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Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Post Inspired by Looking at a Spiders Web: Escaping the "Eating Disorder Web."

When I was in the third grade my teacher Mrs. Chase read aloud to us each day to inspire us to want to be readers. My favorite book was Charlotte's web. I was enthralled by Wilbur's predicament and I when my mother tucked me into bed each night I would tell her what we heard from the story. I was very worried about whether Wilbur would survive or not. She would tell me, "Don't worry honey, Wilbur will be okay." In fact, Wilbur does survive but he loses his friend Charlotte the spider who would descend from her web to talk to and reassure him.

This morning I was sitting on my front porch and noticed a spider web hanging from the eave of the 1880's farmhouse I live in. It was barely noticeable and is really a thing of beauty when the dew sparkles off it in the morning light. While admiring this work of natural engineering I thought about the complexity of the web of eating disorders. They become such an integral part of our lives that we can live trapped in them for years as I did like the prey of the spider who flies into and becomes ensnared in the web and waits it fate as the next meal for the spider.

If we don't learn how to extract ourselves from this deadly web, eating disorders can kill us as well. I learned as early as five years old to begin to hate my body and to abuse it through a deadly cycle of over and then under eating. This made me reflect on the fact that I've been working really hard for the past seven years to extract myself from this "eating disorder web" a phrase I've coined to describe this
deadly prison and this is okay. Every step of the journey is essential and I am okay with my progress.

The past nine months have been very stressful due to financial and career reasons and I haven't regained any weight and that is okay with me. I'd like to lose between 20-40lb more pounds. This Friday I see my bariatric team and I want to discuss whether this goal is reasonable. Right now I am 19 lbs above what they said could be my highest goal weight and that the body will stop losing when it is ready. I have to also remember that my skeleton is denser after 20+ years of obesity, which I no longer am and I have quite a lot of muscle. So maybe, I am where I need to be, and  maybe I just need to be happy with the great progress I've made. The most important thing is that I escaped the "eating disorder web" I am no longer diabetic and I am happy with my body. Maybe this is more then enough.

When I see that spider on my porch I'm going to thank it for the lesson.

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