As I was reading this post (quoted above) @ Eating Journey, things just kind of hit me. I've had such a complex (about a lot of things) but especially about running. See even though I'm physically strong now, I'm still mentally weak. I'm still often crippled by self doubt and negative self-talk. I'm working on it, but it's a tough battle. Today I broke through one of those barriers in running 5 miles straight. And I loved it, it felt good to feel so strong. But pushing through that block, left me feeling a little unsettled. I kept thinking "what now? I've been so wrapped up in "I love to workout but I'm not a runner" and various other "I can't" statements that now that I can't say that, what am I? In the past I've spent so much of my life wrapped up in disordered eating habits, compulsive exercise, binge eating, dieting, failing, getting healthy, and exercising that my mind instantly started searching for something else to identify with. Not just anything, but something negative; something else that I couldn't do.
"What if I told you that I was going to not let you judge yourself on
the scale numberThen….what would be your focus? Where would you find validation? Where would your happiness come from?"
what food you ate
how much you exercises
what your inches are
what clothes you fit in
Mish @ Eating Journey
After seeing that post, I do wonder who I would be if I wasn't ruled by the scale. If I could live by how my jeans fit instead of that number. What could I do if I wasn't ruled by the desperate need to only consume healthy, whole foods? How much more relaxed would I be if I wasn't consumed by trying to lower my body fat percentage or by dropping inches each month? How much more enjoyable would shopping be if I didn't have to judge my happiness by the pants size? Where would my anchor point be?
There's a fine line between control and obsession and I've been dancing on that line for awhile now. Friends and family say my 6 day a week gym habit is dedication but they don't see that it's the fear of being overweight again that drives me there every day. I'm applauded for my meticulous healthy eating habits, but nobody knows that it's driven by an irrational need to distance myself from the girl who binged herself to 30 pounds overweight in 6 months. I have friends who gape over my salad love at restaurants but they don't know that it's only because I'm terrified of what's really in whatever they're eating. I am struggling to find a balance between becoming healthy and becoming obsessed with becoming healthy. And yes, it is a struggle.
Who would I be if my life wasn't ruled by irrational fears and an insane need for control? I really don't know... yet. But I am going to find out. Because I am tired of letting these fears eat away at my happiness. Because life is more than food and exercise and being healthy. Because none of this means anything if I can't enjoy it. Because I deserve more. Even if I don't believe that right now, I know it's true. I'm on a journey to find freedom in a healthy lifestyle and I'm strong enough now to know that I can't let these demons beat me. This time, I'm fighting back.