I felt prompted to write about this topic as it is one of the more notable emotional phenomenon’s my eating disorder brought with it. It’s something I’m still growing from, and a scar needing quite a bit of healing. Eating disorders have a much bigger hold on us than just our diet patterns. After all, they never really are about food. They’re about something so much deeper; something much more real. They are often about deep rooted fear.
Deep Rooted Fear Under the Eating Disorder
If you were to ask me what I feared the most, I’d tell you my biggest insecurity was not being chosen. Feeling as though I was not enough. As though I was not worthy. And feeling like no one could ever love me, because I didn’t love myself.
This is a fear that has taken so much of my life from me. It has driven a wedge between myself and the people I love. A fear fueled by insecurity and low self-esteem.
I often wonder if this is what prompted me to start dieting. All I ever wanted to do was fit in. And to feel like I was enough. I thought if I eliminated what I perceived to be “flawed,” then I’d be accepted. Maybe once accepted by others, I would be able to accept myself.
Eating disorder’s force us to believe we aren’t enough. They cause us to overthink, and promote a distorted version of reality, often detrimental to one’s confidence and self-esteem. They cause us to act impulsively and out of fear. We feel as though we have to validate our every move.
Fear hides under the eating disorder
Outward appearance had nothing to do with it. It was all in my head. Rather than solving my problems, the restriction kicked my brain into starvation mode. And sent me down a path full of fear, worry, and self-loathing.
Everything we do is rooted in fear when our eating disorder has something to say about it.
It’s draining, frustrating, and heartbreaking, but at the same time, it feels safe.
We think we’re doing the right thing. We feel some sort of gratification when we abide by the disordered voice’s outrageous demands. Because as outrageous as they may be, the idea of defying them seems utterly preposterous.
We are so blinded by said voice, that we can’t see what we’re missing. Our perception is distorted as our brain is malnourished. We can’t grasp our own beauty.
EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL
Something I wanted to make a note of is: we will never see ourselves the way others see us. What we see as flaws others see as perfection. Because we were all made perfectly.
We were designed with intent and love and purpose.
Therefore, and I’ll say it louder for the people in the back, EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL. I guess I wanted to remind you today. And to share a bit of my story with you, to remind you that you are not alone. And you are loved. ALWAYS.
Eating disorders are contradictory in this way. We tell ourselves, “if I lose x amount of weight, then I’ll be happy. Others will love me more if I weigh less.” NOT TRUE. Not in the slightest!
The problem is never with other people. It is within us, and it can be fixed. We just have to choose ourselves.
What exactly do I mean by “choosing ourselves?” I mean accepting who we are in the present moment. Accepting and appreciating our bodies, as they are BEAUTIFUL. Not wanting to change the skin we are in, as we are who we are for a reason! An important, incredible, BEAUTIFUL reason.
I am in a much better place with my body now. But I am still healing. And something I realized, particularly recently, was that my greatest fear stemmed from never choosing myself. Never being present in the body I have. Allowing my feelings towards my body dictate who I loved, and how I believed they felt about me.
My eating disorder lied to me.
My eating disorder doesn’t love me, and it never did. It loved the attention I gave it. The attention my loved one’s so rightly deserved. I neglected the relationships that mattered for something so demanding, draining, and self-deprecating.
Ultimately I learned that, if you don’t choose yourself, then you will never feel like others can choose you. You’ll never understand why others love you so deeply. Because they do.