Sorry for being so M.I.A. recently!!
Life has just been happening, you know?? I've been working a lot and then uni started up (and there is a heck of a lot of stuff to organise before you even get into week 1 of university! CRAZY!) and well, ya girl had to prioritise life in order to make the most of each day and unfortunately that meant posting all the delicious foods to Instagram instead of this lovely space as it was simply quicker, more convenient and let's be real; easier! :P
Anywho, I am back today and this time with a real serious post to get the brains a-thinking and to follow the theme of the week which is in fact NEDA week (National Eating Disorders Awareness week) and today I wanted to talk about restriction.
Restriction in both the sense of restricting yourself with food and also restricitng yourself of happiness, in general.
It is such an easy and almost unintentional rabbit hole to first fall down, but once you've fallen the twists and turns it takes makes it almost impossible to find your way out of without a serious reality check and/or (and preferably and) a little help from others.
You might be thinking, but Steph, how can you possibly know that, you're always going on about the enormity of the meals you eat and the abundance of food you allow yourself.
And yes, that is the case. Most times.
You see, my also unexplained absence can be drawn down to my having lost some wight and finding some of my thoughts surrounding eating, exercising and healthy living in general to sway more towards the unhealthy side. And I know this for sure because I've been pulled up on it by not 1, not 2, but 3 separate people I've met on Instagram when posting my stories and or pictures of what I've been eating/ doing. And when a stranger who doesn't even know you picks you up on disordered living... that's when you know something is up!
And so recently I've decided to take a step back from all the commitments I've made to myself in the past, including this blog and try and reflect on how I am currently living life and whether or not this is the healthiest life for me.
The thing is, there's a strange sense of pride and or feeling good about yourself when you do eat less than you should. It is so disordered this thinking and so wrong on so many levels but I'm sure a lot of you can relate to that sense of... accomplishment??
And this is where body dismorphia also comes into play, because looking in the mirror and sure, thinking; 'yeah I've lost some weight but there's still fat around my hips, or I'm still not the perfect figure etc.' is all too easy when you fall down that rabbit whole that is, as hard as it might be to take, extremely selfish and self-focused that you don't even realise you are a heck of a lot smaller than the majority of people around you!
And then your family starts to notice and maybe brings it up in convo- nice and casually like; 'Gosh that was a long workout- you must be getting so fit! And also you are small!!' They worry and yet try and phrase it in a positive light to start the conversation and thus, once again, people are noticing the restrictive behaviour.
The restrictive behaviour of over-exercising, of not taking enough rest days for your body, of becoming so focused on fitness and physique that the joy and love of exercise is lost too amongst the twists and turns of the disordered maze you've found yourself in. Resorting to only taking rest days once a week and those being active 'rest' days will continue to work your body. And disordered minds thrive of this (I know I am currently in this cycle!)
And then after all this; the smaller meals, the less nut butter added to your oats, the chucking out the food because you can't fit it in your belly, the choosing a plate of raw veggies over your preferred roasted veggies because you've eaten too much fat already today, the 30min 'rest day' workout you put yourself through when your body cries out for rest, the sick satisfaction of looking at protruding bones in the mirror and a little sense of dark pride surfacing in your mind, you lose weight. And not the healthy kind. The unhappiness kind. Because you're also losing happiness.
And again, how do I know this?? Because I am currently working through all this mentioned above myself.
I don't want that disordered little voice controlling my actions throughout my life and I sure as heck don't want to lose any more weight. I never thought I'd get to a stage like this, but if I want a happy, healthy future, with the ability to carry children, have the energy and healthy bones and functioning body to do all the things I want and alive a long and prosperous life, meals like this one above are going to need to become a lot more balanced as well as my balance with exercise and rest.
I love my body and yet I've fallen down the rabbit hole of restricition but luckily I've realised this and so now it's time to pull myself out!
This was a brutally
honest and hard to write post for me, so I hope this can spark hope and start a conversation with all of you guys struggling with the same kinds of things, so leave a comment if you wish, share your story if you like (feel free to email me if you would like me to hear your story or even share it here on the blog) and as always, my friends, eat something delicious. Bye for now!! :D