Eating Disorder Mindset: When I Lose Weight, I’ll Be Happy
How many times have you told yourself this lie?
And it is a lie.
A big fat lie.
Because if you’re not happy with yourself now, you won’t be happy with yourself being 10, 20, 50 pounds lighter either.
Because long-term happiness doesn’t come from the way our bodies look.
Why weight is ephemeral
When you buy yourself a new dress, you’re excited about wearing them for the first time. The dress looks fantastic, you feel confident yet comfortable, and it’s exactly what you wanted. People may even compliment you on looking great!
But just a few days later? You’re not as excited about the dress anymore. Most likely, you won’t even think about them. I mean, you still love that dress, and you’re happy you bought it, but they just don’t bring you the joy anymore.
Why? Because it’s ephemeral. You got it, you wore it, you’re happy for a few moments, and then the feeling starts to fade until it’s completely gone. So, you start searching for another mean to bring yourself joy.
The same applies to our bodies and how much they weight. It’s all ephemeral.
As cliché as it is, the beauty does indeed come within.
Just think about it – what does make you feel happy in the long-term? Having a thigh gap or having a body (the outer, ephemeral part) that you’ve been able to run a half marathon with (the inner part)? I’d defiantly go with the ladder. But it wasn’t always like that.
Loosing weight won’t make you a happier person
It took me years of recovery from anorexia and binge eating disorder to understand that a fleeting and fluctuating number on the scale doesn’t define my beauty, confidence, happiness, and most definitely not me as a person.
I was so consumed with the disordered eating mindset that I completely lost any sense of living a “normal” life that any 19-20-year-old would.
I studied university, but instead of enjoying the uni-life, I was stuck in the dorm, reading pro-ana blogs, writing down every food I ate, and hating myself for being “fat.”
I didn’t make any friends. I avoided socialization because I would have to eat with them, and I didn’t want that.
My grades started to drop because studying was the last thing on my mind. If I don’t have control over food, how can I have control over anything else in my life?
I had a loving partner, but I was always only halfway present. I worried about him thinking I’m too fat, about me not having a flat tummy, and craving all the food he offered to me, yet I politely declined.
When dealing with anorexia during my late “teens,” the more weight I lost, the shittier I felt. Yes, I was “happy” to see yet a lower number on a scale in the morning. Still, the feeling passed just a few seconds in as I slowly realized yet another day full of battle with myself and the desire to be skinny thin in my head.
When I lose weight, I’ll be happy
One of the biggest lies I’ve told myself was that if I lose weight and reach my “dream” weight, I’ll finally be happy.
I never was. Even when reaching the weight goal, I still wasn’t happy. I didn’t like the way I looked. It wasn’t enough. I wanted more. I knew that it was unsustainable. I knew that the moment I’d start eating “normally” again, I’d gain all of the weight and more back. I was hungry, tired, agitated, and constantly fighting with my family and my partner – them worrying about me not eating and me denying every accusation although they were absolutely true.
I couldn’t even think about being happy because all I could think about was food. How freaking hungry, I was. How much I was craving pizza and chocolate, and my mum’s delicious carrot cake. And why can’t I just be “normal”?
To me, the years with an eating disorder didn’t feel like a life. It felt like a blurred and shallowed period where I worried about nothing but food, my weight, and what my body looked like.
Recovery is possible and so worth it
Being skinny to wear that Insta-style bikini won’t make you happy. Wearing that bikini, feeling confident, and not giving a damn about weight will.
Rejecting an invitation for dinner because you’re afraid of gaining weight won’t make you happy. Going out with friends and engaging in the conversation without thinking about how much you did or didn’t eat today will.
Avoiding things because you’re worried about the number on the scale won’t make you happy. Doing things you wanted to do but your eating disorder voice told you you’re “too fat to do them” will make you happy.
I want absolutely everyone out there struggling with an eating disorder to know that recovery is possible and that it’s 100% worth it. I’m not going to lie and say that recovery is easy, that it’s a straight path, and that you won’t feel like quitting a million times a day. BUT IT IS POSSIBLE, AND IT IS WORTH IT.