The Mighty Logo

What My Life Will Look Like Without My Eating Disorder

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Editor's Note

If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741741.

I just started reading Chrissy Metz’ new book, “This is Me.” If you don’t already own a copy, girl! Go get one! Anyway, in the first chapter, she states something that rings too close to home for me. She says, “I truly believe the things you want can happen, but it starts with asking.” It’s funny because my mom has told me this my whole life, in her own words. She has always said, “if you put the thought out in the universe, it will come back to you. It may not come right away, but if you don’t give up, it will come back.”

It’s kind of ironic because my mom is the one who bought this book for me right before I had major surgery — one I am not totally convinced wasn’t from my insidious eating disorder, even though the surgeon told me it wasn’t. I am so tired of my eating disorder taking everything from me — my health, opportunities, money, time, happiness, my sanity, friends, family, love, sports, my dream job… should I keep going, or do you get the picture? I am exhausted and even though I have been able to “manage” my eating disorder ever since moving to South Carolina, I still dream of the day it is not a part of my life at all.

So this is me, putting my dream into the universe — hoping, one day, this perfect morning will be my reality.

My alarm goes off and before I can even open my eyes, the man of my dreams puts his arms around me. As I try to wiggle my way out of his bear hug, I tell him I can’t because I will be late to work. He kisses my neck, squeezes me one last time and lets go. We do this dance every morning. I open the curtains to let the light in. The beautiful sunshine hits my face and the only thought that runs through my head is how blessed I am to be alive. As I get ready, the thought of weight doesn’t enter my head once. Heck, you won’t even find a scale in this home of me and my happily married husband. I shower thinking about what my young son has after school that day and not about how I hate my stomach.

I head to my closet. I put on an outfit that makes me feel confident, not questioning what will be the warmest due to the fact I am always cold, or what outfit will cover my “problem areas.” Oh, and to finish it off, you will find my amazing wedding ring that matches my watch he bought me for my birthday last year, not a big, black, ugly Fitbit.

As I head to the kitchen, I make one breakfast for my whole family, not a different one for me in order to eat the highest amounts for the fewest calories — those days are over. As I make myself a cup of coffee, my little man runs out and yells, “good morning, Mommy!” He sits at the beautiful island my husband and I can afford because we have an outstanding work ethic and worked our way up the corporate ladder. I pour cream into my coffee. I am so focused on what my son is saying that I do not care how much cream, or rather how many calories, I am adding to my once calorie-free choice.

Once breakfast is made, my husband strolls out and joins us. I eat because my family is ready and not because the clock strikes a certain time by which I felt it was appropriate to put food into my stomach. I also eat and I am present. I am not on my phone logging everything into a fitness tracker to make sure my macros and micros and calories meet my eating disorder’s standards.

Then, when I finally look at the clock, I realize we are running behind. I kiss my husband and tell him how much I appreciate him, and I tell my little man to go grab his backpack. My husband says he wants to treat me to dinner tonight because he got a bonus at work, and even though it is a weekday, I won’t have time to work out today and I do not even know where he wants to take me, I happily agree. I smile at the fact I have been married for six years, and my honey still wants to take me out on a date instead of feeling worried, anxiety or guilt about not working out, about calories or what I will order. I am just excited and already thinking about what heels will show off my amazing legs best. I even go about my day, eat my lunch and a bite of a croissant my co-worker brought to work to thank me for helping her the week prior.

Later that day, my coworker asks me to join her this weekend to run a 5K and I agree because I want to — not because I feel like I have to. Calories do not even cross my mind anymore, and my weight is a concern of the past. I am driven by my desires and not my eating disorder. I have found freedom.

This is my goal. I hope each morning will look just like this one day — nothing spectacular, but spectacular to me.

Photo by Emile Guillemot on Unsplash

Originally published: June 6, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home