In all the time I have been working on getting through my eating disorder, the one key thing I haven’t been able to master is accepting my body for how it is.
I think this is one of the hardest thing to be able to do generally, never mind if you have had an eating disorder. We live in a culture heavily focused on “healthy” eating and exercise. In turn, we are led to believe that we should not accept our bodies for how they are if they are not a certain way. We are told we should always be trying to better them.
This mentality is incredibly dangerous in a society where eating disorders are more and more prevalent. It tells us that if we are slightly overweight then we should not love our bodies. This makes me feel as though I would be more accepted in society if I was still in the midst of my eating disorder.
Everyone I know is super conscious of what they are consuming. This is a behaviour I am trying to fight but how is this possible when I am surrounded by it? It’s like trying to give up using your phone but being unable to because everyone else is communicating that way.
I feel judged on a daily basis for what I choose to eat. This leads to intense guilt. Which leads to thoughts of what I can do to lose weight.
I want to accept my body for how it is. Progress has been made, I don’t cry every time I look in the mirror anymore. I don’t want to cut bits of my body off in disgust now. But, I cannot picture a future of complete acceptance when we are constantly fed the idea that we can be better. There is always room for improvement and you are a bad person if you are not striving for it.
Logically, it is clear that this is stupid. And damaging. My head fails to think that when someone says “are you sure you want to eat more of that?” Or if I’m at work and all my colleagues are talking about their current diets.
This culture benefits big companies. Companies that thrive on our low self esteem. They sell products that people with self esteem will not buy into. Why would I need that new diet pill or cosmetic procedure if I loved my body?
Ultimately, I will continue to try and fight against everything around me to accept my body how it is. But, the conditions of society are just not optimal for that which increases the challenge. It feels like trying to swim against the tide.