"Opportunity make knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell."
Pittsburgh's weather forecast: 82 degrees and mostly sunny. Though this may seem like a forecast to predict an ideal weekend, a haunting thought came to
my ED's mind. The inevitability of students dressed in shorts, short skirts and tank tops will fill my peripheries. I will be triggered by students, both healthy and not, running and laying out all over parks and campus lawns. Anxiety clouds my otherwise clear mind and vision as I am haunted by memories from the past. How will I react? Will I escape to social isolation? Will I partake in harmful behaviors? Or will I block the realities around me and stay focused on my goals? Honestly, I just don't know. Temptation and seduction influence me, or at least it has in the past. Will I revert to thoughts and behaviors that are most comfortable to me? I am afraid. The temptation is too strong. I look around and compare myself with others. 'Her arms are thinner than mine', 'look at that muscle' and 'I can run faster' are the thoughts that have begun to cloud my mind. I know I shouldn't give in-- damn those 'should' thoughts. Will I be 'that girl' who wears unnecessary layers to hide insecurities? Or will I be 'that girl' who opens the door and invites ED in. Though I don't know what I'll do, I am certain there are other options. A year ago, I would have given in to such dichotomous thoughts, but now I am able to recognize there are other options. I don't have to hide nor do I have to enthrall myself with eating disorder behaviors. I know now there is a spectrum and a wide array of thoughts and actions, so long that I stay consistent on my path towards recovery-- meal and exercise plans included. But it's difficult to be 'healthy' when I am tempted by others who are not, or who appear to not be. It is no lie I have always felt insecure about certain body parts, especially my arms. I look at the human figures around me and immediately feel a sense of dissatisfaction. ED begins to play such evil mind games, convincing me I can live and sustain off of X amount of calories and Y hours of exercise.
Societal influences are especially powerful during this time of year, the time when ads for bathing suits, workouts and dieting are prominent. I mean, who doesn't want the perfect body just in time for summer?!? I am taunted by social pressures which have created and reinforced unhealthy expectations and habits amongst Americans. Actually, it sickens me. God created human beings to eat a variety of and enough meat, fruits, vegetables, starches and fats to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Our bodies need the nutrients for proper brain, muscle, etc. functioning-- we all know that. But our mind plays devilish tricks on our bodies. Malnourishment tricks our bodies into thinking it has enough to sustain; however, the facts are evident. Most Americans are 'scraping by', running on fumes of false energy. Our bodies need energy, need calories to live-- to learn, to remember, to menstruate (and thus birth children), to socially function, and to use the muscles we are so privileged to have. Why isn't that message reinforced? Like I said, it sickens yet inspires me to take action. Every voice matters, and I have such passion and desire to start a revolution to save lives. Every body was created to be unique and beautiful-- there is no such thing as the perfect body and it's not fair to manipulate what God created.
Buddha exclaims, "it is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways" and I know that if I stay consistent with my recovery plan, my mind will being to clear and heal on its own. I encourage others to do their research, the human body is a fascinating and powerful. A year ago I would have been drenched in sweat, running my fourth mile. But this year, I must try. I must not answer the door, then perhaps I can enjoy the warmth and sunshine that awaits me.
"A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is... A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in."-- C.S. Lewis