I saw this Tumblr post from RyanJJohn today and I cringed with recognition. He said:
Every day I struggle between “I wanna look good naked” and “treat yo self.”
There they are again: the two facets of my disease. For the longest time, I only thought that the “treat yo self” aspect was my disease and that the “I wanna look good naked” part was healthy, but they are BOTH manifestations of my eating disorder. The “I wanna look good naked” part of my disease makes me exercise too much and restrict my food too much, which, ironically, makes the “treat yo self” aspect surface.
They appear to be polar opposites. They appear to be a good and bad side of myself, like an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. That’s how they are portrayed in every cartoon I ever saw.
In reality, however, they are BOTH bad. They are both on the same team. They are both trying to hurt me. Whenever the “treat yo self” aspect of the disease shows up, it means that there is something amiss in my life. One of my character defects have resurfaced and is causing trouble. Maybe I’m upset about something and haven’t been honest about my feelings. Maybe I am feeling self-pity and want to make myself feel better with food instead of working on my gratitude, acceptance and setting realistic expectations.
At the same time, if the “I wanna look good naked” aspect of myself shows up, urging me to skip a meal or do more exercise than is healthy, it ALSO means that there is something amiss in my life. Sometimes the SAME problem will spur BOTH feelings within me. My self-pity might make me want to exercise too much to show those guys that I’m worthwhile. Instead of jumping on the treadmill, I should be working on my gratitude, acceptance and set some realistic expectations.
The “I wanna look good naked” is just as evil as the “treat yo self.” It has taken me a decade to realize this. One isn’t good while the other one is bad. They are both bad and they are both trying to kill me.