a recovering alcoholic to a liquor store. There are still days when everything feels out of my control, & I am tempted to steer the one thing I know I can have a grip on - eating. Sometimes that temptation manifests into actions. One last confession while I'm here - totes didn't give up my obsessive running habits that have led to all of my sports injuries over the last eight years until November 2017.

So yeah, it's been a rocky path with more than a few scraped knees on the way. 

My "testimony" was published in a magazine last year. I cannot count how many times I've wished I could have a do-over writing that article. I told myself I was watering down parts of it to not overwhelm the readers. I've pointed myself in the direction of the bs buffet several times as to why I failed to mention that my recovery has been far from a cakewalk. The truth is that I am ashamed to admit that this whole eating thing is still difficult for me at times. Until the last few months, I've been terrified of the thought of anyone knowing that this is still something I struggle with. Full disclosure - I've never admitted until right now that the reason  I haven't let anyone take photos of me until the past year is because I didn't start making peace with what I see in the mirror every morning until the past year. I've spent a lot of time telling people to love themselves & see their beauty, but somewhere down the line, I forgot to tell myself that.

Over the past few years, when it comes to my self-esteem, my mode of operation has been all work & no play. I've always tried to keep it in my head because I've been too afraid to let my heart chime in on how she's feeling about things. I guess this is me giving my heart the floor for once. Fear of rejection has driven me to keep parts of myself hidden for as long as I can remember. Fear has gardened my secrets so well that sometimes my heart feels like the set from Jumanji. (Yes that was my attempt at a joke.. because funny makes heavy a little less awkward.) 

Two of the biggest lies I've clung to out of fear over the years are that 1. If I am fully myself, I'm going to end up alone & 2. The only way to stay safe is to put on a mask because people can't hurt you if they don't know where your armor is weak. I've put a lot of pressure on myself to act like I don't struggle with body image issues & occasional unhealthy thoughts about food because I'm afraid of how people might respond if they knew otherwise. 

At the end of the day vulnerability still scares me because with vulnerability comes risk. However, at the ripe old age of 25, my tolerance for my own bs is gone because no matter how scary the thought of rejection is, the risks that come with pretending to be someone I'm not are even scarier. The biggest irony as I sit down to write this is the freedom that comes from bringing a secret into the light & watching it lose its power of me. Funny how that works, isn't it? Not. Today. Satan.

This is day 9330 of walking in recovery from anorexia. Today I ate three meals without measuring a single ingredient. I'm calling it a win. 

I hope you have a blessed night, friends. Remember to love yourself today. It's worth it. Pinky promise. (I might start sticking a reminder in my phone.)

- kate



Kathleen A Dearman1 Comment