The right to gain, when you lose
On December 25th 2014, I deleted a budding and promising Instagram account that had followed the journey of my incredibly inspiring weightloss journey. That period of my life is now a blur, which I am grateful for. But in between erased memories and false perceptions of what I will not admit to be my truth, lay a dark hole I created for myself. The only thing I remember was shutting out the world and going into hiding. I wouldn’t answer phone calls, I wouldn’t reply text messages and I erased all traces of myself from social media. At this point in my life, I began to read more, think more and draw even closer to my sisters who I love and adore so so much.
Over the last few months, I have had several people pass comments to me, and those around me about my obvious weight gain. Comments that are painful, uncalled for and definitely unwelcome in this positive space that I have worked hard to carve out for myself. The truth is, for the last four years of my life, I battled a severe eating disorder that took a toll on me emotionally and physically. The unfortunate judgment of others has continued to prove to me that we as a culture glorify weight loss as success, and weight gain as failure. I wish I could tell you the details of everything that went on in my time away from the social light. But I am forever grateful that I kept a diary to record my good, bad and ugly moments. This is an entry I made at the turning point in my recovery:
May 11th 2015
I have carved out a space for myself that does not see any body for just their body. I have cut out the conversations where the welcoming agenda is to discuss who gained weight, who lost weight and who needs weight. The removal of the pressure to have an opinion on a body that Is not mine, when I have too many opinions on the one that is mine, has lifted a weight off my shoulder. They say what happens when you lose, well to me I challenge the reverse. What happens when you gain.
Today I stood on the scale, after reading a message from a friend who asked if all was well with me as my cheeks were rounder. I looked at the numbers increase from where I had starved them to. I watched the numbers go up with a gentle climb, the same motion of my confidence.
Why does nobody believe in this thing called healthy weight gain? For how long was my weight loss a welcome auditorium for debate on the speed and the necessity for the transition at all. For how long was my weight loss an open forum that I unfortunately created. A once beautiful garden that I personally nurtured, then turned into a social prison within which I locked myself and handed over the keys to the opinions of everyone. But. Myself.
We only realize we have lost our self when we find it wandering around and realize for just one moment that we are indeed nowhere to be found. Now that I see myself lost, I will not focus on bringing that self back. I will rather focus on creating a home that is worthy of my return to self. A place that is welcoming to the body that already exists.
Today, I am 35lbs heavier than my lowest weight. I have chosen to see my weightgain not as a failure, but as a reset button on myself as a woman. Many times you will hear me share that my journey as a blogger saved my life. Creating this space for women who do not believe they are beautiful in their own skin, was a way of me talking to myself. When I started this blog, I was not as confident as I am today. When I started this blog I was still lost, and empty and unsure of who I was, and what my impact should be in this world. When I first started this blog, I knew that to heal would be to create a community filled with women who at any given moment are at a stage I once was. Every time I get an email or a message, I thank God that he has given me this platform to help us love ourselves just a little bit more each day.
I have feared sharing this story because I feared how others would judge me, or how others would view my past journey, and the one I am on now. The beauty of being a blogger is that I am never ever going to be perfect, and when I fail, I will never be too proud to admit it.
Eating disorders are silently welcome into our community, and built upon the foundation of false body goals and societal expectations. They affect more of us than we know, and there is always a door open for help. But as someone who has gone through this, I assure you that physical healing only comes with the mental readiness to let yourself speak to yourself and love yourself again.
I started this blog as a diary that I will re-read over and over again as I power through this amazing journey that I call my life. And I hope you can do the same.