Did you know, around 1.6 million people in the UK suffer from some form of eating disorder. You might be shocked by that figure. In my opinion? It’s a gross underestimation of a very dark under layer of the expected ‘balanced, healthy lifestyle’ that is thrown in our faces at every twist and turn.
If you scroll through Instagram, it won’t take you very long to come across hundreds if not thousands of accounts that have worrying undertones of disordered thoughts. Whether that be towards eating or exercise in fact. And once you’ve been there, and lived in the controlled chaos that is disordered thinking it doesn’t take long to suck you back in.
So here’s some honesty from someone who has literally only been back ‘on it’ for a week.
~ I weighed chocolate last night to make sure I didn’t slip over my calorie ‘allowance’ for the day. A calorie allowance that has been calculated by an app that doesn’t know me from the next user. It’s told me I ‘only’ need 1200 calories a day. Which I KNOW IS BONKERS BECAUSE I HAVE A DEGREE IN THIS STUFF. But still, gotta stick to the allowance. It’s become about the number.
~ I am so terrified that I’ll stand on a scale on Friday morning and have lost no weight at all. Even though for a week I’ve exercised daily, religiously stuck to the above mentioned calorie goal and eaten barely anything ‘bad’. @findlayvaller reminded me that I could just not weigh myself. He’s right of course. But to not know would be worse I think. Realistically what can I do if I’ve not lost weight? Not much more. So then I’ll look like this forever? But if I can’t accept that where do you go then…?
~ I have a WEIRD thing about only eating even numbers of certain foods, like chocolate buttons for example. Last night Fin walked past my very carefully weighed out bowl of 12 chocolate buttons and took 3. 3!!! 🙉😭 and for a very brief second I panicked. And I didn’t hide it well. Of course he thought it was funny (it wasn’t) and then he ate one more to help me balance it out. I’ve alleviated the panic by telling myself I ate 4 less buttons than I had anticipated which means less calories which means more weight lost surely?
~ I am wrestling with the idea that I might cancel I lunch out with my friends on Sunday because I won’t be able to know exactly what’s in everything I eat. I won’t cancel, because Fin won’t let me, but right now I’m not sure going and relaxing enough to eat is worth the two days of internal be-ration I’ll give myself after.
It’s taken a week. I’m on day 7. And I am somewhere between ‘normal’ and the bottom of the rabbit hole.
The last time I was here it was very different. I didn’t know that thinking this way wasn’t normal. I internalised it all and didn’t tell a soul that these thoughts were on a constant loop in my head.
Now, I am very honest with myself and with Fin about how I’m feeling and what my brain is trying to make me do.
It’s a battle. Because my brain wants me to hide all the thoughts. To weigh more food than I have been. It wants to be hungry.
It won’t win. I am very determined to be healthy and balanced in a very non-disordered way. But it’s hard.
Never assume that only skinny people have eating disorders. Never assumed that curvier girls can’t have body dysmorphia. And never assume that a recovering mind cannot relapse.
You never know what someone is going through. Be kind.