“It is okay if your body changes!!!” I’ve screamed to the rooftops. Texted friends. Said to my roommate on walks. Heck, I even told my dog that when the vet said he needed to lose six pounds. If you were to open up my brain right now I promise there are tiny little Presley’s running around inside there SCREAMING that phrase.
And they are all B E G G I N G me to eat cookie butter ice cream without needing to burn off the calories later.
Quarantine has made an absolute mess of our worlds and has thrown every routine out the window. Looking back on the past 2 months I’m realizing that this spring (aka quarantine, lets be honest) has been the hardest, weirdest, most helpful, most confusing, absolutely eye-opening, insert rude adjectives here part of recovery for me.
I’ve thought every bad thought about my body. I convinced myself none of my jeans fit anymore and crawled out of bed at 2 AM just to try them ALL on. I worked out twice a day some days and others. . . I MAYBE walked half a mile.
I passed out in the shower and chalked it up to being “emotionally exhausted”. I glossed over the topic with my therapist one morning and she had to pull me back into reality. Asked me if I was eating enough. When I last skipped a meal (surprise, it was the night before our session). “Why does eating a piece of birthday cake mean you have to punish yourself?” She asked.
I drank sweet tea on Saturday of this week and was still in crisis mode about it on Sunday night. Don’t tell my grandmother that. . . she’s a big believer in sweet tea.
I’ve stumbled more than I’ve walked gracefully during this season.
Whispering awful words about my arms or my thighs or my stomach. If only this was smaller or that was tighter then maybe……*insert a variety of scenarios I blame myself for not turning out the way I wanted to here*.
I’ve cursed the body that has literally carried me 26 years, most recently through a pandemic that has changed my entire way of life.
However, throughout the last 2 months. . . I’ve quite literally survived a pandemic. Solo. Locked in an apartment with my pup and the occasional happy hour with a roommate.
I’ve discovered an absolute passion for pizza. My trips to the grocery store include a few more purchases now. I’ve added a few more meals to my rotation and I’m 99 percent sure a blueberry muffin might be a gift straight from heaven.
There’s been birthday cake and coffee creamer and the occasional French fry not made from a sweet potato and baked with a minuscule amount of olive oil.
I’ve let friends in on thoughts and I’ve worked through fears of eating in front of people I don’t know well.
I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and not covered it with makeup in an attempt to hide every flaw.
I’ve fought and cried and been so angry at myself for liking food.
Much like most things in life, recovery isn’t linear. It just isn’t. There isn’t a process or a handbook that say’s “do this and you’ll be absolutely free of these chains in x amount of months”.
And there certainly isn’t a process or a handbook for recovering from ANYTHING during a pandemic. Or any situation outside of normal circumstances.
There’s no handbook for any of it. No explanation for the slip ups and the relapses (big or small). For why it’s harder on some days and essentially nonexistent on others.
But, what I’ve learned through being in recovery during this absolutely WILD time is that whatever each day looks like. . . it’s perfectly okay.
As long as you keep moving. Forward, not backwards.
Another full meal. Another day of attempting to not believe the awful lies that have been so embedded in your brain for so long.
And so again, just when I thought I’d maybe cleared a hurdle in this whole thing, I learn differently.
This season has been the hardest, weirdest, most helpful, most confusing, absolutely eye-opening, insert rude adjectives here part of recovery for me.
And the next one will look different. The next? Different than that one. We’ll keep moving forward and hopefully farther away from the seasons where I’m utterly terrified of a cheeseburger.