Chapter 4: Love the One You’re With

I felt a strange mix of empowerment and helplessness yesterday afternoon.

It was a tough weekend. A good weekend – my boyfriend’s birthday (his name is Conrad, by the way), celebrating, relaxing, homework. But ultimately a tough weekend. I ended up in a pretty negative place, mood and body image wise.

Every so often, I get mad at my “treatment team,” as I like to call my therapist and nutritionist.

I’ve made a ton of progress with them both, but the last couple of months have been hard. I got into a total groove before winter break (actually, Linda and I refer to it as “the groove” now). I was eating balanced meals, I wasn’t obsessing over food, and I was really happy in my body and my clothes. It was pretty freaking cool. I was happy with how I looked and felt AND I wasn’t restricting. I’d never experienced that before.

Then winter break happened. I totally indulged, and rightfully so, trying Austin Tex-Mex and BBQ, and it was the holiday season. But when I got back, my clothes didn’t fit. ACTUALLY – I’ll never forget this – I purchased a pair of denim shorts in Austin on our first day there. Seven days later – seven days – I went to put them on, and they were tight. Total muffin top. So quickly! It was unreal. I guess after a week of heavy, salty foods, it made sense that I’d puff out in the belly region. But I thought once I got back to my ways in NYC – back in the New York groove, you might say – I’d lose it. I’d go back to normal.

But I haven’t. This is party due to a bump in the road back in January that I will describe in a separate post. Since then, though, Linda and Laura have both advised me the same thing: don’t restrict, focus on normalizing your eating, and your body will do what it’s supposed to do and go back to where it wants to be.

The thing is, I have been doing that. For about 2 months now. I haven’t done anything “crazy.” I haven’t restricted, I haven’t gone and eaten back-to-back froyo/pizza/froyo/candy. I’ve been following their rules. And my clothes still don’t fit.

Which makes me feel incredibly hopeless and incredibly frustrated and has numerous times made me burst into tears. It also makes me want to scream at Linda and Laura and juice for 10 days just to piss them off. But I know better than to do that now.

This weekend, like I said, was rough. A few things set me off. Thursday night I helped a friend model some jewelry and was surrounded by size-0 girls with little waists. (Also, they all had really good “non-smile smiles” for the camera, and we got our makeup done and the woman made my eyebrows so thick they looked like a man’s. Needless to say my self-esteem wasn’t through the roof on Thursday). Then Saturday night I tried to get dressed and dealt with the usual situation of nothing fitting. And summer is coming and people are talking about workouts and fad diets to get in shape. None of this is good for me.

👆Conrad – Eyebrows👆                               (This was at the end of the night. The brows had calmed down a bit)

So Sunday, I started fantasizing about restrictive eating behavior. I’m so sick of this, if I could just do a juice cleanse for like 5 days, IMAGINE how awesome I’d feel after – What if I just start eating more salads and fewer sandwiches? – I could try that 30-day City Row gym class challenge and be in awesome shape..

It made me feel horrible. Because it made me feel really bad about where I am (who I am?) right now. It brought me to a bad, negative place, wistful for when I was happy about my body, and itching for a way to get back there ASAP. I emailed my nutritionist and asked her to please squeeze me in Monday or Tuesday because I’m thinking about restrictive eating and feel it would be beneficial for me to see her.

She fit me in yesterday :). I honestly wanted to see her so she could help me find a healthy way to lose a little weight. I’ve learned so much from her so far, so there must be something she knows that I don’t in terms of how to help someone like me lose weight without restricting, right?

Well, there isn’t. I’m eating when I’m hungry and I’m eating balanced meals. She fears that if I try to limit something, it’ll set me down the wrong path. She’s right. When I want a sandwich, I want an effing sandwich. If I make myself eat a salad instead, I’ll think about the sandwich and pick at more food because I don’t feel satisfied. Even the littlest bit of restricting doesn’t work for me anymore.

But this is the other thing. The bigger thing. I told her why I’m nervous. I told her summer is coming. I told her I’m going to be in a bikini, and that I have things coming up with other girls and they’re going to look better, and I’m going to feel bad about myself.

“You know they might be thinking the same thing about you – that you look better,” she said. I agreed they might. “And who says you’re body isn’t good?” I told her that I don’t think it is. “But isn’t that subjective?” she asked. I agreed with her again. “No one has actually said your body doesn’t look good. You hold yourself to very high standards, which is okay, but not if it makes you feel bad about yourself.”

I know we’ve all heard things like You need to learn to love your body and No one can make you feel bad about yourself without your consent. But what she said yesterday was more than that. It made me realize that if I don’t stop thinking about my body in this negative way, I’m going to continue down this bad path. She asked me what else would make me excited, besides juicing for a few days. I told her that eating regular balanced meals without obsessing over food or overindulging would make me excited. But in order to do that, I need to respect my body. Because if I don’t like what it looks like, I’ll say F it, and I won’t treat it well.

SO. As of yesterday, I’m going to try something new. I’m going to try tricking myself into thinking I currently have a body I love. I’m also going to buy a cheap pair of jeans that fit me right now so I don’t have a constant reminder and source of stress in the closet. But I’m hoping that if I start to believe I have a body I love, I’ll actually learn to love the body I have. And if I love the body I have, I’ll treat it even better. I’d be 100% lying if I said weight loss wasn’t a primary goal. But I know that if I do learn to love the body I have, even when it’s not where I want it to be, that will be an invaluable bonus and a huge victory in this uphill battle.




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7 thoughts on “Chapter 4: Love the One You’re With

  1. This is so awesome! I think so many of us struggle with this exact quandary; wanting a healthy relationship with food, but not being happy with the size our body settles at when we try eating like “normal” people.
    Maybe it would help if you remember that those old clothes don’t fit because you wore them while you were restricting. Before you’d made these changes for a healthier you!! They shouldn’t fit anymore 🙂
    You’re absolutely stunning, beautiful, and so much sexier than a little waist, and skinny eyebrows! But more importantly you’re kind, intelligent, funny, and awesome!! No matter what size your shorts are!

    • Paige, thank you!!! So sweet :). Yes- I have a nice pile of itty bitty jeans and shorts that I’ve moved on from and know not to aspire to fit in. This time, though, the funny (no – frustrating) thing is that these “old clothes” aren’t old – I got them in the fall, when I WASN’T restricting and was at a healthy place! I’ll address this in a future post – that bump in the road I referred to 😉 Regardless, it’s true – we have to look beyond waist size, eyebrows, or anything else external. Thanks for your comment – you are beautiful (inside and out) and you totally rock ❤

  2. Sweetie I just have to tell you this is amazing. The whole blog is of course, but I loved this last post so much ( I know I say that after every post!!!) The subject of this was so relevant and the way you write is so open and honest and I KNOW that many people will relate to this. And the eyebrow comment – I’m still laughing:):) Love reading your blog and can’t wait till the next post!!

  3. Hi there, I’m actually an old friend of yours from high school. I’ve been enjoying your blogs and can totally relate to self perceptions having nothing to do with what other people think of you, but I just wanted give you a quick (and positive) reality check. You’ve always been stunning and you still are. You’re that girl I see on my facebook feed from time to time and think, “damn it, why doesn’t my body look like hers! How does she do that!” That’s actually exactly what I thought when the pictures of you modeling jewelry popped up on my facebook feed the other day, followed directly by “that totally makes sense that she models, how didn’t I know that?” I had no idea you weren’t doing it professionally and thought you looked stunning. Anyway, I hope it helps to know your nutritionist is right about what we girls think about you :)!

    • Old Friend 🙂 Wow, hi. I don’t know what to say – that was so forthright, and SO sweet, and it’s just so crazy (but common) that people’s perceptions of themselves very rarely match what other people see. Even more, thank you for letting me know you’ve been reading and enjoying my blogs!! That makes me really happy, and I totally love knowing that other people can relate, especially if it can help them in some way. And thanks for saying all those REALLY nice things – I’m inwardly blushing 😳😌. Just wanted to say thanks, and I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my blog so far.

  4. The eyebrows were amazing and so are you. Thanks for putting yourself out there – and sharing something that ALL us ladies can relate to.

  5. Coley,

    I just read your last post. You’re so inspiring, and even though we talk every day, I feel like I learned things from reading this. Your honesty and sense of humor are going to take you places :), I know it. I love you. Keep doin what you do…but ask yourself this. ARE YOU READY FOR A THROWDOWN? -Bobby Flay.

    Ok sorry I HAD to do that. Love you Nikey!

    -Linds, the sis.

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