One month as a vegetarian & the health of my brain is more important than the appearance of my body.

This is turning into a classic blog again for a little while, but I'll allow it before I post some academic or similar content again. Guess I'm just writing this for myself, really. Hurray, one month as a vegetarian as of yesterday! No stomach pains whatsoever. This is from when we were grocery shopping for easter. :)

I'm recovering from my eating disorder atypical anorexia in order to keep my sanity. Living with an eating disorder on and off for fourteen years has had a massive impact on my life and on me as a person. Just because you can't tell on the outside that a person is suffering from an eating disorder does not mean that this person isn't suffering. To be yoyoing constantly between being slightly underweight and between being just above underweight (for someone who is not naturally slim I might add, but rather with more of an athletic build) means to be constantly battling. It means to be in a state of starvation mentally at least 50% of the time, or more as loosing weight takes a lot more effort and time than gaining weight. Over a long time, that mental state becomes so familiar that it colors the experience of life itself. I'm in the danger zone of developing anorexia nervosa, there's no time like the present and I'm recovering now, not after our holiday, not a year from now. There's always an excuse in my mind to put off recovery, but putting off my recovery means to be putting off life itself. It doesn't matter what I look like, my mental state matters. Sure I've been able to get by reasonably well, but I've been surviving mostly, not truly living as I could have been- and for what?

It's stimulating to be living with my eating disorder in ways that it's difficult to explain for someone who has never struggled with it, I think I was carrying around a lot of anxiety with me when I moved here, but after living with my boyfriend for about a year I feel as though that anxiety is more managable now. The past is in the past. By recovering I'm also certain that I'll be able to remain a vegetarian in the long run.

It's freaky how, after my every attempt at recovery, my ED has been right back there only a day or even seconds after, without me really even noticing it until I'm back inside a very dark place where I forget to consider my own wellbeing or the effects that my ED is having on my life.

Living with an eating disorder is exhausting and the thoughts that it provokes inside me make me feel ill at ease.

Fourteen years of misery and yet this was the "best" that I was ever able to achieve. Goodbye skinny... Not worth it, not by a long shot. I'd rather stay sane.

I had peanutbutter today, which is something I normally won't allow myself. I don't feel guilty about it because I don't have that full feeling in my stomach at the moment, but if I gain weight, that's going to be the most challenging part. At the early stages of a relapse it seems easier to fool oneself into believing that "I've got it under control", but this illness is far too consuming.

This eating disorder was never really about looking thin, it was about gaining a false sense of control. Getting pretty photos taken during our holiday and so on- don't get me wrong I'd love to stay young and beautiful forever, but beyond that I don't really see what the point of all of that is anymore. If I shared a photo where I did manage to look spectacular then I'd probably just make some other girl out there feel insecure and as tough she would need to change perhaps, in order to be good enough. A neverending loop that steals the focus away from life... I think I would rather be ugly and happy, than unhappy and pretty, but in reality those are not really the two options that I'm choosing between. "Beauty" can mean many different things, it can be in the eye of the beholder or relate to traits that are more to do with a persons character than their physical appearance. At any rate, I absolutely know for certain that I could never live out my full potential as an internally beautiful person while still suffering from my eating disorder and so... As I have written about in the past, I feel a moral obligation to recover.

I still feel an intense desire to be controlling food in various ways, but I was probably slightly out of control or at least a bit unstable because of my unstable relationship with food, so food was controlling me. I've written about these things before and about the past that triggered my illness, only to unpublish most of it, but I need to recover for real and I want to hold myself accountable. The ambivalence, it's so intense in me, at times that's all there is. Right now I'm all for recovery, but I've felt that way before only to slip right back later on. I still believe that I'm strong enough to recover and that it's up to me. If I want it enough, then I'll be able to recover as this is a relapse and I have recovered before. I can do this and I will do this, right now.

I bought a bikini with a cute skirt piece so that I won't feel as naked during our holiday. Whether we capture any nice photo's or not, I honestly don't care, in truth they will be nice if they are photos that will make me think back on a nice memory with a smile on my face... That's what a nice photo should be like, not one where the focus is all on everything looking "perfect". I should eat nice food and enjoy our time together, not worry about what I look like. Feeling good-looking is a nice feeling that we can all enjoy, but it's about something deeper I think, about a desire to be accepted or loved perhaps? I certainly wanted those things, but the most important person who's acceptance we should desire is our own love and affection. When it comes down to it, my brain and the health of my brain is more important to me than the appearance of my physical body. My ability to preform well at uni has been affected by my eating disorder lately and I won't allow that. Also, although my boyfriend is very understanding, I don't like how it's been influencing my relationship with him either. We enjoy cooking meals together, we cook vegetarian food like vegetarian lasagna or pizza, katsu or quinoa stew and when we do those things I feel warm and happy, conversation is easy, relaxed... As opposed to when I'm starving and his love seems to me as though on the other side of some glass. I'll be cold, feeling heavy, very tired and emotionally, I'll be in pain. I don't want those feelings to be a part of our moments together ever again. I'm not perfect and he's not perfect either, nobody is, but I want to make the most of life no matter how imperfect it is. Loss of bone density and thinning hair which I have now experienced has worried me too, but the health of my brain is what concerns me the most. Because feeling the effects that my eating disorder has had on me mentally, without going into it, I feel that it is serious and that I need to do something about it.

Getting older helps, it makes it easier to accept change and to think that gaining weight is going to be OK. My body was never comfortable being this slim, I have more of a curvy and athletic figure naturally, it was always a struggle for me with the weight. I don't think that I'll ever get fat, it's a fear of course, but I'm too fond of healthy food and exercise. Also, I know from the fact that this has been a relapse/ from having recovered before, that recovering does not mean that I'll just keep gaining and gaining weight. All it means is that I'm going to get a lot more space inside my brain to focus on the things that I actually find interesting, such as my schoolwork.

We were busy with easter activities all morning and last night and we might go out to play my favourite game later at this little place where I like ordering tea. This became an easter activity too. I've also been playing a lot of Animal Crossing, collecting bunny stuff. Boardgames, watching Poirot... I love easter. Feel like my eating disorder ruined it a little bit as I couldn't bring myself to eat easter treats as I wanted to, but I had some treats when "that voice in my head" wasn't as difficult to deal with. As this is the final day of easter I'm going to enjoy myself as much as possible.

I'm really, really good at it. I've beaten everyone so far! :) Which isn't normally the case. It's the same way with Scrabble, but my boyfriend usually beats me at other games.

This pizza was the best vegetarian pizza I've ever tried and I'm so glad that I was able to enjoy it that day. Our regular pizza used to also be the best pizza I had ever tried and I didn't expect this meatless version to have as much of that umami flavour. The sauce inside it was creamy and bursting with flavour that got all mixed in with the fat from the different cheeses we put on top. I want to enjoy more good times with food and with other people like when we enjoyed this amazing pizza.

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