Substituting alternative activities
Identity changes in weight
Before I started this section, I had already started to follow the first point. When I started running, this served as a good distraction. Joining the gym has amplified this in a great way. At least two evenings a week are taken up with training. Eating is just something I do when I get home. I feel really happy about this. For a very long time food has dominated my life and I am taking steps towards change.
I also enjoy photography as a hobby. The better I feel about myself, the more capable I feel of doing this activity. I say capable, because when I feel low, my self confidence leaves me. Doing even small things I’m ‘supposed’ to enjoy can become tasks and rather draining. Improving my emotional stability gives me the confidence to get out and do what I enjoy most. It’s great to be finding me again!
Identifying changes in weight, has been a huge learning curve for me. I come from a family where weight is quite central to how we see ourselves. What I have learnt is everything I know about this area is wrong! I have to forget all of it and re-learn.
I would, prior to this section, think nothing of weighing myself daily. The results can be quite catastrophic. That’s no exaggeration, what number appeared on the scale would dictate (and it will take time to remove this) how I felt for the day. A gain would make me feel instantly fatter, thinking ‘I must have not realised I was that much bigger’. I could be talking about just 1lbs upwards. So the bigger the gain, the worse the thoughts and self loathing. It’s a cycle that I was compounding every time I got on the scales.
Losing wasn’t always a positive either. If I lost anything less than 3lbs, I would be disappointed. 2lbs would be just about acceptable ‘but its not a lot’ is what I would think. 1lb is disappointing and well I may as well have lost nothing. Anything under 1lb isn’t something I have ever considered weight loss. As I write this now , looking back, it’s quite a sad to realise the negative emotions that have been clouding my thoughts and self worth for so many years.
I have a diary from when I was 14, the first page documents my weight each day. I was very a fit and active young girl with a healthy figure and size 10-12. But had anyone spoken to me, the opinion I had of myself would have been quite alarming.
I really didn’t see how bad the problem was at any stage. It’s hard to think about. The only reason I can share this is because…well, you can’t see me. If I tried to say all this out loud, I’m not sure it would come out. My body has changed, I’m much older now. My eating disorder has changed into BED, rather than not eating and over exercise. But the negative opinions I have of myself, haven’t really changed. I have just become an expert at hiding to what extent they go.
A positive I can take, is that I no longer weight often. Once a week at most and if I feel too fragile to deal with the emotional fall out, I don’t do it. I feel comfortable with that for now. As I go along I will work on removing a numbers ability to have that impact on me. For now I accept and feel good knowing that hydration will affect my weight, so I can only see changes over peiods of a month or more. For me that’s good enough for now.