Last year at this time I was obsessively tracking every calorie I ate, weighing my food, and tracking my calories burned. It was all recorded in a spreadsheet where I totaled how many pounds I would lose, gain, or maintain each week. I calculated minutes exercised and I calculated just how many calories those minutes would allow me to add to my week splurge(s.) I was terrified and riddled with anxiety about gaining weight. 

“Tracking” was controlling my life. It was also just one manifestation of my relationship with body image and worth through my cycle of disordered eating. These cycles started when I was five years old. 

When I finally sought help in January I knew I would be dealing with a mixture of mood disorder and eating disorder. I couldn’t imagine a day of not tracking and calculating. Of not worrying about doing enough of a workout. Of knowing and accepting gaining 60+ pounds. Of learning to accept my body and learning that by trying to control it instead of appreciating it (and giving it nourishment, movement, and rest) was a fruitless path. 

So, here I am. I’m fat, but I’m actually living and feeling again. Achieving and making plans. I’m exercising for joy and accomplishment — and bonus, it’s also a social activity where I get to girl talk the entire time. 

I have a pulse again and I’m letting it set the pace each day. 

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