This is a series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on her journey to overcome binge eating. Follow her every other Thursday as she blogs about the challenges and victories of recovery.
Forgiveness is often one of the hardest things to give, especially to ourselves. I still haven’t forgiven myself for turning to food during my hardest times, for gaining more than 100 pounds in about a year and a half, for destroying a body I had worked so hard to chisel down to a size 4 just a year prior.
I haven’t forgiven myself for torturing and (what I see as) forever ruining the only body I get. I don’t give myself credit for not turning to a hard drug, for not dropping out of college and still graduating magna cum laude, for not physically killing the body I was torturing.
I make myself forget that, as a size 4, I was just as sick as I was at a size 20-something (I only wore spandex, so I never really knew what size pants I wore). At my thinnest I was running 4 miles, 6 days a week and eating no more than 800 calories a day. At my heaviest I was walking no more than a mile a day, and eating thousands of calories… during one binge.
I do not forgive myself for the numbers: the numbers on the scale, the number of calories, the number of days I binged, the number of binges, the number of tears.
But why? I forgive myself for so many other actions and thoughts each and every day. How can I forgive myself for smoking cigarettes and even miss them, but I can’t forgive myself for my relationship with food? Why can’t I forgive myself for coping in the only way I knew how at the time? I can only image it’s because I’m reminded daily not by the scars in my mind but those on my body- the stretch marks, the cellulite, the fat. I am a 23-year-old girl living in a body that has many more miles that I have actually traveled, a body that looks used and broken even though the soul inside is still vibrant and alive.
Where I go wrong with these thoughts every time is that this body did ME no harm. I caused IT harm in order to stay sane and I need to stop punishing my body for stretching enough to let me fill it with food, for allowing me to abuse it in order to cope. I need to forgive my mind and my actions and thank my body every day for not letting me down but holding me up.
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and forgave yourself? When was the last time you thanked your body?
PS, This is a sad, yet very empowering song I love to listen to when I am feeling weak: “That I Would Be Good” by Alanis Morisette.