This is a HAES Relapse
Trigger warning: Discussion of feeling the urge to diet and other disordered eating behaviors.
As some of you might know, Spring Break just ended. As a college student taking care of my little brother, we went to spend time in Arizona with our family. Oh, we all had such a blast! However, I had a relapse almost immediately arriving.
See, we went to Prescott Valley, a town that is 4,317 ft above where I currently live. I had trouble breathing from the altitude and couldn’t do the things I usually could at home. I freaked; I posted to my Facebook “Being in Prescott Valley makes me feel like a super unfit person [though I wanted to say super unfit fat a$$]. Simple things like walking and climbing stairs gets me huffing and puffing.” This kind of flavored my whole experience. My mother, brother, and I went walking through downtown and I could barely keep up. Later, when I wanted to exercise, it was nixed because I wasn’t acclimated and would get sick. It was incredibly frustrating, and I took it out on myself. I started thinking about how I could get my childhood diagnosis for ADD and have Vyvanse prescribed because my brother has them and lost quite a bit of weight on them and that I could buy some diet pills in the meantime and really push hard and fast at the gym and maybe eat a little less and and and…
Luckily, I noticed what was happening (and so did my mother, who is also kinda Health at Every Size®) and forced myself from slipping far into my disordered eating issues, which was/is my go-to method to make myself feel better. The real kick in the teeth was a two-fer later that week: my family went to the Grand Canyon and I noticed that I stuck out like a red barn in a green pasture. I was dismayed that I was the biggest person in the group by a lot.
The next day, while we were staying at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, I took my brother to the mini-amusement park at the top of the hotel (we had a coupon!) and when I attempted to get on any of the rides, I wouldn’t fit. Crushed, I half-heartedly told myself it wasn’t me, it was the rides that weren’t made for people like me, but I stood over the rails of the tower very depressed. Then the ride manager came by and refunded my money.
So I sit here today and I tell myself that it isn’t me, that I don’t need to lose weight, that I am perfectly okay and the doctor’s charts back that up. I tell myself that I managed to walk a fair distance around the lake up there a mile high and climb a very steep embankment. I tell myself that it is a great accomplishment to have climbed bare-handed in the Grand Canyon and survived a short fall down. I tell myself that I couldn’t breathe because of the lack of oxygen that far up in the mountains, not because of my weight or fitness level. I tell myself it isn’t really my body’s fault that it has to adjust; that I can’t expect it to be in top shape in a place I have never been before; that I should love my body for not shutting down completely; and that it fixed itself fairly quickly and it deserves respect for that. I sit here and relax and tell myself it really is okay, that I really am fine, that I can calm down. It really is okay, I promise myself — truly, honestly. It’s alright, I am fine. Just breathe, just breathe, juuust breeeathe…