Monday, 30 January 2012

A knife edge...

I'm doing well... ish. I have good days, very good days and, very occasionally, I have a few bad days as well. I feel as though a healthy, skinny me is just within my grasp. If I only make a few right choices now, I'll be able to reach out and hold 'skinny' in my hands - at last, and for good!

But at the moment I feel like I'm balancing precariously on a knife edge.  On one side of me lies a serene path of success, good health, fitness, well being, and a solid sense of self-worth. This is a path that, once I'm soundly on my way, I reckon I could follow for the rest of my life, without wavering. A simple path. A sustainable path. Watching my calories and working out. Easy, right?

On the other side, however, lays a path that scares me, and thrills me. This path is fasting, restricting, dropping weight FAST and NOW and seeing change. I do know restricting doesn't work for me - I end up binging BIG TIME. I don't mean falling off the diet waggon and eating a chocolate bar or two. I mean binging on 10,000+ calories at a time. A bag of doughnuts. And a box of cereal. And everything that I have in my cupboards and / or fridge. Going shopping to replace everything and buying bags of popcorn and crisps at the same time, eating those in the car before we even set off from the supermarket.  Then going to pizza hut, and getting a Chinese on the way home. In my experience, restricting always leads to binging. It may not be immediate, but if I go down this path, the binge will follow. I know this, and yet the idea of restricting and fasting still tempts me - It taunts me.

And then directly beneath me, should I fall off of this knife edge and miss either path entirely, lays a life of obesity, misery, failure; a still, sedentary lifestyle. No self-esteem. Worn and jaded, faded self-worth. That's not me. I refuse to allow this to become me. Obesity, an underactive thyroid and fat-induced-infertility will not overcome me. I will overcome these things and become a better, thinner person in the process.

I know which path I want to take... but sometimes I feel like I'm frozen to the spot. Afraid of failure. Afraid to move in case I lose my balance and fall in the wrong direction. I know now that I can lose weight by calorie counting and exercising. I've seen it happen over the last few weeks. But it's slow - agonisingly slow. I could keep this up and become slimmer, fitter, healthier - eventually. But as the weight starts to shift, I become impatient. I want to be thinner - not later - now. I want to see the number on the scales fall daily  - not ticking over, at a rate of maybe a lb a week.

I know that the sort of change I'm dreaming of is not sustainable, and I will end up binging, and getting fatter than ever, and having to start again. I must keep this in mind because today I found myself perusing 'ProAna' blogs. I didn't go looking for them. And it's not like I want the disorder back. I stumbled upon them. It's like watching a car crash in slow motion. You don't want to look, but you can't tear your eyes away either.

I do know the reality of anorexia / bulimia. I overcame it once and I'll be damned if I have to do it again. I do remember the binging, purging, self-hatred... the constant sense of failure, of not quite being thin enough... the obsession, the constant thinking about food, and weight, and portion sizes and weighing out foods. The consumption - I'm not meaning consuming foods, but being consumed by a force that will bind you in its grip and not let you go.

But it's like my mind has glamorised the disorder somewhere along the way - Instead of looking back and seeing clearly how I was controlled by my disordered way of eating and my distorted self-image, I look back and I remember the feeling of success after getting through a week of not eating. The feeling of power and control when the number on the scales fell... And that little voice in the back of my mind - the devil on my shoulder if you like - whispers, "If you just restrict for one week, you could loose half a stone, take it from there... It's a push in the right direction, get a bulk out the way and then go back to calorie counting. Exert some control. Show yourself you're in charge... Show yourself how much willpower you can have. You'll feel better when you can see how much smaller you're getting." It's a slippery slope.

I can see that if I carry on as I have been, I could change for life. I could be fit, and healthy - and thin! I could be a runner, I could have another baby, I could learn how to never get fat like this again. I could learn how to enjoy foods AND lose weight. You can actually eat quite a lot in a day with 1200 calories, and I know I'll lose weight, too... But I think that's the part my mind struggles with. Is this too easy? Could I be doing more? Could I be getting thinner, quicker?

No. I turn my face away from disordered eating. I think about how SICK I will feel with myself when I try to fast and then end up binging on a week's worth of food in one sitting. I choose control - real control. I choose a steady success and consistent change. I chose slowly moving on, 1200 calories, one day at a time. And one step at a time, I will run to a healthier me.

I face you, temptation, and I turn away again. You are not good for me. That voice that says, "Just one week of fasting" is just as evil as the one that says, "Start your diet again tomorrow". Both would see me fail in this. And I will not be beaten by the devil on my shoulder. I'm stronger than that.

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