It’s so much easier to write forward than to write back. Forward is a blank page awaiting adventure. You can fill it with hopes and dreams. Forward is full of infinite possibilities. Back is a place I have already been; for better or worse it is the history of me, of where I was and who I used to be…a much shallower, weaker version of myself. Yet we all must learn and grow from our experiences and whereas I am quite certain there are people’s pasts much darker and more debilitating than my own I only have mine to draw upon as a touch point of understanding for those who have traveled a similar road…for those who are travelling it now.
When I started to ‘get it’, to truly understand my health; where I was; where I was heading and come to the belief that ‘yes’, I actually was worth the time and effort to extend to make things right; I stepped forward into a whole new way of life…and all hell broke loose.
People don’t like change. It’s sudden; unpredictable and beyond their control. Overnight I started eating differently. I eliminated everything and started over from scratch. Goodbye breads, pastas, rices, sugars, chips, pop, cookies, candies…hello lettuce and veggies with a small side of dressing and a mouthful of chicken. Comments changed from the skeptical ‘Are you really going to eat that?’ to concerned tones of ‘Here, try this’, ‘Is that all you’re eating?’ Fork full’s of foods pushed in my face over my meager plate, ‘One bite isn’t going to kill you!’. I couldn’t help but recoil into horrified flash backs of my Mother pinning me to the floor at 17 and shoveling spoonfuls of food in my mouth. I thrashed and cried, gagged and wretched, covered in my own vomit. In my minds eye I can still see my Mother struggling to force feed her bulimic daughter as a last resort.
I became stubborn. Steadfast. I was going to break every food based fear, phobia and addiction if it killed me. I WAS going to be healthy. The war raged for months; everyone thought I was crazy, other’s feared I was relapsing. I learned the word ‘No’ in a deafening roar. More importantly I began to learn; to read and research everything I could on proper nutrition and healthy eating. I started walking, every day. 1 kilometer quickly turned to 2 turned to 5 and before you knew it I added 5 km of biking to my daily routine as well.
I stopped focusing on my weight and put everything I had into how I felt and dammit all, for the first time in years I began to feel physically well! It took a couple months to fully notice but my moods were becoming better and more stable; my hair was growing in thick and healthy and my skin…started to look more pink than blotchy red and grey. It was working! I was doing it…there was no turning back.
In hindsight it was necessary, this path and place. I wouldn’t be me today had I not have been me then. I wouldn’t be as understanding of the struggles of others. I wouldn’t know to truly celebrate the achievement of others the way I do now. I wouldn’t be able to say with any truth or conviction that yes, I understand; I get it and there IS a way.