Disclaimer: Subject matter dealing with mental health struggles and eating disorders.
Today is mental health awareness day. It’s a tough subject, but mental health is starting to get the momentum it requires to make resources more available as well as acknowledged.
When I was in the darkest part of my battle with bulimia, I was too ashamed to get help, and when I did, my disorder was labeled as just stress. I think the world is starting to get a better grasp on the different disorders and diseases as well as better ways of handling mental health in general. Unfortunately, there will always be flaws and stigmas in our systems. We just need to continue to move forward and spread mental health awareness as a community.
Lately, my own struggles are pushing their way into the forefront of my life. I haven’t had a relapse from my eating disorder in over three years, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still plaguing me.
Since 2018 began, I vowed to be healthier. It was a general proclamation that started with bread choices and portion sizes. I can’t restrict myself or set a narrow path without going overboard. It’s a very slippery slope, so I decided on light workouts 5-6 times a week for no longer than 20 minutes a day.
When I was told I needed a hysterectomy as soon as possible in the beginning of summer, that dampened my workouts. I worked out up until the day of surgery and started again the moment I was cleared after the stitches had healed. For 10 months my weight has pretty much stayed the same, only going up and down a few lbs. my confidence is up and down too. It’s causing a serious funk that I can’t quite convey to my family. So here I am, blogging as therapy.
Lately, I stepped up my workouts to 30-45 minutes. As a busy SAHM of two toddlers, that’s my max free time. Since my hysterectomy, my lower belly pouch won’t move. I’m getting lines and definition all around my stomach. My entire core is starting to change in a healthy pace, but I want more results. I want the numbers on the scale to move. It’s making me insane. It’s addicting to see the toning slowly start to happen and then to have one section at a standstill. My husband says he sees changes, but he has to say that.
I did change my eating, but not drastically. I try to be healthy without going to extremes, because I can’t risk hurting myself. After my hospitalization for a suicide attempt ultimately brought on by my hatred of my body in 2013, I saw a nutritionist and a million specialists. I can’t just go on a diet like normal people. I don’t exactly trust myself. I also don’t want to hate food again. I like to bake and be in the kitchen with my family. I don’t want to make food the bad guy when it’s my own demons that I’m battling.
Some days, I do my workout, clean, play with the kids, and I feel like I’m gorgeous and a fabulous mom. Other days, I feel like it’s never enough. I’ll never be the way I want to look. Part of my issue is being legally blind. I can’t see how I look exactly, but I can feel it. There are days where I just want to rip that little belly pouch off.
Eating disorders are embedded into your mind. It’s not something you just get over like a cold. It’s a disease that decides to eat away at you whenever it feels like it. You have to battle constantly, but there are times where you feel too tired to fight. But I have kids that need me, so I remind myself that I have toddlers and I’m a pro at overcoming the impossible and being tired.
What shakes my confidence isn’t always my own self loathing. Even though being a mom makes me feel like a superhero at times, I’m still human. I still care about what people think and say.
I have a few “friends” from high school that are now Beach Body coaches and moms as well. These women and I were just casual friends who talked in gym class, but we are friends on social media. I get so many request and messages to join their mom fitness groups. I read so many call to actions that say “aren’t you tired of having a mom bod” or ” don’t you wish you look like you did 3 kids ago?” Those types of questions make me angry and upset.
Why is it so awful to have some curve on your hips? What’s wrong with a fuller backside? I’m pretty proud of my extremely lengthy labors where I shoved giant children out of my lady region. It still weighs on me though. Once I read those rants from those women in perfect yoga gear, the self hate is on repeat in my mind.
I don’t want to hate my body. I want to be proud that I’m a beautiful size 10/12. I don’t want to try on jeans and be brought to tears. It’s a yo-yo. I’m considered plus size, but I’m in the middle where I’m not small but I’m not big. I just want to feel beautiful at any size. I see women who range in sizes, and I think they are just beyond amazing looking. Why can’t I feel that way about myself?
Being blind has taught me to see people differently. When I look at someone, I can’t see acne or scars. I can’t tell the color of their eyes. What I see is the way they smile. I see they way their silhouettes carry them. I hear the confidence in their tone of voice. I want to be seen the way I see them, if that makes sense. I don’t want the world to be blind, I just want to be seen with confidence, but I guess I need to build my confidence back up first.
I didn’t set a weight loss goal at the beginning of the year. Getting healthy to me means being more active and making smarter choices with food. I also believe it’s unhealthy to deprive yourself from things you enjoy just to fit an image, so my beliefs often clash with my internal feelings. I know I could lose so much weight if I completely cut out carbs and dairy. At the same time, that would make me a different kind of unhappy, and I would spiral and end up barely eating. It’s such a tug of war in my mind.
My goal for the remaining months of the year is to keep my pace. I don’t want to take time away from my kids while I’m trying to kill myself working out. I just want to stick with what I’m doing and learn to love myself consistently. That’s my biggest battle -consistency in self esteem.
I don’t have before and after pictures. I don’t like to mention the weight I was at when I was hospitalized verses now. I wasn’t under 100lbs but my organs weren’t in the best of shape. I was hooked to a lot of machines and very sick.
I do have pictures showing my face a few weeks after I was released as opposed to my face now.
The first image is my “before” and the second is my “after.” I still struggle when I see old pictures. I thought I was fat then and it blows my mind. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss being smaller. That’s the difficult part. I don’t have many full body pictures that show me with my kids. We have a lot of selfies, but my body is always tucked away. I do have one picture I love where I’m holding my daughter.
This was at Christmas, which was week before I decided to start being healthy. Besides working out and my food choices, I hope I can become healthy mentally. That’s my biggest goal.
Loving myself is the most important goal, because I want to show my kids that’s it’s the best goal to have.