So last night I had a good old rant about how I was annoyed that I have never looked like the ‘classic anorexic’. It felt good to get it out of my system, however silly those thoughts are.
Then this morning I was just out for a gentle run in the rain in my local park on top of a hill with stunning views and I thought…hang on, there’s probably a flip side to that, surely there has to be something good about being a healthy weight? This is what I came up with:
I get to run. This isn’t about calorie burning for me, it’s about being able to stop on the top of the hill, look across the valley, take a deep breath and think that I’m lucky that my body lets me do this. If I was severely underweight running would just be a form of torture. Plus I love my social running with my club, if I was I unhealthy they wouldn’t let me run with them.
I get to be at university. I know of two people at the moment who are out of university because their bmi is too low for them to be there. My PhD is taking long enough with that happening!
I get to work with children. Being severely underweight would result in referral to occ health who would probably sign me off. I love my job and would hate that.
I can look after my cousins. I’m really close to my cousins and we have a delicious new baby who I get to see when I go home. There is no way my aunt would let me mind him if I were really ill.
I have a relationship. For sure we have our ups and downs, and ED is definitely responsible for some rifts, but we have fun and I am loved and get to love. When ED is all consuming there is no room for anyone else.
I’m fertile (hopefully!). I have a fairly regular period. I will hopefully get to have children some day. Not everyone wants this, but I do, and being a healthy weight allows that to happen.
I have energy. Sure some days I am exhausted and run down but I have enough energy to do the necessities like breathing, self-care, walking places and then still some left over for things like fun with friends, running club, reading etc. Energy is a precious commodity when you’re severely underweight I imagine.
So, while a part of me may always resent that I was never thin enough, another part of me knows that being a certain weight isn’t a badge of honour; it’s a thief of joy, it’s isolating, it’s exhausting, just like all EDs are. Also it’s genetics, my set point is just always going to be higher than I like, I can’t keep fighting that.
There’s my rational thought for the day/ and it’s only 7.15!