Sometimes despite our best intentions, we falter. It starts with a small slip, something insignificant. A ‘one off’ which really isn’t that big of a deal. But then suddenly time ticks over and the trip ups start to accumulate. And then suddenly you find yourself sliding down the mountain you fought so hard to climb up.
This is exactly what happened to me during the latter part of my semester this year. The stress of studying, assessments, and exam preparation saw my weight take a landslide. But no one really seemed to notice, so I just carried on as normal, telling myself that I would deal with it when exams were over and I had a break.
To be honest, I don’t weigh myself often at all, maybe once or twice a month. I really don’t care to know that number. I just try to tune in with how I’m feeling, how my clothes fit, and my energy levels as a guide. By the end of the semester I felt lethargic, and weary, so I suspected my weight had taken a bit of a dip. But I wasn’t prepared for the number that stared back at me when I hopped on the scale.
This is why I hate the scales. Seeing that number made me feel like a failure. I felt so ashamed. How could I be back here once again??? And so the negative thinking started…
I knew I needed to get back on track, but I just couldn’t find the energy to do so. I slipped into what I call ‘autopilot’. The solution was simple, but I just couldn’t seem to do it!
I didn’t dare talk about it either; instead I just blamed myself.
I think part of the problem with mental illness, whether it be depression, anxiety, mood disorders, obsessive compulsive behaviour, or an eating disorder, is the stigma attached to it. Many of the sufferers feel like they can’t talk about what’s really affecting them because their friends, family, and society may not understand. A lot of people just assume that those suffering choose to be a particular way, and that they should just snap out of it. If only it were that simple.
So I’m breaking the mould and telling you that it’s ok to talk about it. It doesn’t make you any less of a person.
Everybody has their demons.
I’m facing mine, and hope this encourages you to face yours too (whatever it might be). I asked for help from my doctor, I talked to my friends, and I told my family exactly what I needed to get back on track. Support is imperative. Those who truly love you will be there for you!
The other important thing is to have a positive outlook. Maintain optimism in the face of adversity. Your mindset is the most powerful tool you have.
The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings…
As the shadow follows the body,
As we think, so we become.
Indian philosopher & religious leader (563 BC – 483 BC)
I’m writing this piece honestly, but I’m not searching for sympathy. In fact the exact opposite! I know I’m strong enough to get through this, but others may be struggling and are too scared to pipe up. So this is for them. To say it’s ok to ask for help if you falter. Break the stigma, hold your head high, and march towards success.
If I can do it, you can too.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from an eating disorder or other mental illness, please consider getting help from a professional. Search for specialty services in your area, or talk to your doctor about treatment options.
How do you stay positive in life?
Let’s share some inspirational quotes!