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Friday, April 2, 2010

82 Degrees and Sunny?

"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


  1. I have read a lot of books on Buddhism and mindfulness- and our thoughts are almost spot on. You recognize those thoughts, and by recognizing them alone- you can do something about it, you can change the outcome! You sound to have a good control over things, you will do great!

  2. What a beautiful, inspiring post. You are so strong, that is what you need to overcome this for good. Keep on pushing lovie. I'm here with you.
    E xoxo
    (P.S. Love that C.S.Lewis quotation)

  3. Rebecca,
    It is pretty awesome that you are aware of the pressure and temptation. That's a huge step in the right direction. Recovery is about being you. A complete version of you that doesn't compare herself or tear herself apart. I am learning that recovery is so possible, it just takes a long time. By the way, I have made it all year so far without my ed coping mechanisms, and I plan to keep going.
    Hang in there. You are beautiful, smart, an awesome writer, and you are amazingly stubborn and persistent in a very good way.

  4. This is all so true. I can relate to your thoughts and appreciate you examining them. It's hard to fight against it all but it's doable and more importantly, worth it. Trying to get to that ideal that has been created in our minds, is simply a waste of time and energy that can be used on something far more fulfulling. It's like a hamster wheel. There are so many great parts of spring and summer to look forward to: the sun on your skin, enjoying a book under a tree, going swimming.. oh I love this time of year! You will achieve your goals by staying on the path you are on.

  5. OK first of all I love that C.S. Lewis quote, its so true. I added it to the quotes section on my blog! ;)
    You have come so so far in recover, the fact that you are able and willing to identify your feelings, fears and temptations speaks wonders to how you are doing. The summer months will be hard and will present their own temptations, but you CAN and WILL choose to act with wisdom. Stay focused on what you need to do for YOU accepting your body, and turning to God for comfort. You are a beautiful woman, made in his image. Start a revolution, be healthy, and stay healthy. I'll join it with you! :)
    Thank you for your honesty in your blog. Im always here for you <3 <3 <3

  6. that last quote gave me shivers.
    I love your view on the way our society influences and inspires us to be this "perfect" person with a "perfect" body. It is killing so many of us through it's deadliness.

    as it warms up, just take one day at a time. realize what's true and how much happier you are without ED and envision what your life would be like if you let him back in...not so great, right? there will always be someone skinnier, but just know that you are beautiful. always remember that.


  7. while my posts are funny and witty and sarcastic, yours bring me down to earth and think about life. it's very nice.

    hahahhaa it WAS a rough day yesterday. Too much going on. I crashed with a horrible headache during MAN v FOOD! i was so depressed.

  8. Girl, I love reading your posts and feeling who you are over this beautiful blog. I learn so much from you all the time!

    You are amazing!!

    I hope you are well!