for myself, one of the scariest facts regarding eating disorders is not the shocking mortality rate. instead, it’s the fact that, once somebody struggles with one, and the longer that struggle becomes, the less and less likely their chances of ever living completely, 100% free of it.
that’s not to say that the behaviors will always be there; it’s the thoughts that are the most difficult to drive away.
sometimes, though, it’s not even the thoughts – it’s the knee-jerk reactions.
i was finishing up my lift today and chatting with one of my friends. we were standing by the rock wall, and one of the belayers was with us too. i have never met the kid before, but he knows the guy i was talking to. anyway, i said i had to get going, either to shower or do some cardio. (i was planning on rowing today but i tore a dime-sized piece of skin off my hand DLing yesterday so rowing sounded about as appealing as a root canal. and the thought of doing prowler pushes made me want to cry. seriously, six weeks of transitioning from a distance runner to a powerlifter and i already treat cardio like the plague!)
i went to the locker room, planning to hop in the shower, but i was hungry and know better than to shower when i’m hungry – something about the dropping blood sugar, the standing, and the steam just doesn’t mix well. and if i’m going to pass out naked, i would like it to be in the privacy of my own home. so i grabbed a protein bar from my stash and wandered out toward the lobby to eat it, since eating in the locker room seems weird haha.
belaying dude is sitting behind the front desk, sees me walking out with a mouthful of food, and says, “well you better go do cardio if you’re eating that!”
and so help me i completely lost my shit. before i could even finish chewing i snapped, “fuck that shit” and proceeded to push through the lobby door so explosively that i snapped one of its hinges. i kept walking until i was outside – plowing through two other doors with only slightly less force – and flopped onto a bench to chew aggressively until the rage simmered down.
now generally speaking, i’m not an angry person. but, apparently, even years out of the disorder and its behaviors, i can still go from zero to meltdown in no time if somebody – even some person who i don’t even know – makes an offhand remark about what i’m eating.
to be fair – i’m much (MUCH) better about this than i used to be. i surround myself with people who have lots of love and respect for their bodies, who don’t “diet,” and who are just generally awesome friends and companions. i have developed and honed a really keen filter on media and background noise regarding food and weight and fad diets and exercise trends.
but every now and then, something slips through the cracks of my carefully constructed armor. and then i explode into irrational obscenities and break a door.
i am 29 years old and 98% eating disorder free for the past 3.5 years. recovery is one of my proudest accomplishments, and one that i honor every day by going out and just living a healthy, happy life. but i’ll be damned, sometimes that “other” part of me, the one i thought i had buried long ago, pops out and surprises me with its intensity.
it’s all part of the process.
so today was a day. and it’s safe to say that when i climb tomorrow i won’t be asking that kid to belay my sorry butt.