Health · Personally

The realities of holidaying with an eating disorder. 

Bags packed, car loaded, days off, no responsibilities. 

Going on holiday is one of the most exciting feelings in the world. 

Unless all you can think about is what you’ll be eating and the lack of gym over the next four days. It sounds so silly written down… even when I say it out loud it seems laughable. 

Stop overreacting C, it’s not a big deal, you won’t put on weight, it’ll be fine, and the boyf will love you no matter what anyway.

But what if he doesn’t? What if you end up gaining 5 pounds? Everything you’ve done in the gym over the last few weeks will have been for nothing. 

It’s an awful pattern of thought. And it’s not just something that comes and goes. Every time there’s a lull in conversation or you’ve got a minute to yourself to think, it’s like a merry-go-round of conflicting thoughts going on. 

That’s how twisted an eating disorder is. No matter how hard you try and push the negativity away, it’s all consuming and doesn’t let up. No matter how much you believe the logic and sense that you’ve read about food and exercise, how much you accept what the ones you love tell you, there’s no escaping the fear that descends on you as soon as you think you’re beginning to lose even a little bit of control. It’s like claustrophobia except there’s no way of leaving the enclosed space you’re in, because it’s your own head. How do you run away from thoughts?

I know I’m incredibly lucky to have friends and a boyfriend who could not be more supportive. The other half sat down with me before we even knew where we were going and said he’d do whatever it took for me to enjoy the holiday as much as possible, going as far as promising a workout integrated into one of the days we were away so I wouldn’t feel terrible for not exercising. 

The four days were tough. 

I started off strong, pacing myself with car-snacks and not going overboard, but as the fry-up breakfasts and pub grub accumulated, the last day was a torrent of wanting to eat because I was hungry and not wanting to eat because we couldn’t find anything affordable that was relatively healthy. 

But the point is, I did it. I had four amazing days away with the most amazing person, and, aside from the worries about food, I managed to have a great time! 

Four days isn’t a long time, but long term recovery is built up on baby steps and shorter blocks of time, and if I can only go less than a week right now before the negative thoughts become overwhelming, then that’s the reality of where I am with recovery. The thing that needs to be remembered that four days is better than zero days, so who’s really winning?

C x 

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