Last week I sent myself into a state of panic over what should have been a very simple and unimportant decision.

It turns out that I have been unknowingly obsessed with a rule-infested routine ever since I moved to Wellington.

And the unknowing freaks me out, suddenly dissolving my (apparently false) sense of control.

When you lie on your bed staring at the ceiling for an hour, paralysed by the “do I, don’t I?” questions circling round and round in your mind like a broken record, you know this is no longer an innocent weekend activity.

When you suffer a panic attack because you don’t have time to do lengths at the swimming pool that day, you know you’ve lost control.

This is anorexia. Creeping into my life, confidently sporting an invisible cloak. Sulking at my rebellion against its food rules and choosing another part of my life to reign.

But I’ve decided. No longer am I going to be obsessed with exercise as if it’s the backbone of my existence.

No longer will the number of lengths I swim be the authority figure giving me permission to eat.

I give myself permission to eat. My body gives me permission to eat.

The trick will be believing it.






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