by Jennifer Hibbs
When I was in fourth grade I wrote a letter to the Cadbury company asking them to sell the delicious Cadbury eggs year round. They responded by sending me some coloring sheets and thanking me for my suggestion. Cadbury eggs were my favorite candy. By sixth grade I refused to eat them and went as far as using Lent as my excuse for giving up all things chocolate and delicious that kids should eat without feeling guilty. I learned from listening to those around me that cheese and butter were fattening. I was in sixth grade and all of a sudden being fat was my biggest fear.
I am 38 years old now and have spent all of these years avoiding foods, over exercising, and planning my life around food. I don’t want to live this way anymore. I want to eat breakfast with my husband and daughter. I want to sit still long enough to play a board game with them without feeling the need to do jumping jacks or jog in place. I want to enjoy a glass of wine and a sunset without the worry of “empty calories” in my head.
So, for Lent this year I did a reversal. Instead of giving up a specific food or something pointless I gave up making my workout my top priority. I gave up starving myself and passing up meals with my loved ones. I gave up the need to see my bones to feel pretty. I gave up my eating disorder. And no, everyday is not perfect. Sometimes I still can’t force myself to not get up and jog in place, sometimes I can’t stop obsessing over how many calories I ate, and sometimes I put too much thought into whether or not I look fat. But, I’m trying. I’m actually really trying. And that’s something I haven’t been able to do since I was 12 years-old. It feels really good most days, and the best part is, this year I’m really hoping to eat a Cadbury egg again.
Happy Easter and happy recovery!