Body Image: Surrendering Control
Editor's Note: We've been following Trinity on her journey through eating disorder recovery as she learns to accept herself and her body. It's our hope to shed light on what this disorder looks like from the inside, as well as to provide support for Trinity through her progress. This is the last post in this series, and we hope you've enjoyed following along with Trinity.
Words by Trinity Murray
Life is an incredible road that everybody travels down differently. Some drive with intense speed to reach their destination while some would rather take their time on a more scenic route. There are winding roads with twists and turns this way and that. There are paved roads and dirt roads and even ones made of brick. Many times we may find ourselves off the beaten path, and we might even lose our sense of direction. Maybe we run into some potholes or get stuck in thick mud. A few of these occasional obstacles we don’t always see coming, and a few others we may think we can handle if we hit them head on giving it all the power we’ve got. We must accept defeat in a small number of these challenges and call for backup. There is no shame in this! One thing is certain on this expedition…we are in the driver’s seat. We call the shots in our own lives.
There are instances where we might lose the control we thought we had. Maybe the road got a little too icy, you start spinning all over the place, and the next thing you know your hands are up in the air and Carrie Underwood is singing Jesus Take the Wheel in the passenger seat. This is bound to happen at one point, and please note that this is absolutely normal. One of the biggest lessons I have learned through my experiences so far on my journey through recovery is that we cannot always be in control of the situation at hand. That was and is still one of my biggest dilemmas because I love to be the one with the game plan. I make my lists and check them twice. However, if we let that desire for control take over…it will consume every fiber of our being.
A few years back when I was at my worst in terms of health, I felt that need for control. Everything around me from friend drama to family disputes just seemed way too chaotic for me, and I turned to drastic measures to try to combat these events. If I couldn’t control what was happening around me, then I would just have to learn to control what was happening within me. Numbers were my way of keeping things orderly. I counted calories and kept a strict limit as to how many I could consume each day never exceeding that amount. I figured out precisely how much was in a single Ritz cracker, an eighth of a serving of cheerios, one bite of a granola bar, and an individual almond. I counted tens of thousands of crunches, sit-ups, leg lifts, and push-ups to the point where I knew exactly how many grapes I could burn off by doing so many of a certain activity.
There came a time when I realized that I was actually not in control anymore. My behaviors had become habitual, and I had no other choice but to continue running on empty. That is when I decided it was time to call for backup. I threw my hands in the air and asked for someone else to steer me where I couldn’t steer myself. Looking back now, I was driving myself deeper and deeper into this ditch and really did need someone to pull me out. If you are anything like me, it can be difficult to ask for assistance because maybe you don’t want to burden anyone or think it’s a waste of time. Trust me when I say that your health and well-being is never a waste of time!
No matter the destination, your journey is what really matters in life. So if things seem a little bumpy, take it slow and remember that you are the driver. Every morning when you rise, it is your decision which paths you take. Choose wisely, keep your goals and health in mind, and enjoy the ride!
Trinity is a small town girl studying Fashion Design at Kent State University holding onto the hope of becoming a fashion journalist. Though her passion is for fashion, she enjoys good conversation, great books, and lots of coffee.