What my therapist actually said: “If you want to restrict and exercise, just restrict and exercise.”
What my therapist meant: “If you are weighing yourself because you think it’s going to give you some sort of new information and influence your decisions, don’t bother. Whether the scale is up, down, or the same, you’re always going to think you’re fat and want to restrict and exercise. So just cut out the step of getting on the scale.”
What my ED heard: “RESTRICT! EXERCISE! IT’S OKAY!!!!!!!!!“
I mean, obviously, that’s not what she meant, right? And maybe 25-30% of me believes that. The other 70-75% believes she just gave me permission to act on my favourite eating disordered behaviours and that I ought to do everything in my power to make sure my weight is down at the next weigh-in.
That’s the other thing: collaborative weighing. Meaning, once a week, my therapist and I weigh me and plot it on a graph. Fabulous. Because nothing makes me feel like a cow more than my adorably petite therapist weighing me and having to see just how fat I am, week after week. Right now, my weight falls “within normal limits” on the BMI chart (yaaaaaay?) and the idea, say-eth the therapist, is to keep it “within normal limits.” Ideally, throughout this process, my weight won’t drop below the red line or rise above it.
Well, that, again, is what say-eth the therapist. Ideally, say-eth the ED, my weight drops out of normal limits within the first two or three weeks we’re working together and my weight inches ever closer to that
miracle weight where everything is wonderful! Where life is good! Where I wake up with energy and love myself and my body!
Except…I’ve been that weight. I wasn’t happy, I didn’t love my body. I was miserable. I was sick all the time. I struggled to get out of bed in the morning. I fantasized about killing myself all the time.
So what’s the appeal? Why work so mother-flipping hard to get back there?
That, friends, is an entirely separate blog post, which may or may not ever be published. (Yes, I know what drives my eating disorder, particularly the restriction. But I’m afraid to say it out loud. Mainly because I don’t fancy getting committed to a psychiatric hospital. Again.)