Maybe it would be easier to have an eating disorder
Maybe it would be easier to have an eating disorder.
You read that right.
That my friends is how my brain used to work.
I remember being in the fitting room at Grace Brothers (showing my age now) trying on a pair of jeans. I would have been 16 I guess. I had never owned jeans because they never fit properly. They weren’t stretchy so I had to wear my true size (yikes) and they squeezed me in all the wrong places. When I sat down, my tummy would roll over the top of them or make me move like I was wearing a neck brace when I sat down.
Not being able to do the zip up on the size 18 pair of jeans that day, I remember looking at myself, completely disgusted and humiliated with my body and thinking maybe I should get myself an eating disorder.
Then I would be thin, then I would be happy, then I could fit in, and wear jeans like all my friends.
I remember thinking anorexia would be too hard, but I could probably manage purging my food after I ate. Then, I would get the best of both worlds, eating whole packets of Tim Tams at a time and being thin.
Thankfully, I never did start purging my food. Luckily, my logical brain kicked in, not to tell me how much of an idiot I was to think that way. But rather to tell me I would never get away with it. I would be caught out for sure!
So why am I sharing this uncomfortable discussion I used to have with myself?
I know for certain if I thought those things, someone else has thought them too.
Maybe you have thought about developing an eating disorder to be thin, maybe your bestie has, maybe your daughter has. Maybe the thoughts you have about food restriction are so normal you don’t even recognise they are harming you.
Eating Disorders are vastly under diagnosed in Australia. Luckily, the criteria for diagnosing eating disorders is changing, albeit slowly, but up until recently if you didn’t fit within a certain BMI, you couldn’t be diagnosed with an eating disorder, regardless of the disordered eating behaviour.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in Australia which might surprise you because many people don’t know what it even is. BED is very different from simply overeating, it is regular and recurring episodes of eating large volumes of food interlaced with episodes of feeling out of control with food.
Another eating disorder that has been making waves with the rise of clean eating, endless “fitspos” and the likes is Orthorexia.
Orthorexia is basically a fixation and unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. So beware of the clean eating movement, it can trick you back into the diet mentally vortex faster than you can say pass the raw paleo cheesecake.
So how does this tie in with Body Love? That topic I keep banging on about.
Well, according to The National Eating Disorders Collaboration, not surprisingly,
Poor body image is associated with an increased probability of engaging in dangerous dietary practices and weight control methods, excessive exercise, substance abuse and unnecessary surgery to alter appearance.
Hello diets and hello disordered eating.
When we feel shit about our bodies, we do silly things to it. Like starve it until our primal hunger kicks in and we can’t help but overeat, like restricting gluten & dairy & carbs because of the latest fad, even if we are not intolerant.
When we accept & respect our bodies, work towards body love, we look after it and treat it like the Wonder Woman it really is.
It’s a long process. Heaven knows it takes some time and practice to break the mould but I encourage you to keep trying. To keep rejecting the diet mentality and be aware of the toxic message that you are bombarded with, especially when they seem to be the next big thing.
When I hated my body in the change room that day, I didn’t want to feed it with leafy greens and celebrate its strength in a spin class. I wanted to reiterate the truth I had created that I was fat and disgusting and couldn’t find clothes to fit. How did I do that?
Don’t get me wrong, my days now, are not all about kale and spin classes.
I love me some kale, and I love me some spin, but I also love champagne & chocolate & hot chips. They need to be a part of my diet because when I restrict them, my inner rebel does her thang and rebels. I choose kale and spin because it makes me feel like a rock star. Not because I have been ‘good’ but because I’m getting some beautiful nutrition and endorphins. I don’t punish myself with back to back spin, after night shift on an empty stomach anymore, because that’s not healthy. That doesn’t honour this wicked vessel.
Obviously, a plate of kale and a plate of hot chips don’t have the same nutritional value, but by getting them to have the same emotional value, their power disappears. Diet mentality has taught you, your body is not to be trusted. Those hunger pangs are a sign of weakness and if you cave you will never get your bikini bod.
F your bikini bod Instagram. I don’t want it. I don’t want the deprivation and the shame and the wasted energy on something so superficial.
I have my own incredible bikini bod, it’s couture, and I love it.
We were never meant to fit a mould created by a diet industry. We were made to grab life and take it by the horns not waste another second worrying about the size of our bum!