There Are The Moments...

There are the moments you realize you are conquering.

When you see someone in the grocery store who you have not seen since your dark times and they tell you how amazing you look and you realize you believe the compliment. You do not twist the meaning into looking fat, into being too much. You do not let your mind wander off to needing to restrict that day. You soak in the words and accept the gift. With open hands, you allow that person to place their kindness into your grasp for you to carry with you for assurance the rest of the day you are doing the right thing. You let those words be what you see as you catch a glimpse of your reflection. You are stepping into truth, running from lies.

When you lick the beaters to the cupcakes you are making without a second thought. You do not rush to wipe them off to avoid temptation. You leisurely stroll, or perhaps even dance, to the sink as you savor the last remnants of the batter. Your thoughts are not obsessive, ridden with guilt and laced with fear. Your body is not anxious. You are genuinely happy, only thinking to yourself who in the world dreamt up this delectable concoction and how did you ever deprive yourself of such joy. You stay in this moment, relishing in the simple pleasures of life, blessed for the opportunity to experience them again.

When harsh words are spoken to you as you sit with food in front of you and you still continue to finish your meal. You no longer let those words and the emotions stop you from making your recovery a priority. You no longer live in excuses to why you neglected your health. You no longer seek out reasons why you do not deserve to care for yourself. You keep moving, you keep walking despite the darkness around you. You are not those words. You are not that pain. And for the first time, you believe that.

There are the hours you realize you are winning.

When you are sitting on the couch and notice you have gone 120 glorious minutes with a free mind. There were no thoughts about weight, no obsessing about food, no preoccupation about the space you are taking up, no counting calories. There was just you, laughing and smiling and joyfully being present in this beautiful moment of pure freedom. You cannot help but cry out of excitement, disbelief, surmounting hope you have finally, after years of torment, reached a state of bliss.

When you do not panic as you realize they are sold out of a food you normally eat. There is no fear or paranoia. You simply look for the next best thing. And in five seconds, you have the item in your hand. There is no calculating in your head what will fit into your intake, what is allowed by the rules of the disorder, what will do the least “damage”. An hour has not passed.  There is just before you an opportunity to expand your horizons, to break out of your mold, to feel completely normal. And you are okay with it. You are ready for it. You have been longing for it and life just gave you an opening to own it.

When you put on a pair of pants and you realize they are tighter and you do not freak out. You do not cry. You do not grab a piece of paper and start calculating a new meal plan to prevent your body from continuing to grow. You breathe. You relax. You accept this moment for what it is; a sign of life, a symbol of strength, a time of moving forward. Yes, you may now be one size up but you are also one step up to full restoration, one day closer to your dreams,  one answer closer to your calling. You are growing into yourself, into your vast future, and you are going to let it happen.

There are the days you realize you are succeeding.

When you stop eating by a clock, obsessively checking the time for the minute the big hand strikes a certain number and you can finally allow food to touch your lips. Just because you ate one time yesterday no longer means you have to eat at that time today. No, you are now free to eat whenever you want. The clock chained to you is broken off. You let your day flow organically, letting your body be the decider of when you eat, shutting off your mind because you know it sucks at decision making.

When your stomach growls at you and you decide to honor it. You do not ignore it. You do not find pleasure in the noise, in the emptiness. You decide in that moment you could really go for some peanut butter or perhaps some chocolate or that ice cream in the freezer has been grabbing your attention lately. With no guilt or trepidation, no second thoughts you walk downstairs and appease your noisy stomach. Regardless if you ate an hour before, if it is 2 a.m., if you ate your minimum intake for the day, you still seek to make your body happy.

When you are sitting next to another girl and you have no desire to compare the size of your thighs to her, scrutinize your appearance against hers. You let her be herself without anger for how she was made. And you unapologetically sit there owning your own body, proud of who you are, not needing to be that girl beside you, not wishing away the beautiful creation you are. You sit there with confidence and assurance because you know how hard you had to fight to be in this position, to be in this body. And although not perfect and still a work in progress, you would not want another’s and you would never destroy this one again.

When you wake up to a bad day, those inevitable days where you just want to crawl back in bed. You do not like what your eyes are making you see in the mirror. You do not like how you feel in all your clothes. But, despite it all, you decide to show up for life. You decide to keep going. It is not a valid reason to give up. It is not your sign that you are failing. You muster up all your energy, put on your brave pants, grab your coat of determination, and you face the day. Whatever it brings, you will take. Whatever it throws at you, you will hit. You believe you are stronger than these days. You know you have survived them before and you have the confidence to do it again.

More often than not, there are more moments of light shining into my life. There are more days of hope than pain. There are a greater amount of hours in excitement than in fear. What is possible today was not at this time last year. Those days, moments, hours I listed are the result of a life lived in continuous faith I would see them. I am beating the disorder with each passing day. I am writing this in victory and I know there are many more battles going to be declared won in my future. This war is mine to conquer. 

Love, light, and bravery,

J.L