Topic Tuesday: Springtime

“Breaking the Cycle” (By: Emily Grinstead)

There’s something about Spring that’s unsettling to me. I know, that probably sounds weird. I mean, Spring is typically associated with everything beautiful and calming: flowers, birds, pastel colors, sunshine, laughter. And I love all of those things, but for some reason I feel the opposite when the months of March, April, May start to creep up…

For six consecutive years, Springtime has been when my eating disorder got really bad. Every new year, new month, new Sunday became an opportunity to “start over” and finally “be good”. I think the memory of past unhealthy Springs is why I feel uneasy around this time of year; I worry that my old behaviors will be dug up again, that I’ll fall back into the traps of ED. With everyone focusing on New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, get fit, eliminate xyz food group, it’s no wonder that this time of year is especially challenging.

Thankfully I’ve recognized this pattern and can feel when my mind starts to wander back into crazy thoughts and tempting behaviors. Eating disorders take advantage of us when we’re at our weakest, and the Spring semester (for those of us still in school) usually entails stressful classes, an overloaded schedule, and a desire to cram everything in before the school year is over.

Seasons are times of transition and of change. But that change doesn’t have to be negative. Spring can be made beautiful again when we decide to practice self-care and self-love. Making little decisions like resting instead of forcing yourself to workout, or setting aside daily time to read a book for fun and journal, can make all the difference.

Let’s return to the true meaning of Spring: birth, new life, growth.

Choose healing, not destruction.

About the Author

Emily is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University majoring in Medicine, Health and Society (and possibly English!). She loves Jesus, journaling, brunch foods, and all things Christmas and Disney. Houston, TX is her proud home, but she is slowly becoming a converted Nashvillian. She hopes to attend medical school and become an Adolescent Medicine physician, so that she can use her own experiences with anorexia and orthorexia to treat patients with eating disorders.