Thoughts On Recovery As A Kinda-Recovered Anorexic


I’m a walking contradiction because I believe in body positivity and self-love, but my groceries on the conveyor belt say otherwise.

Fat-free/sugar-free/low carb/whatever it is now, it’s there. Almost shameful to look at. I feel like a self-love fraud.

I can’t remember the last time I didn’t tick-tack-tally up the morning’s calories in the shower, can’t remember the last time I passed a mirror without checking to see how my thighs looked, pushed my hips forward, frowned, pinched, pulled.

I feel better when I’m hungry and I wish this wasn’t the case.

I declared myself recovered years ago and I still have dreams of waking up to a frothy, flavored (full sugar!) latte and a huge pastry.

I fantasize about intimate meals and wines that I can drink without leaving my stomach empty first (So you get drunk faster! How neat and healthy!)

I’m better in that I can talk about it openly, don’t eat entire boxes of food anymore, don’t run with the sole purpose of getting the food out anymore.

I’m better in that I’m not on the scale every week, but I also have to be blind weighed at the doctor’s, still, because the number makes me jumpy.

I’m better in that I eat enough and sometimes I even forgo calorie counting. Now and then I actually can practice what I preach and go out with friends, eat a meal I didn’t prepare, get what I really want off the menu.

But most days I still measure out my cereal in a measuring cup.

I still consider taking up smoking to lose weight.

The routines bring me comfort that is so helpful when life is chaotic. I rationalize it because it makes something inside me, something small and scared, feel safe. It allows me to make my way through the world without the fear of someone telling me I’m fat because that is the worst thing that can happen, obviously. The quasi-recovery provides a nice security blanket when the world is harsh, allows me to count my calories in the back room of my job when I want to cry instead, to relocate those emotions, to put them into an empty takeout container.

I’m better in that I follow all the body positivity accounts, I try to say nice things to myself in the mirror. I’m getting better at accepting changes in my body. I’m better in that I can acknowledge, even vaguely, that this one type of body that I idolize will never make me happy. That bodies, in general, are not the cornerstone for freedom and joy. That souls are. I’m better in that I recognize that I’m happiest when I let go of it all when I trust my body and say- alright, you got this. You and I are a team, you know.

I’m still deep in it because as I write this, I’m wrapping my fingers around my wrist for validation, an old tic, I still have the ‘thinspo’ tag on my most recent website visits, I’m still in it in that I see the body positivity and the love on others and think- someday.

Someday I’ll do that too.