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learning to trust my body

It’s time I had a lil faith in my own body.

Ed’s done everything to destroy that faith for me, for as long as I can remember.  He told me I was different, I couldn’t eat like other people.  Sure, their bodies could have all the treats and desserts that they wanted, but mine couldn’t handle it.  Obviously any trace of fat I ate would cling to my body; any extra calories meant inevitable weight gain.  It didn’t matter that I saw everyone around me eating as they pleased without consequence, I was convinced that it didn’t work like that for me.  That theory took root in my mind, and stayed there, making me obsess over everything I ate and its impact on my body.  I could never trust my body to do its own thing; I had to control everything.

As a rational person, especially with everything I’ve learned in therapy, I know that’s not true.  In fact, since changing some of my eating habits and trying to add to my diet, my dietitian has told me multiple times that my metabolism is crazy-high.  My body currently needs even more than the average person, just to maintain the weight I’m at.  So there’s really no reason to worry that eating a cupcake will make me gain five pounds overnight.  But Ed’s still in the back of my mind, telling me that’s the truth, and it’s hard to ignore him and think rationally sometimes.

Yesterday, I decided to challenge that whole theory, and challenge myself, with a cupcake.

I know, it sounds silly to consider a cupcake a “challenge”, but that’s just how ridiculous eating disorders are.  Not too long ago I wouldn’t dare treat myself and eat a cupcake; a year ago I wouldn’t even have a lick of icing.  So while the idea of going out for coffee and cupcakes with my dad sounded like a lovely way to spend the afternoon, it also had the potential to cause a whole lot of anxiety.

The chosen cupcake?  Yummy chocolate, with marshmallowy goo in the centre, and a perfect pink flower made of icing on top.  And completely unknown calories/fat/blah blah blah – I didn’t even let myself start the pointless guessing and estimating I normally would have done.

I surprised myself – no stressing, before, during, or after!  I enjoyed a delicious cupcake, spent some quality time with my dad, and had an overall lovely afternoon.

And today, my body surprised me!  I woke up, and *surprise!*, I hadn’t become a human blob overnight.  I looked the same, felt the same, fit into my jeans the same as I did yesterday morning.  I resisted the urge to weigh myself, but I’m willing to bet that wouldn’t have shown any cupcake evidence either.

Proof: it’s definitely not as risky as I believed to treat myself once in a while.

I think this was an important lesson to teach myself.  I don’t have to be afraid of food.  My body knows exactly what to do with it, just like anyone else’s.  I’m allowed to have all the yummies I’ve denied myself, and nothing bad is going to happen because of it.  Yes, I know I still have weight to gain, and I’ve accepted and embraced that, but it won’t happen all at once like Ed threatens it will.  Pushing that belief aside, even if it’s a little bit at a time, is hugely important in my recovery.  This was one more recovery challenge I’ve succeeded in, one more point for me in the war against Ed.

Every day of fighting for recovery isn’t great, but some days sure are sweet (as a cupcake)!

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