For me, there was one pivotal reason: I thought being thinner would make me better, more worthy, and ultimately, happier.
However, in my recovery journey, I have become acutely aware that thinner does not make me happier, and hence, when I am hungry, I am not so resistant to respond.
Rather, the pattern goes something like this:
Thoughts about avoiding eating arise
Thoughts questioning avoiding eating arise
Recognition that I am avoiding hunger due to the belief that if I avoid eating, I will be thinner, and thinness is the gateway to happiness
Recognition this is a flawed belief, and that thinness does not lead to happiness
Awareness that I am still hungry, and that the true path to happiness is to be happy in the moment of now, and that I am a leader for eating disorder recovery, thus in responding to my hunger by eating, I am being a leader not only for myself, but for others on the same path
Get food and nourish my body
It sounds like a really simple equation for those who have not experienced an ED, but I want to highlight this relationship as it explains the struggle.
Most of the time, we know we are hungry.
Trust me, times where I was so carbohydrate scarce (both from intake and my muscles) that I could not string a sentence together, I knew I needed to eat.
However, I did not.
Because I firmly, firmly believed that if I was thinner, my life would be better.
And, a major part of overcoming my anorexia, an illness which almost killed me (literally), has been to assess this fundamental belief.
And, in it’s assessment, I am aware it’s completely untrue.
Because, if it were true, I would have been happiest when I was thinnest.
But..I was not.
I was miserable.
And, actually, my greatest happiness has come when I am the happiest inside – accepting me as I am, in whatever shape and form I am.
It is not dependent on weight, thinness, or body fat.
It’s dependent on me accepting me, in the now, and recognising this is the path to happiness.
End of story.
Nothing more, nothing less.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.