Freedom Ballet

I recently met a lovely, bubbly person, Anne-Sophie on the Net. She is blogging from Switzerland under the title Fighting Anorexia and sharing about her battle and victories over an eating disorder that had her in its gloomy grips for fourteen years. Anne-Sophie also travels abundantly, leading an intercontinental life – the title of her second blog.ย  Her communication is clear and inspiring. She starts her podcasts stating “they are about life”. And surely they are – a life where we dare to feed ourselves so that we can go out and do things that really matter. With no degrading, accusing or insulting self-talk.

Anne-Sophie put up a challenge. Writing out reasons for recovery and about the sparks of hope that keep you going. My disordered eating started when I was a fifteen. My ballet teacher told me to lose weight. All of a sudden, food became my enemy. The less I ate, the better person I was. Entered self-hatred and frustration. The result: binge eating. I would eat uncontrollably, afterwards feeling sick and so painfully ashamed. I never vomited, but “controlled” the situation with fasting and hours of sports. This was my horrible secret for fourteen years.

Then came happy changes in life and I was able to eat normally. A stressful situation, a need to tone up for a fitness exam, slowly but surely brought my old demons back. From 2005 to 2010, I gradually ate less and less and subsequently became severely underweight. My body mass index was 15, the anorexia limit being 17,5. In the summer of 2010, I didn’t want to put on a gram. But started recovering anyway, merely because I was afraidย  to lose my husband. What man would love a sack of bones?

In one and a half years Iย  have put on about half of the weight I should. It has been a rocky road, with ups and downs. Today I am becoming positively fed up with this eating mess. I want to have energy to do what I want. I want to be healthy and be done with cramps and pains, constantly wondering what the heck is wrong with me, and deep down knowing that if I just fueled myself the way I am supposed to, all the troubles would be gone.

The sparks of hope on this roller-coaster ride back to a life are important to remember. When the bad day comes and I feel like the fattest person on earth – how petty and not-so-true Susa does that ever sound – I pull these precious drops of gold out. I feel strong enough to go out and do sports for a longer time. I get that lovely boost of fresh air and the pleasure of a good jog. When you are anorexic, you never know when your energy levels could plummet. Recovery means being able to go eat out and have a social life. This can do wonders to your couple, too. Sharing food is such a normal part of our life. I can have a body that doesn’t make people uncomfortable – when you are sickly skinny people start making open, rude comments. Now men are noticing me again. Flirt has returned. This feels soothing. I am able to think about other things than food – disordered eating takes so much energy, counting calories and worrying about maintaining the routine-filled system.

I also carry a timid hope that one day I could truly love myself and body the way I naturally am. I would love to go back to take a ballet class. Ballet gave me an eating disorder – now I want to claim my life back, and have ballet too.ย  But just as a way to celebrate Susa!

I am writing about this very personal issue – now in detail – because I hope that by doing so I could be of encouragement to others. That my suffering – and now I am actually in a better place health-wise than in years – would serve a purpose. I never wanted an eating disorder. It is no one’s fault. It just happened. Presently, I am tackling the final obstacles to break out. I would like to be a fighter partner to whom ever needs one. We’ll exchange messages and support! Just write me.

Here is my story… handle with care. What is your point in life needing some freedom ballet?

Art by Susa

17 thoughts on “Freedom Ballet”

  1. Beautiful post. ๐Ÿ™‚ You are so full of inspiration and I always find myself smiling after I read your posts!

    Your art is beautiful as well, just wanted to point it out.

    You’re right; it is amazing how much our eating disorders consume our thinking, and every minute of our lives. I will never want to return to that state of mind where I’m constantly obsessing about food rather than being in the moment and enjoy life as it is. I admit, I still do have some bad days here and there…even so, the disordered voice is still quiet. So I think that’s a huge progression right there from the days of being in a disordered world of eating and thinking to the days of being able to think about other things and enjoy my relationships with people.

    Thank you for sharing your story and being so open! ๐Ÿ™‚ XXX,

  2. Thank you for sharing your story, you have a lot of courage and are an inspiration, too!

    I think excessie self control, in general, is very difficult to overcome. And it is so important to try to let ourselves of the hook, to enjoy life.
    I have never had an eating disorder per se, but I used to eat way too much (to the point of nausea) and then try to eat too healthy many weeks…lots of self-restriction which only led to more binge eating. Our body wants to preserve itself, and it is almost impossible to fight biology with self control and limiting thoughts!
    But now I think I have learned to relax more. I think I have understood, perhaps on a more deep level, that no one knows how long our life will last. Why wouldn’t I treat my body well every day the way I want and what feels good instead of going to extremes:).

    Have a wonderful weekend. And bon courage with your new lifestyle:).

  3. I am so very grateful that you shared this. I hope it really helped you to finally write about it on an open forum from a place of true strength and victory.

    You are inspiring me, giving me hope. I relate all too much to your poignant words and the “perks” of recovery you mention I am also familiar with.

    Thanks for reminding me to remember them when I am feeling …well..less than. <—i.e, today.

    <# xoxox

  4. First, I want to give you a great big HUG….

    ((((((( Susu )))))))

    Second, I simply want to say, thank you.

    Thank you for having the courage to share your life with us in such a deep and personal way, for I KNOW it will help and support others. And not only those who struggle with anorexia, but also those us who understand very little about it.

    I truly admire you, beautiful lady.

    And am PROUD to call you my friend.

    Much X

    Caio, bella!

    P.S. stunning photos!

  5. Susa,
    thank you for this wonderful, heartbreaking post. Thank you for sharing your story, I KNOW you will help so many people with being open.
    And I know without a shadow of a doubt that you WILL love yourself and your body at some time in the future. It takes work, but I am here for you and you will be able to go to a ballet class again, without worrying about your weight. You are beautiful and inspiring and so very courageous.
    Love you!

  6. this is such a beautiful post. Truly.

    I really do think if we keep working on it, we will be able to FULLY love ourselves one day.

    and oh ballet, it’s such a beautiful thing… and I LOVE the dancer pose… In bikram yoga it’s my favorite pose of all

  7. I too found the binging so so much more shameful than the restricting. It was a secret, a lie, where as AN never was (one simply cannot hide the fact of being severely underweight). I’m a sarcastic, lighthearted girl, yet carrying this secret with me wore me down. I hate lies. This made me feel so unsincere! It wasn’t until I was able to share bits of it, and even started to be able to joke about it every now and then!, that I was able to try and change things. I haven’t made it out of the dark woods yet, but starting to see glimps of tracks. I hope one of them will lead me to better places

  8. For me, your husband, it was a – good – surprise to discover this detailed text on your blog, publicly.
    I’m very proud about you Susu.
    You are more and more on the right way. Continue as you do now.
    I love you ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. My dearest sis. I was so moved and proud to read your post. You show STRENGTH and give HOPE to others by writing openly about your difficult journey with anorexia. But you will tackle it; a disease like that won’t keep up with your creative spirit and hungry-for-life pace; it be beaten with the love and understanding you show to yourself, my dear! You will dance your Freedom Ballet – with a smile on your face and your beautiful body flowing with good energy. Love you <3 – Paapu

  10. Thank you for sharing this amazing story! It is amazing to hear about someone who has conquered something as troubling as this. I am lucky to say I never had an eating disorder but always had an issue with my appearance. I am just starting to feel better about myself and people are noticing. Sometimes I think the hardest enemy to fight is yourself.

  11. Shae, I agree with you and I would even go further. We often are our worst enemy and if you were as harsh with other people as we are with ourselves, we’d be very lonely. I believe we would also never judge others the way we judge ourselves. We need to start loving ourselves and there is no reason we shouldn’t. We will be with ourselves for the rest of our lives, so why are we hurting ourselves so much?

  12. You’ve made wonderful progress. You have an amazing spirit. Thank-you for sharing your personal story with us. I love the beautiful artwork you picked today for your post!

  13. Your writing is so incredibly beautiful, full of your journey and the process, along with the healing venture. There is something about the simple truth that lifts the heart. You are on your way to loving food and feeling good and strong and healthy. How gorgeous of you to reach out and bring along all who need a helping hand. Keep going!!

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