A Touch of Rain

15 January

2 weeks into the New Year and I’m pretty sure I don’t like resolutions that much. Well the crap ones anyway…

For years I’ve hated that the most popular New Years resolution is usually along the lines of having something to do with losing weight. As a child and young adult I always felt the pressure of wanting to conform, wanting to do what society was telling me I should do, and that society was kicking every year off by telling me that my body was too big and I should lose weight.

It told me to buy those skinny teas, diet pills and the latest fad diet (even more so because they were now on offer). To take up running, join the gym and get my 10k steps in each day or else I’d never get rid of that Christmas guilt…

*insert eye roll here*

Once a year we are told to overindulge, “let ourselves go”, eat, drink and be merry and as soon as that clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve we’re bombarded with guilt trips and body shaming so intense that it would feel as though I was suffocating with it.

Over the years, and as my ED developed, I would dread the Christmas period. Not only because of the obvious difficulties surrounding Christmas itself generally (e.g. the excess of food and drink) but also because I knew the 1st of January would be fast approaching. The doomsday deadline by which all those health and fitness companies are waiting with their finger hovering over some big red button in some dark shady office, ready to launch their latest fad product.

Not a care in the world for how physically and mentally damaging those products are as long as they’re getting paid…right?

Now New Year arguably is the perfect time to start afresh and turn the page for ourselves. I really don’t have any problems with those who enjoy making resolutions and I definitely don’t have anything against those who use New Year as motivation to become healthier! I just think the overall period itself has been difficult for me for many years now and I’m only recently coming to terms with it. Although, between you and me, I have actually given myself some good and achievable resolutions for once!

For the first time in maybe ten years, I had a nice Christmas. I feel guilty saying it because I was banned from going home due to the pandemic and my first ever Christmas with only my boyfriend was flung and forced upon us. I’d actually progressed so much with my recovery that I was excited to go home. That I wanted to go home. That I committed to not over exercising and under eating. That I actually wanted to rest for once. I was sad when that was taken from me 5 days beforehand but we’re living in unprecedented times and my ancestors have definitely given up more!

That being said, having the day in London with my boyfriend was so nice. It didn’t really feel like Christmas but we still had a lovely day with the full dinner. I feel guilty because I know that being away from my family was what made it easier. No fights. No family drama. No insensitive comments about my bulimia. No one encouraging me to eat more or less (and the same for drinking). I could just relax for once…well, as much as possible given I was cooking the dinner!

None of the family were going to fight on a video call. They weren’t going to snap at each other or be rude or insensitive. Everything was just calmer. Lots of time with someone special who wasn’t going to annoy me. And it was lovely, it was relaxing. I didn’t have to blog on Christmas Day because it was the only way to get my stress out on paper like I nearly always had to do every single year.

For the first time ever, I think I ate the least I’ve ever eaten on Christmas Day but felt so satisfied and it was really nice to not have the over indulgent dread. I knew I wanted some of my homemade yule log and pigs in blankets so prioritised those over a few extra potatoes and yorkshire puddings and I felt so good about it all.

I was so proud of myself.

So in summary, I still hate the societal implications of New Year and the diet resolutions but I had a good Christmas which showed me just how far I’ve come in my recovery journey so far and that’s a win I’m excited to accept.

Len x

Instagram: @recovery_lens / @elenipapa92

Twitter: @elenip92

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