War Zone

As I sit here, writing this to you, I am at a table at Red Radish, the salad bar on campus. In a half hour, I have a quiz in French class.

Quick warning: This post deals with a not great side of recovery. Do not read if you are easily triggered.

For those who are wondering: spinach and romaine lettuce (I usually get spring mix, but they were out), edamame, croutons, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, quinoa, walnuts, caesar dressing. My usual–sometimes including bacon and/or avocado.

A chocolate chip cookie from Cowboy Cookies and a water completed my meal.

It is 3:30 and the only thing I ate before my late lunch was a Special K granola bar. I was saving all my calories for this meal, and I wasn’t even going to get a cookie. I keep telling myself the cookie was a bad idea. But it was so good to eat.

Why did I “save all my calories” for a salad? Why? Why can’t I just enjoy a meal without thinking about how many calories it is and how much I am going to have to cut back later because of it. These are such toxic thoughts. I was getting better. I was so proud of how far I had come…Now, I am backtracking.

Granted, I always think about restricting later to make up for a “big” meal, and I never end up really doing that, but it is the fact that I have these thoughts to begin with. I want them to stop. I need them to stop.

Yes, of course, I am not always happy with my body, but everyone has those days. Sometimes, you just feel bleeeeeh icky. But for the most part, I am fine with the way I look. I have long streaks of great body image days, and they are wonderful beyond belief. But when I have them, I still feel like I have to restrict to keep the streak going. I really don’t, though. I don’t need to do anything to my body except feed it yummy things.

Fried food is still a most-of-the-time no-go because acne is killer, but I feel sick after eating that stuff anyway. I would love to just indulge in a chocolate chip cookie and feel nothing. I still do the indulging, I just don’t feel so great about myself afterwards.

Last year, I isolated myself from people. I was present physically but mentally and emotionally, I was stuck in my dark world. I can’t go back there–I refuse to.

But every day I am conscious of all the calories I am putting in my body. I wrote everything down for three days before I forced myself to stop. However, I am still so aware of the amount of calories I am consuming. I don’t want to be aware. I just want to enjoy it. I sit here and I plan on the rest of my meals for the day. I can’t even call them meals, though. Snacks, maybe.

The reason I haven’t addressed any of these thoughts to you is because I am ashamed. I feel like I have let all of you down. I pretend to be so happy and that my recovery is going fairly smoothly, but I am lying. I have good days, wonderful days. But many days are like this, struggling with the body God gave me. Struggling with the happiness I am supposed to feel. Struggling with the size of my thighs and the pudge on my stomach (that I couldn’t get rid of, even in the height of my disorder). Every day I fight the urge to quit eating again. The migraines hit me like a freight train and force me to eat. Why do I need to be forced?

I look around me and nobody notices or cares about what they are eating. They just eat. And I wonder, where did that “me” go? Where was the Ashley that loved to stuff her face? How come I cannot be her anymore? Why is it that I pick the lightest item on the menu when I go out to eat. I can barely enjoy the chicken club sandwiches at the Habit anymore. I miss the days when I could go to In-n-Out and pig-the-heck-out. I mean, I gave up fast food–with the exception of In-n-Out on weekends, but not every weekend–this year, but, still. And I wish I could buy a Frappuccino from Starbucks. I haven’t had one since…I don’t even know…Why am I so conscious of it?

I refuse to let this rule my life again, but it seems inevitable. I know I am beautiful, and I know I am not overweight. But…there is a “but.” I just need to be honest with you. And I vow to be better. I will be better.

The wise jedi Yoda once said, “Do or do not, there is no try.” Thank you, Permenter. That is why I will not try to be better than this. I will be better than this.

Today (and many days so far this year) was a bad day. I will make tomorrow better.

❤ A

PS Speaking of Yoda, have y’all seen the new Star Wars trailer?? Watch it!!

Love me!


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