My mother doesn't know I suffered from bulemia between the ages of fifteen and thirty five. She has no idea that everytime she baked a cake or one of her special holiday pies, which I devoured with intensity, I threw them up moments later in her bathroom. Thinking back on this time in my life, I didn't do this because I was trying to achieve her idea "perfection." It was more of a punishment, a form of self loathing. I believed the taunts the other children made about my buck teeth or white hair and lashes. I let the cruel words of my step siblings permeate my heart. I no longer believe these words, words that scarred me in my youth. When I hear them now, I acknowledge them, then release them like dandelion seeds on a breezy day.
What changed this around, what got me off the cycle of punishing myself for eating a second piece of cake or a batch of fries was when I shifted my focus. I stopped obsessing about how I looked and started concentrating on how I felt. This changed everything. I didn't feel very good with my head slung over the toilet, choking up a bacon cheeseburger. I didn't feel good not being able to climb a flight of stairs without losing my breath. What made me feel good day in and day out was being active and eating clean, healthy food. Once I changed my diet, I no longer craved the junk, I no longer felt the need to punish myself since I was finaly treating my body like a temple.
I realize not everyone is passionate about fitness or enjoys a restrictive diet. That's just what worked for me. I see many happy people living very content lives who aren't a size six, or who don't work out at all. The trick is to find what fills each and every one of our hearts with joy, whether it be from good health, good deeds, animals or even a loving relationship. And most importantly, censor the judgements of others, even if they're from you're very own mother.