Eating nothing but whole unprocessed foods does not erase years of torment over caloric content. It does not eradicate self hatred or judgment, labeling of food as “good” and “bad.” The word “cheat” still exists when eating something unhealthy.
Knowing it takes weeks and months to transform my body into a better version of itself does not omit frustration from my daily repertoire. It does not lessen my impatience.
Learning about how food-like products negatively affect every little inch of the body, inside and out, does not keep me from wanting to drown my sorrows in a bag of one thing or another. The wiring of my emotional state has not been instantly cured.
Deep down I am still that broken anorexic girl. Still searching for comfort in all the wrong things and trying desperately to heal.
I won’t discredit just how far I have come. Over the years I have spent counteless hours learning about how to take better care of myself mind, body and spirit. And to a degree I have made strides. I can eat fairly normally, especially dining out. The guilt has simmered. MY weight has steadied.
Behind all of that though still lie the negative emotions toward food. I still make judgments on myself. I still worry about eating too much and moving too little. Most days, as much as I don’t want to be, I am still consumed by a flood of thoughts and emotions surrounding my eating habits and my weight.
Following Whole30 has been a big eye opener so far. But I still have lingering negativity about what I am eating, even though it is all “clean” or “good.” Most days I under eat and on those I don’t I feel compelled to workout a little harder to compensate. It’s a constant negative reinforcement even though I am doing everything “right.”
Having completed 20 days (as I write this), I know for sure I am headed in the right direction. I have removed emotional crutches and forced myself to face everything head on instead of filling up on empty distractions. I have started to put myself first. For once. And it feels great.
For years I didn’t know what true hunger felt like. I kept myself from the joy of connecting with what was on my plate. I placed far too much emphasis on what I should or shouldn’t have and how my body should or shouldn’t look. I allowed a dark place in my mind to dictate who I was at every moment. But the buck stops here.
Learning what I have so far and knowing there is still so much more to absorb gives me hope of one day really unshackling myself from the past. While I don’t feel as defined as a recovering anorexic as I once did, I cannot deny it is – was – a part of my existence. It ruled me far beyond those days of complete suffering. It was so entwined in my recovery and where I wanted to go in life. And I feel as though I have finally set myself free.
I still have 11 more days to go until I can start reintroducing certain foods back into my diet but truthfully there are so few things I am missing. There are a slew of physical discomforts I am happy to see go and none I want to attempt to bring back into my life. My mind has felt so much clearer over these last three weeks and not only in relation to what I put into my mouth.
I have finally been able to dig in deeper and pull up the motivation I had always hoped to find. My body is being shaped into what it was meant to be by birth, not the cover of a magazine or someone else’s opinion. And I can drink black coffee with a little more ease than I used to!
I already have plans to do another Whole30 in the future, likely after the holidays, because I have gotten so much out of it already. And I am really stoked to see how I will continue to grow and move away from my tortured past and into a brighter, healthier, yummier future.