Earlier today my friend, Julie, shared a blog post that got published in the Chapel Hill News. It is a wonderful post about her journey to make peace with her own body, regardless of its current shape. I think she is the first person I have ever known personally to be this open about this topic.
For all the talk out there about body image and cultural expectations, very few people seem to write about their own personal battles.
I have mentioned bits and pieces of mine, here and there (You can go back and look for those references in my posts yourself. It will be like an Easter egg hunt.), but really struggle to come out in the open. Perhaps it was because I was so defined by my eating disorder for a few years in high school. Perhaps it was because, for some reason, I still feel a huge amount of shame surrounding that struggle. Perhaps it is because I just so want to leave all that behind having enjoyed years of freedom and not having to pay heed, at every turn, to what I eat and how I look.
Sure, there are times when the shackles come back to haunt me. I think that is why I have such a visceral reaction to the "eat this...don't eat that" approach to life. I have know that slavery and I don't ever want to go back.
Is this a struggle for you? I am asking my readers to interact with me a bit on this. The statistics on eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, yo-yo dieting, overeating....the spectrum) say that there are a lot of y'all out there, yet I don't hear anybody talking about it, at least not on a personal level. Am I missing something? What concerns you? What is hard for you? Is this even an issue for anybody any more?
Every so often, though, I think it is time to tell the whole story. My whole story. It ain't pretty. I wouldn't even know where to start. But I think it might be time. Thank you, Julie, for giving me the courage to really speak up after all these years.