Sunday, March 22, 2009

just move

For the past couple of weeks, I've felt hopelessly depressed. But, on Friday, the depression finally lifted. In the past couple of days, I've found the energy and strength to take on new activities, and the hope to keep going.

I have a history of alternating between periods of compulsive exercise and periods of not exercising at all. I've never been able to attain a healthy balance, and my motivation was always disordered. When I was exercising, I did it because I had to. When I wasn't exercising, I was actively rebelling against what I really "should" be doing. About a year and a half ago, when my eating disorder started to take over, I decided that if I controlled my food intake I didn't have to go to the gym. I didn't see the health benefits of keeping my body moving, because working out wasn't about my health -- it was about chasing the perfect body. As the bulimia became stronger and stronger, I began to lose weight. It was the perfect solution; I was getting closer to the perfect body with no work whatsoever. I didn't have to spend my evenings at the gym, because I could cheat the system.

Recovery takes an extreme mental and emotional toll. No longer hiding behind the disorder, the past couple of months have taught me about who I am, how I want to be, and how to care for myself. Until now, I haven't had the energy or stability to work on physical strengthening and healing. In the past couple of days, I have found myself ready to move. My body wants to take on its part in my new life. An eating disorder creates a great divide between the mind and the body. The mind is focused on hating, criticizing, controlling and changing the body. The constant harm leaves no room for connection or acceptance. Now, out of my recent depression, I am starting to feel strong enough to connect my mind with my body.

On Saturday, Brittany - a friend from Renfrew - and I, went to a yoga class together. We headed to Sonic Yoga, on 9th Ave. and 51st St., for a 90-minute session. What possessed me to make this all-level hour-and-a-half class my first-ever yoga experience? I have no idea. Luckily, Brittany and I were clueless together. Somehow, we made it through, doing our best to keep up with the advanced students. As exhausting as it was, I felt a connection with my body that I have never really felt before. Before treatment, exercise meant rejecting my body, trying to make it something better. Now, movement is a chance for me to accept my body and learn to work with it.

As I continue to try new ways of moving, I am excited to become more comfortable with myself and happier in the body that I need in order to live.


  1. Thanks for sharing your experience Lily, it's very inspiring! :-)

  2. Hey Lily,
    I found your blog through Hope's. Just wanted to let you know that I think you're incredibly brave to be so honest with yourself in such a public way. Also, your writing is really lovely.

  3. Thank you for the support, Amy. That really means a lot to me.

  4. Hi Bee - Love the photo!

    Your post made me think of the years as a child you spent enjoying motion: in dance and gymnastics classes,playing soccer, as a runner, and (oh those 5 am mornings!) ice hockey. I think your body loves to move. I'm so happy that you are reconnecting with that love.


  5. Thanks, Mom. It feels good to move just for fun, rather than running on a treadmill for an hour because I "have" to!