When things started to rapidly fall apart after the boy broke up with me last year, I deleted my facebook and basically stopped going out entirely. I didn’t want to be thought about or remembered or included. Instead, I wanted to be alone to my routines and exercise bike and salad. In many ways, I’m really glad about this. There is literally no photographic evidence online of me at my absolute sickest and I’m glad only a handful of people got to see that. It was horrible to live through and I’m glad a lot of people never met that me and incredibly glad it never got broadcast over the internet to people I met at the pub five years ago. The isolation was rubbish, but there’s a silver lining.
That being said, the last pictures of me before I reactivated my account a few weeks ago were from a Pancake Day celebration last year. I looked at those pictures the other day and cried. I remember that day so clearly. I knew I wanted to go to the pancake party, so I ate less than usual for a few days and starved myself entirely for the day of the party so I could eat pancakes with my friends. I exercised extra hard so I could earn it. I ate pancakes. Multiple, delicious pancakes. Not more than anyone else, but I was so guilty for days afterwards so I ate less that my usual (already pitiful) amounts and continued to exercise even more intensely. I had to undo the damage. And I did… and then some. As usual. And I don’t think the party was fun for me really. All I could think about was the food, what I should and shouldn’t eat, what I’d earnt, if I was the smallest, if I’d eaten more or less than anyone else. It’s a horrible memory for me. Most of my eating disorder based memories are.
I may look like a planet, but I never want to look like that again. I look so ill in those photos, and in reality, I’ve been physically sicker than that. My body is angular and frail and my face looks so worn down. At this point, I still fully believed I had everything under control, but looking at those photos it’s clear that I was already completely out of it. I thought people would be jealous of my thinness, but looking back, it was probably anything but. I may have been small, but I looked horrendous. I actually think I look nicer now. Even the fat me I see in the mirror (I know I’m not actually big at all, but that’s what I see anyway) is better than that. It’s not just the image that bothers me, but also what that reflected in my well-being. I was miserable, my personality had died and all I was left with was guilt, a false sense of superiority and broken self-esteem. I wasn’t there. Not really. I don’t want to ever look like that again because I know what that means. It means I’m no longer really me.
This Pancake Day has been a vast improvement. Firstly, I have predominantly followed my meal plan, meaning I’ve not had to starve myself at all today or yesterday, with no extra exercise. And on top of that, I’ve eaten pancakes. Six of them. I managed to work them into my meal plan for a pancake bonanza. Granted, they were very controlled pancakes (I’ll admit, they were pretty eating disorder friendly – vegan, buckwheat pancakes cooked in that stupid spray oil rather than the real thing), but I’m unsure I could manage a serious pancake today and not feel overwhelmed with the desire to restrict. Memories are difficult triggers for me to manage at the moment. More importantly though, I did other things too. Pancakes weren’t my entire day. I haven’t spent all day worrying about it because frankly, there are better things for my mind to do. Like some serious university work, lectures, some awareness promoting (my uni is covered in post-its for EDAW and Operation Beautiful), planning my weekend, considering how good The Smiths are and even just clothes. Clothes are better to think about than pancakes. That’s a fact. Pancakes are good and everything, but even clothes are more interesting. Today may well be Pancake Day, but for me, it’s the least pancake-y Shrove Tuesday in a long while and tomorrow, I won’t need to worry about pancakes at all. It feels really good actually.
I may want to be smaller and wish on a daily basis that I could eat less, but I much prefer who I am now and want to do what it takes to keep that. I want to actually be here to appreciate all further pancake parties and much more.
Without further ado, PANCAKES! (please bare in mind, I don’t do anything by halves. If it’s Pancake Day, it should be pancakes an entire day) –
On the realz, I bet you’re bare jel of my pancakes. Pancakes are nang!
I’m not giving up anything for Lent. I figure I’ve given up more than my fair share already. I hope you’re all eating pancakes today.