I just met with my dietitian (these days, on FaceTime), and I told her I was reluctant to share something with her because I was afraid she’d take it and run with it. Well, I told her anyway, because it’s where I’m at today—where I’ve been at for nearly two weeks, actually.
I’m considering not losing weight.
I know, that doesn’t sound like much. But for me, it’s huge.
I still complained to her about not liking the shape of my face (it looks different now, since the last time I was hospitalized) in the little FaceTime box, and about the size of my [xyz]. But I said that I had this idea that, what if I stopped fighting my body, would I have a better life? Could I?
I told her I was just considering it, that I reserved the right to change my mind later. She said she’d take it and meet me where I’m at today. It’s a major shift she was pleased to hear about.
The strange thing is, this feels like an epiphany of sorts. Sure I’ve heard this idea before, but it never sank in as anything beyond an intellectual suggestion. It sounded nice, but it never felt like an option. Never mind fighting the professionals (which I sometimes did, and sometimes didn’t)—it just wasn’t a concept that I could wrap my brain around. I don’t need to lose weight? Cannot compute. Full stop. I have to lose weight. It was never even a question. It was an impulse, a need, a must.
I’m 35 now. I was last hospitalized for anorexia a year and 11 months ago. It’s been 19 years of this, up and down, relapse, partial recovery, relapse again…and again…and again. I’m tired. What if I could just be done? Accept that I don’t have a flat stomach, that I have boobs, that I have cheeks, that my thighs touch these days?
I still don’t really recognize myself. I’ve spent well over half of the last 14 years at a low weight. I don’t mean to brag or take pride—I just mean, I’m really not used to my reflection. I see myself, but it can’t be me—can it? I don’t live in the body of an extremely thin person anymore. I can’t see bones in the mirror anymore. And I think it’s too big, too fat, all of it. Body dysmorphia sucks. Is this really me?
I’ve been here before. And I’ve always despaired, this may be me now—but it won’t be for long.
But maybe, just maybe I could stay here. Have a better life. Maybe it’s time to let go of my relentless pursuit of extreme thinness. I don’t have to like my body, but perhaps I could learn to accept it.