White toast x 2, butter.
Sausage hotpot, mashed potato, cabbage.
Strawberry cheesecake and cream.
Tuna mayo sandwich (wholemeal), 5-bean salad, side salad.
Ice-cream (2 scoops).
…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.
Now my bra is embracing my boobs in a confident teddy-bear hug, instead of the once-faint pat of my Anorexia-friendly, saggy crepes (no Nutella on those bad-boys)…
…and so to put a positive spin on this (God loves a trier), cuddles feel much nicer with a bit of squish, right? So I shall apply this to my current underwear situation. My bra is just feeling a little more compassionate nowadays… I’m trying to hold off buying new bras, for as long as I can – until I reach my set-point weight. And then we can see what we’re really working with.
I imagine getting fitted for my new, healthy bra, will be like attending my very own boob graduation.
(except no family photos for this one, please) Choosing to celebrate my recovery work by investing in a specially fitted garment (my very own graduation robe), will be a sure sign of commitment to my new, yet naturally gene-approved body. A squiggly signature in the divorce from Anorexia.
Maybe it FEELS more of a celebratory thing, because ‘this time round’ my eyes are finally, firmly on the road. This time I’m not just going through the motions of the driving lessons (restoring the weight), I’m cautiously watching ahead, learning what’s really setting my anxieties off, picking up on my triggers… and trying to resist using my body as the tool to make sense of it all…
…which is why every day at the Unit, feels mentally, like a full-time job.
After my first inpatient admission when I weight-restored, I remember going for a bra-fitting, because I thought maybe doing that very thing would make me ‘feel’ more of a woman… maybe it would magic these inadequate thoughts away… even though I felt like a toddler that had just raided my Gran’s wardrobe.
Seeing myself in the mirror and feeling completely repulsed at this strange costume of skin holding my bones and muscles together, I forced myself to think I was ‘okay with it’ but I knew, my head was trapped in a tug-of-war between trusting what my Eating Disorder gave me and the uncertainty of a recovered life. I still couldn’t possibly imagine myself accepting what felt like an out-of-control mess of a woman. Part of me felt like buying this bra would be temporary because it meant committing to a life trapped in hell, my own body. But, that time, it didn’t feel the ‘right time’. I’d gone through my inpatient admission with a blindfold wrapped around my brain, shook up by the end, physical result, and not giving my head enough time to catch up.
THIS time, I’m also finding it important to remind myself that deciding to eat nice things and to choose to keep my weight ‘healthy’, does not mean I THINK I’m some fantastic person that deserves it any more than anyone else – it’s a human right, regardless of achievements or personality. My bear-hugged boobs, don’t mean I’m any more deserving than people of a lower weight than me. This is what I personally find tricky to contend with – my self-esteem/self-worth versus how much I deserve to eat and how much space I deserve to take up… especially when I’m having a more socially anxious or insecure day.
As much as we might all love a bear-hug, having that feeling on my chest today, aware of everything tighter, made sat at that dining room, feel a bit of a joke. I’m still waiting for Michael McIntyre to come out from wherever he’s hiding, to tell me there’s an audience watching and laughing at the fact I still apparently feel I have the right to sit and eat (AND enjoy) cheesecake. Even after my 0.6kg weight-gain this morning, and EVEN though I’m almost out of the BMI ‘statistical’ Anorexic range…
…to my Eating Disorder this is all, one big joke. And apparently I AM the big joke.
At times, I can’t lie, it is bloody confusing. Lowering my head, I can feel the extra padding under my chin, bending my wrist – little rolls of tissue gather and are no longer the skinny, harsh table legs they once were, sitting down my thighs make themselves a bit more at home.
Things are happening, ‘I’ am happening… but as difficult as it sometimes feels through the physical changes and weight-gain, I have the comfort of knowing that this time I’m at least talking about it. THIS time I’m not wearing a blindfold on my brain… so, hopefully, when I go to my boob graduation, I’ll be prepared to welcome what I see in the mirror.