It's interesting in this new job, because I'm actually around people again. For the last 4-5 years, I've pretty much been alone with just the dogs. Luckily, I'm not in an environment where weight is discussed frequently, but occasionally it is brought up.
My boss was saying how she had been trying to eat healthier. She said after her mom died recently, it made her reassess things. The other office person in the room said she noticed that her clothes were baggier too. A. said something along the lines of "yeah, can you imagine me anorexic at my height and weighing XX pounds?" My reply was, "yes, and I've known many similar stories." I kind of gave A. a look and said that it was good to be healthy but that it can easily go overboard, that it is more about moderation than anything else. A. agreed but I still worry.
I've known A. for a long time and a few years ago, she told me about her anorexia plight in high school, and I revealed to her my own struggles as well. A. recovered from her anorexia by essentially having her parents use a "modified" version of the Maudsley Method. They had sit down meals where A. had to finish her meals. They checked her weight often, telling her it had to be an X amount before doing certain socialite activities. The only thing I'd say she did not have was any therapy at all. Amazingly, A. never relapsed, at least not full fledged, but still I know she presents some of the underlying factors that easily contribute to eating disorders.
I did not tell her during this conversation, but what I wanted to say was, "you really do need to be careful, because it is so easy to fall back with just one misstep. She also said to me that there were times when she just simply did not feel like eating or felt physically ill (this was after her mom's death). I understood this and held my tongue in saying, "you really need to try to eat at those times, because you can spiral out of control."
Ironically, after this entire episode, we went out to lunch at a buffet and A. commented that this was the most she'd seen me eat. She added in that she meant that in a healthy way as she's been me pick at food before. Normally, this kind of comment would have thrown me into some tail spin, like "Yes, I really do eat, people!" However, this time, it did not. Instead, I just went on my merry way of eating lunch just like, well, it was lunch and nothing more than that. We went on with other topics of conversation related to work, the dogs, etc. Truly, A. has done a tremendous amount for me, and I feel in a way, I owe it to her to stay healthy as kind of her "right arm" person. There's honestly too much at stake for me to fall ill again and crumble.
Perhaps, that is one incentive for me to continue on the bandwagon in recovery. It is of course for myself too, and there are certainly times I have to remind myself where I once was to where I am now. Life is still not completely fulfilled. I have a long way to go with that, but having a clearer head, feeling less tired, especially driving (yes, there was a massive link for me with undernutrition, sleep deprivation, and driving), learning to feel emotions again feel worth it right now. And so, I continue to trudge along my off-beaten path.