Sometimes I read rants on other people’s blogs, and I get angry. I can’t help it, I’m human.
However, the point of my post today is that everyone deserves to feel how they feel. More of the point is that, everyone deserves to eat how they want to eat, live their life how they want to live it (with the extreme exceptions of criminal activity, etc — you know what I mean). You can judge them all you want, but its really none of your business. And maybe before you judge or want to stage an intervention, you should just think about the assumptions you are making and be open to what they have to say before you talk to them. A lot of people don’t agree with this, but that’s what I believe.
I try to ignore all things I read about weight, losing weight, what you “should” do to be healthy. Instead, I prefer to take in studies and information, and apply it ONLY to myself and see how it makes ME feel. What is right for me isn’t right for someone else and vice versa.
I have this big problem of “should”-talk. Sometimes I have an eating disorder voice in my head saying something. And sometimes I hear a voice saying that what I am doing is disordered so I shouldn’t do that either. Sometimes this second voice is right, and sometimes it is based on what professionals, my family, other people do. I agonize about this ALL the time, making myself sick with anxiety over it. It has gotten a lot better in the last couple weeks since I had my epiphany described a few posts back.
For example, I told my therapist that I cut dairy out of my diet and I am feeling so much better. Her first comment was, “Are you sure it isn’t your eating disorder telling you to cut out dairy?” Since I am working so hard on not obsessing about these things, that comment made me so upset. I believe that I am an extremely insightful person. I believe I know in my heart when I am doing something that is not good for me…it doesn’t make me feel good for one thing, and I just KNOW. Sometimes I choose to ignore this intuition, but I am not in denial about it anymore, and I always know when it is there and hear it. Ironically, cutting out dairy has helped me to eat MORE, especially during the day, because I don’t feel so sick all of the time. How can you eat when you are sick? How can you feel like eating something that you know is going to make you sick? My eating problems are unique to me, my life is unique to me. It is a unique combination between challenging myself for ME and feeling safe.
So I ignored her comment, and I explained to her why I was ignoring it. I was assertive, confident in what I am doing (unusual for me).
Sometimes I am still choosing to make bad choices, I know what they are. But I am proud of the improvements I have made too. I am not advocating that people condone eating disorders. They are horrible conditions that I wish didn’t exist. I am just saying that I am sick of feeling guilty and worry over every single action I do. I just want to live my life and feel my way through it.
This probably makes no sense. I just wish we could teach our children by example. I read this article today that I thought was horrible. It was titled “Adult-type gym classes teach kids to lose weight, gain competitive edge”. These gyms in California are getting kids in Body Pump classes, on the elliptical, etc. I don’t think we should teach kids anything about exercise or nutrition (gasp!). In an ideal world, we should lead by example. We should teach the parents. When I was a kid, I didn’t even know what exercise meant. I just knew sports, playing outside, family hikes, and the like. I knew fresh vegetables and vanilla ice cream. We were healthy kids. Then there came a point when we had to make our own choices. I turned out like I am, I have my genes; my sisters turned out like they are (one very active, no eating disordered behavior; the other doesn’t like to work out and still not overweight, no eating disordered behavior). Whatever.
The funny thing is: my sisters judge me all the time because I have my problems and care what I look like (or at least that’s what they assume my eating disorder to be about). It hurts my feelings. It’s OKAY that it hurts my feelings. It’s like they feel like I am a lesser woman than them. “Oh, she isn’t strong enough to fight the media. She isn’t confident in general like we are.” I am like I am because of my genes, the biochemicals in my brain.
Now, I am working on working on my issues for ME, not for them, not because I “should” be stronger or “should” like potato chips (I don’t, never have). I am working on them because I want to feel good, I want to be healthier, I want to be happier. It feels good to say that.
Maybe this will alienate people. Do I worry about that yes. I am worried ya’ll will be mad at me, more than you will misunderstand. I like a lot of blogs, but I take what I want from them. Sometimes some of my most inspiring bloggers have posts that I don’t agree with, like today. I just ignore it, or stop reading their blog, or stop reading for a little while so I don’t get triggered by emotions. I am proud that I am gaining enough confidence in myself to do this. You know what? Some people are vegans for healthy reasons, some are vegans for not healthy reasons. What seems like healthy may not be disordered, or it may be. And eating disorder is this: it makes both your mind AND your body unhealthy. Not eating dairy makes my body feel healthier, and it doesn’t affect my mind at all, it doesn’t feel like deprivation. I will never know about other people, and I don’t care. To my sisters, I’m sorry I am not confident like you. I’m sorry I worry about what other people think about me. I’m sorry. But I feel good saying this stuff. I am tired of feeling hurt by people who don’t understand.
Okay all that said, I am pretty sick of talking about eating disorders on here. I want my blog to focus on good things, to make my spirit feel better. Part of my problem is I dwell on this too much. I want to LIVE. Force yourself to look at the positive and the happiness will follow. Sometimes (a lot) I will still have hard days, but no more of this “downer” stuff. 😉