"But I Don't Want To Get Fat!"
I may have been MIA on the blog for the past while, but I have been very active on social media and e-mail! That said, I realized something this morning that made me realize I need to write this post.
It's astounding the amount of times in the frantic messages and emails I receive-- from those wanting to recover or in recovery-- that the phrase "I want to be free and eat and not exercise but I'm so scared that I'm going to get fat!!!"
If I had a dollar for every time I received some variation of the above statement thrown at me in a message seeking my help or advice, I would be able to retire at age 22, move to Beverly Hills and adopt 19 wiener dogs. (That is my dream, you guys.)
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the fact that people trust me enough and look to me for recovery advice. I love getting several messages every day, despite how overwhelming it can be at times, and I love talking with people about their struggles, their story, and hopefully helping them.
I noticed this morning when I read the sentence, "I'm just so scared that I'll get fat..." that it was probably the twentieth time in the past week that I've heard those words.
Now...first of all, here's the deal: you won't get fat. You will not get fat if you increase your food intake and give up or DRASTICALLY reduce your exercise. When you restrict your food for so long, yes, your metabolism is probably messed up a bit. But it's not something that can't be fixed--and contrary to popular belief, you don't have to "reverse diet" or slowly up your calories to let your metabolism adapt. No...just increase straight away (if it is safe for you to do so) and your metabolism will figure it out. Simple as that.
But the point of this isn't to tell you that I promise you won't get fat if you weight restore. The point of this is that the fear of getting fat is a fear from your eating disorder, not yourself.
Guess what? There are a lot of things that are worse than being fat.
"Fat" is just an adjective like skinny, tall, short, brunette, tan, fair, blue-eyed... the list goes on.
What about being dishonest? Being vain? Arrogant? Deceitful? Irresponsible? Self-centered?
When I die, I surely hope no one uses any of the above words to describe me. Because of that, I should probably focus a lot of my life on being a good person with a good heart and soul. I should probably do a lot of inner self-reflection and make sure that I'm being a person that I'm proud of on the inside alone.
I don't think I've ever been called fat, but I have been called too skinny multiple times throughout my life and to this day. It doesn't feel great when someone insults your appearance, but I can say 100% that it feels one million times worse when someone takes a stab at your character. Just as character compliments make us feel really good, the insults make us feel REALLY bad.
If you're scared about "getting fat," and you're motivated easily by fear, I suggest that you maybe shift your focus to being scared of being a mediocre human being.
Don't spend all of your life obsessing over your physical appearance because it literally means nothing. And it will mean nothing when you're gone. What will matter is your heart, so don't let that get forgotten in your pursuit of a "perfect" body--which, by the way--you're never going to get. :)