This is always really hard for me to talk so publicly about, I’ve honestly had the hardest time pressing the post button, but I think that it can help shed light on just how worth recovery is fighting for. There is happiness, there is joy, there is so much more to life without Ed.
When I was living life with “Ed” (what I call my eating disorder) my life was consumed by calories. I was imprisoned by counting calories, carbs, and sugars each and every day. As long as I knew exactly how many calories I was consuming and could track it on my fitness app, I was in control. Or so I thought.
If I didn’t know how many calories were in something, I couldn’t eat it. If I did, I would measure everything to a T and add it up on my app. Even if I measured everything right down to a half a teaspoon, my mind would be running wild with an uncontrollable anxiety tearing myself apart. What if I ate more calories than I thought? How will I know? I would go around and around in my head all day, angry, anxious, upset, and completely consumed with Ed.
See this smoothie bowl? Looks healthy, right? The thing is, healthy was never enough for me. I would have never been able to eat this because I would drive myself crazy tearing myself apart because I wouldn’t know how many calories were in it.
Life without Ed: I made this bowl without measuring, without counting, without obsessing, and I enjoyed the burst of energy I felt after nourishing my body. I threw it together and didn’t even think twice about it.
Living with Ed, I would never be able to just throw something together and take comfort in the fact that it is healthy and nutritious. Ed is insatiable and relentless. It never rests, and it will never let your mind rest. As crazy as it sounds, I would have never in a million years dreamed of eating something like this because I would have lost control. I had to know exactly what I was eating, I had to calculate, I had to restrict, I had to measure. I don’t know where these rules came from, but I followed them like the law. I had to.
By doing all of those things, by measuring, by calculating, I thought I was in control, but I wasn’t. I was so beyond out of control. I was at the mercy of Ed’s commands and rules that defined every minute of every day. I can’t explain what it’s like to be free. Others may look at these pictures and see a healthy smoothie bowl (it is) but if I was still living life with Ed, I would never let myself enjoy this healthy meal. Ever. I had my comfort foods that I knew the exact amount of calories were in each one, and that was it. Now, I don’t count, I don’t measure, and more importantly, I don’t tear myself apart wondering how many calories I consumed. I am free.
I don’t know how many calories are in any of the meals pictured. I didn’t measure a single thing while preparing any of the food, and I never tore myself apart falling to Ed’s insatiable demands. I am not a prisoner to Ed anymore. I have peace of mind. I have happiness.
I am free.
If you, or anyone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to talk about it and help you in any way that I can.