Monday, January 7, 2008

Goodbye 2007, Hello 2008

2007 is over now and it was the healthiest year I've had in a long long time. Even as a kid I know I often was far too skinny for my own good, though I wasn't yet aware of the way in which my issues were manifesting themselves. I was feeling so thankful for having such a great year--a year of health and happiness, complete with an engagement, buying a new home with my fiance, and planning my wedding...then I realized--I'm not just thankful--I'm proud of myself too.

I'd go as far as to say that 2007 was my best year to date. I know that part of that is because of all the wonderful things this year has brought me, but a large part of it is because I was in a good place...a place where I could enjoy them. I was not obsessive, I was not anxious, and I was not unhappy. It took work to get to this place. I think, at times, I felt I was there before I really was. But now, I know that I can safely say I am in a good place. A place of which I can be proud. A place I can call home. I place I can call life.

At about 25 pounds heavier than my lowest weight, I feel healthy. I like my body. I still have my moments where I grimace when I look in the mirror or where I sigh when putting on a pair of pants, but these moments are fleeting and I do not think about them after. I think a lot of women, eating disordered or not, feel this way sometimes. But all in all, I like my body the way it is. It's pretty. It's me.

I'm still considered slender, but I have breasts now. I have shiny hair. I have legs that have shape. I eat right, I have snacks when I want to, and I work out--but not in excess. I'm taking care of myself. My stomach is still flat, but now I have enough body fat to be able to have a child. Before, when my body fat percentage was dangerously low, it would have been impossible to conceive. I had to buy new pants. It stung a bit at first, but in the long run, I'm glad. I told my best friend proudly that I had to get rid of some size 0s and 1s that used to be big on me because I couldn't even zip them up. I rejoiced in filling out my bras again. I look good, not ill. But most of all, I look happy.

I looked at old photos the other night...photos in which my collar bones jutted out grotesquely and my face looked drawn. I saw photos of me--of a concave stomach, a torso with protruding ribs, legs that were sticks and not feminine. I was so sad for that girl. Until I realized that girl is me--and I'm okay now! Better than okay. I don't know if it's strange or not, but I keep those old pictures of myself in a special folder on my computer so I can look at them when I want to love the body I have now. When I want to remember what it was like to be sad, dejected, hungry, and plagued by something I could not shake.

And now, when I look at those photos, I can tell that poor girl that it's going to be okay. Because it is. It really is.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

This post made me smile, Arielle. Happy New Year! Happy New You.

xoxo
Sarah

Rachael said...

I love when you write from/about your experience Arielle :P

Emily Jolie said...

Oh, Arielle, this is wonderful! It's amazing how far you've come and what a great place you're in now!

I hope 2008 is just as great as 2007 for you this far - if not even better!

with love, my dear,

~ej

dori said...

my eyes welled up with tears and i let out a huge sigh after reading this. i am 8 weeks into my 'real' recovery and though am physically feeling better, emotionally crumbling. i now cannot wear my 0's. i have hips, thighs and breasts. 18lbs later i am still told i am 'underweight' but feel huge. i hope and pray that i can get to the place where you were when you wrote this. how inspiring!

Arielle said...

Dori! Thanks so much for your comment. Responses like yours always mean a lot to me. I’m sorry to hear you are struggling emotionally at the point you are at right now, but I’m glad to hear you are in the process of recovery. I’ve been in recovery/recovered for close to 2 years now, and I honestly couldn’t be happier. It was definitely not easy, so I understand where you’re coming from. What’s so incredible (and worth remembering when you’re feeling your worst) is that we all have reserves of strength inside ourselves we haven’t tapped into yet. You can do what you want to do, it’s just a matter of searching yourself and going through a long process. For the same reason you had the drive to live an eating disordered life (the willpower of which is unfathomable to most) you also have in you the drive to live a healthy one.

I really feel for you and wish you the best. If at any time you feel like you need someone to talk to who would understand, feel free to email me: arielle.becker@gmail.com or IM me: TheLovelyArielle

I’d be more than happy to chat with you or give you an encouragement I can. I’m completely willing to listen to whatever you want to say, ask, or talk about. Thank you so much again for the nice comment. Hang in there!

Much love,
Arielle