To keep it interesting around here, and to strengthen our relationship, I will start sporadically posting confessions. The goal is to reveal myself, and to provide things you can connect with, thus promoting your self-acceptance; after all, learning about other people’s flaws of varying degrees often reassures me that I’m not an anomaly. This is not to say that I “get-ff” from others’ revelations of their less glamorous sides, it’s just that they remind me that being imperfect is completely normal and healthy, which, of notable importance, has played a crucial part in my recovery from anorexia. From headaches to tumors, knee pain to immobility, and overnight obesity, here it goes, here’s my first confession:
I am an extremist.
This morning I was woken up by a slap in the face: my extremism, banging on about how I must have gained at least 20lbs overnight. You see, after several days of utter insatiability, last night I made a concerted effort to finally feel full. The discomfort of being in an unending state of bizarre hunger – I say bizarre because I was abiding to my usual caloric intake – was driving me ’round the bend, and, in turn, I ended up eating an extra large meal that, unfortunately, sent me “over the top”. It’s indisputable that I indulged in more than the average person of my size would have eaten in a single meal, but it is arguable that my feeling of excessive fullness is mental. And here, luck you, comes my second confession: I still fear gaining weight.
The mixture between being an extremist and fearing gaining weight leads to nothing but trouble. Sure, it ensures that I maintain a healthy BMI, but, in my opinion, adopting more of a middle-ground thought process would greatly improve my overall health. After all, if I didn’t deduce that one inordinately large meal would send me flying off into the dangerous realm of obesity, I wouldn’t have received such a rude awakening this morning – boy, would it be nice to replace that “I’m fat” slap in the face with an “I’m beautiful” affirmation – and I wouldn’t be beating myself up about being uncontrolled today. I also wouldn’t have opted to have a smaller than usual breakfast; this my friends, a recovering anorexic should most definitely avoid as choosing to restrict, even if it’s just one meal every few weeks, can end put you on the slippery slope to relapse.
My extremism, however, doesn’t just pertain to body image. For example, it rears its ugly head when I feel a sudden pang in my foot and thus think I must have snapped a tendon; when I have a headache, and thus think I have a tumor, and when I have a test that I realize I made a few errors on, and thus think I have totally flunked. As a subcategory to being an extremist you can deduce that I’m a “catastrophiser” who makes mountains out of mole hills. But, news flash, such habits are normal. Sighof relief.
Here’s a final recent example of how I engage in extremism:
Four weeks ago, I injured my knee by taking a stretch too far – though it may also actually be a case of tendonitis – and, right off the bat, I concluded that that was the end of my running career, and that I’d have to be a couch potato for the rest of my life. Well, folks, this is not at all the case; I am, slowly but surely, jogging again – albeit at snail-pace – and feel no pain, knock on wood. Moral of the lesson: extremism is silly, normal but silly.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this- are you an extremist, do you catastrophize, and do you share my fear of gaining weight?