To the world,
I don’t care about your diet.
I don’t care that today is low-carb and tomorrow is a cheat day.
I don’t care that sugar is your food version of the devil.
I don’t care that you eat every three hours, six hours, or twenty-four hours.
I don’t care that fruit is suddenly off-limits.
I don’t care that you are eating X amount of calories.
I don’t care that chicken and quinoa are now miracle foods.
I don’t care about your diet pills, supplements, or new vitamins.
Oh, and I also don’t care about your weight.
I am finally at a point WHERE I DON’T CARE. If you are happy with what you eat and what you look like, GREAT. We need more people like you. Diets used to be contagious for me. Just like the common cold, if someone was trying some new food plan, I had to jump on board, too. The difference is I jumped on board with an eating disordered mentality, whereas they jumped on because they decided to lose five pounds.
My boyfriend expresses concern when he hears “diet talk” around me, because he knows that it can be triggering. He always asks if I’m okay and listens to me talk if I need to vent. Last night, for instance, we were out, and “diet talk” became a main topic of conversation at the dinner table. At one point, while waiting for our dinner, I mentioned that I was incredibly hungry, as I hadn’t eaten in about six or seven hours, and one of his family members said, Honey, you can’t starve yourself! It slows down your metabolism. It took me everything I had to NOT laugh uncontrollably. Me? Starve myself? As if I didn’t know. I know more about nutrition that I will EVER NEED TO KNOW.
His family doesn’t know about my eating disorder yet, but we will likely tell them soon. I am not hiding it, but the topic just hasn’t come up. Besides, neither of us see his family very often. However, they are currently all on some new diet craze. While it’s great to see them pay attention to their health and incorporate nutritious foods, the obsession reminded me just how neurotic I used to get over an unplanned piece of bread or a meal out with friends. I remember when I used to live day-by-day, weight-by-weight, praying the scale would show AT LEAST a 0.2 lb decrease. I remember when every calorie used to count, and I used an app on my phone to track every bite that passed through my lips. I remember being “good” or being “bad.” It was brutal.
I no longer subscribe to the dieting mentality. I had to surrender that rigidity when I chose to surrender my sickness. As far as I am concerned, dieting with an eating disorder is like counting on the “family planning” method for birth control. Typically ineffective, dangerous, and often just leads you in a worse place than you anticipated. Diet-related thoughts take me right back to the preoccupation and obsession, and diet-related actions take me right back to maladaptive behaviors.
I do my best to eat when hungry, even if I think I’ve eaten “enough” for the day. I do my best to honor my body and give it either movement or rest, depending what it needs. I do my best to listen to my satiety cues and check in with my emotions.
Notice I did not use the word try. In recovery, there is no try. I am DOING. Doing my best most days I can. Some days, it’s easy, and other days, not so much.
Diets? They are just the word DIE with an extra letter.