Saturday, 25 July 2015

On why I'll never diet.

When I was about 18 and first serious about recovery, it occurred to me that everything would change completely. Of course, there have been many relapses since then, but the same thought has stayed with me- that to recover I'd never even be able to diet. Ever. I'd never be able to stay on the right side of the line if I dancing along it; on the back of a chronic eating disorder, the promised kiss of the diet would become an orgy of unhealthy measures. What I could do, and what made sense at the time, was to die. I could restrict, I could take laxatives, I could vomit... I could do all of that, until it killed me. It sunk in that it was down to staying ill or recovering, living or dying, and there being no middle ground in that, no room for a bikini diet. What I could do was die.

Or I could live.

I actually had a hard time coming to terms with that. I was jealous of every dieter and so compulsively fed on other people's diet stories, in a way I'd compulsively starved and binged before then. I studied up on every diet going in a way I'd never bothered before (I always felt like following even a fad diet was cheating and too slow. I also had a sort of arrogance that I could destroy myself completely alone, through something other people used to build themselves). Once, I got seriously excited about the idea of doing the cabbage soup diet as soon as I left home, before realising that that would just be an extended version of death. I was kind of bitter that getting better meant that I didn't get the satisfaction again of losing a lot of weight; it just seemed like yet another thing my mental health problems was taking from me.

I'm not being melodramatic here. Well, I maybe I am a bit- I forget that most people's dramometer (I just made that up. You couldn't tell, right?) is a bit lower than mine. A bit... but it's how it felt then and how it feels now. Maybe years down the line it's possible for somebody who has recovered from a chronic eating disorder to diet sensibly, but truth be told I don't see myself ever being able to, in the same way I know a chronic alcoholic needs to stay away from alcohol. 

Of course, dieting was never the problem. It never was or will be. The problem is the way I view life. I see it differently. I see fun house mirrors in everything you say and every way you look at me. All your nuances and quirks can be put down to a reflection on me. I mean, that sounds really self-centred. In some ways, I think EDs can come across that way, but it's way more complicated. It's blame and guilt, in the form of a grand optical illusion. It's circus mirrors. It's not you, it's not all your good and bad, but it's not my good or bad, either. It's not how little I eat or how visible my ribs are. It's a mess.

That said, your diet can significantly affect me and mine. I don't expect you to stop talking about Weight Watchers, but please, a few things-
1. Please don't tell me how much you eat (especially not in the form of your calorific intake. By all means tell me if you ate summat delish).
2. Please don't tell me your weight, or how much you have lost or gained.
3. Please don't ask me for dieting advice. The best advice I can give you is to listen to your body. No more, no less.

2 comments:

  1. I bloody love this and agree with EVERYTHING xx

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  2. I don't think dieting is healthy for most people, I do think we need to listen to our bodies in a good way. I also agree we shouldn't be asking for or giving dieting advice... this needs to come from the experts but mostly we need to trust our own bodies... as always a good and informative write up Rebecca ♡ xox

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