What I’m “Allowed”

This is a post that’s been weighing on the back of my mind for awhile now and on the front of my mind the entire Memorial Day weekend. I’m still struggling with recovery and what it means in terms of what I’m “allowed” to feel about my body, or what I’m “allowed” to do about my body if my feelings about it are not so favorable. I continue to have great weekends and attend fun events in Boston – and when I go home! I continue to do a pretty good job of not depriving myself. But I also continue to feel as if my body is changing in ways I strongly dislike (dare I say hate), as a result of all that lack of deprivation. I feel like my lack of deprivation is actually overdoing it. I feel as if I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum now, and my body shows it. I feel so uncomfortable in my own skin. I feel gross. I feel disgusting. Last night I met up with Jen for a patio drink to conclude our holiday weekend, and I wore a dress I purchased back on Black Friday 2011. It felt so tight on me, and I felt like I was busting out of it. I felt self-conscious and wished I was wearing something more bag-like. I kept mentally pulling up in my mind photos of me in the same dress when I wore it in Orlando in March 2012, or at the Mohegan Sun BrewFest later that same year.

Before dinner with my parents, in Orlando.

At the BrewFest, toasting Sam.

(And for obvious reasons, I took zero photos of myself in the same dress yesterday.) Here are all of the things I would like to do, but feel like I’m not allowed to do, because they would be called “disordered” or “a relapse”:

  • sign up for and train for a half marathon
  • not drink a drop of alcohol until my parents come to visit on Friday night
  • cut out most sugar
  • cut out most bread

Realistically I feel like the last one comes from a disordered place and my ever-present fear of carbs. And I don’t eat that much sugar so I guess the second to last one isn’t a big deal either. But I have “trained myself” to not fear having a glass of wine with dinner, and now I’m afraid that I really just need to stop doing that, because I don’t need those calories. And the half marathon more so comes from the fact that I’ve always wanted to say I did one, and I am craving a kick-ass fitness-related accomplishment, and I’ve found pretty much the perfect half to sign up for. Seriously, I don’t know what balance is. I sense that balance in recovery is different than balance for “normal people”. What is my balance? What is it OK for me to want to do? I wish I could just “go on a diet” or do a “slim-down” like a normal person, and not feel judged for it, or not feel worried that it will lead me to a darker place. Or better yet, I wish I could just eat and not overanalyze what every bite or sip will do to the body that I wish were skinnier. This post is word vomit but it’s how I feel and I had to get this all out. Does anyone have any advice to offer me? What is it OK for me to do??

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