I want to talk about my body dismorphia again this week. Because I don’t have it today. And it really seems gone. Like *poof*. Like magic.
The first of the month is just days away. That’s the day I weigh myself. And I will weigh myself April 1st. And I am not worried. I feel beautiful. I think I look great.
Sure I could freak a little if I gained more weight. But I’m pretty sure I would get over it pretty quickly. And I am not filled with anxiety anticipating getting on the scale. Knowing weigh day is coming is not eating away at me like it has for almost a year.
I’m in love. With a man who thinks my body is beautiful. Right now. Not skinny. And I’m happy. Stupid happy. If I were not-in-love Kate looking at me this happy, I would make myself gag. Seriously. It’s ridiculous how doe-eyed I am. How filled with benevolence toward all of mankind.
That is the thing about my eating and body image disorders. They are excellent at occurring like they have disappeared. Especially when I’m super-duper crazy happy. Like now. Don’t be fooled. I am not fooled.
It’s imperative that I remember that just because I am happy and in love, it does not follow that I am better. Or normal. Around food or my body. Being in a good mood does not make me cured. Love doesn’t take away my eating disorders. I am just as sick around food and my body as I have ever been. And this could even be even more dangerous. It’s not, but it could be. If I’m not careful.
I feel normal. Or more like super-human. Eat uncontrollably? When I’m so happy? When the world is all sparkles and tickley and pink? Why would I? How could I?
But I know. Of course I could. And I know I would kill this buzz by acting like I’m normal. I know I could hate myself in an instant by acting like I’m neutral around food all of a sudden. It wouldn’t take much. A chocolate easter egg. One of those little itty bitty ones. Wrapped in pretty, shiny gold foil. A little bite. A little extra. A little taste. And I’m royally and undeniably f***ed. Just so we’re clear.
Many times I have been told that I don’t look like I need to put boundaries around my food. Of course I don’t look like I’m sick with food. I look the way I do because I put boundaries around my food. My default setting is a 300 lb girl who can’t stop eating.
I don’t keep boundaries around my food when I’m fat, until I get thin. I don’t keep boundaries around my food while I’m unhappy, until I get happy. I don’t do it when things are not going my way, until circumstances are better. I do it always. Under any and all conditions. No matter what.
And here’s another thing. I have a brand new reason to maintain my boundaries. One that I haven’t had before. If I pick up sugar, grains, or starch, or start eating compulsively, a really important part of the woman who my boyfriend fell in love with goes away. And so does a part of the woman who was ready and able to fall in love with him. I don’t do what I do for him. God knows I did it for years as a single woman. For myself. But now there is someone else I want to take care of myself for. I want to like myself when I’m with him. I want to know that I have integrity when I talk to him. I want to know that I have been treating my body with respect when it is in his arms. I want to be present for him. I want to be available for our relationship. I want to make sure he stays as important to me as he is right now.
Because if I were eating compulsively, I would care about food first. More than myself. More than him. More than love. Cake would trump my relationship. And that is not hyperbole.
I am not telling you this because I feel like I’m in danger right now. I am not actually worried about crossing my boundaries. I’m telling you to keep myself out of danger. I’m telling you because I have to regularly remind myself that I have food and body issues. Every day, in fact. It’s a preemptive measure. And especially right now, when I “don’t seem like the kind of girl who needs to keep boundaries around her food”, it’s in my best interest to remember that this beautiful, happy, glowing, beaming, stunning, effervescent, specimen of radiant joy and serenity is a 300 lb, binge-eating, laxative-abusing, 14-miles-a-day-running, bulimic. Who hasn’t had to do that stuff for so long that she had time and space and peace enough to fall in love.