Disordered eating is no longer an uncommon issue in peoples lives. So many of us are confined and restricted by the rules we inflict on ourselves to reach society’s ridiculous standard of beauty. Unfortunately, the transition from disordered eater to recovery is not all smooth sailing. In fact, it can be frustrating, exhausting and degrading. However, the struggle is worth it, in order to emerge whole once more and to begin truly living!
For so long my greatest ambition was to be a size 6. My heart would sing when someone would tell me that I was so tiny or noticed I had lost weight. There was this rush of feeling like I had made a great accomplishment. When concern was raised about anorexic tendencies, I took this as a sign that I had made it…Yes I was finally thin enough to be beautiful.
I loved being the skinny girl. The one who had willpower as strong as nails. The one who was so ‘dedicated’ she wouldn’t drink calorie-laidened coffee with her friends or skip a workout to be with her family.
I measured my success by the number on the scale. I was consumed by the blinding desire to be the envy of everyone else.
Fast forward 2 years and here I am now. On the steep, rough and rocky road to recovery. I’d like to tell you that everything became easy, that I am free from all restrictive or negative thoughts. However, that just simply isn’t the case.
If you currently are suffering from disordered eating then let me tell you the hard truths about recovery.
You will gain weight
This fact alone could be enough to send you plummeting back into despair. Letting go of being the skinny girl is one of the biggest challenges I faced. Going up a clothes size, not fitting into your favourite jeans, getting stuck while trying on a wrong size dress (funny story that one.)
It is time to realize that you are absolutely lovely just the way you are and not just knowing it, but believing it in your heart.
This is a new season in your life. Get rid of your ‘skinny clothes.’ You don’t need them. They are a part of your past.
Your body is just a shell which houses your soul- your nature, passion, fire and secret desires.
That’s the real you.
Your body is temporary, but your soul is what endures forever.
You will have to eat things that you don’t want to
Part of letting go is accepting that you are not always in control. This means eating something not because it is low-fat, sugar free and has 6 grams of protein, but because it will allow you to truly be present and in the moment.
Therefore when your family is all going out for burgers, you may not like it, but just do it anyway. It will be difficult. However, this will make you stronger. It will mean that you know you can cope with whatever life throws at you.
You ate the food and lived.
You had the courage and determination to push yourself. In my books, you are a true hero.
It will be uncomfortable
You will be faced with situations that take you by surprise and leave you feeling blind-sided. Spontaneous trips to get ice cream, a friend gifting you a cupcake, or the onslaught of unhealthy choices at a restaurant.
My friend these are the precious moments in life. These are the things to be treasured. When you are old and frail in a rest-home, these are the memories you will share with your roommates.
The beauty of life is its unpredictability.
Don’t be afraid of change. When you are out of your comfort zone you WILL grow.
Pressure causes coal to turn into diamonds.
You will be misunderstood
People are stupid. And they say incredibly stupid things. They are quick to judge and can easily offend without that intention.
You will need to have a tough skin. To accept that they don’t know what they are talking about. They haven’t gone through what you have. So when they tell you to just grow up and eat a pie, don’t bristle up and arm yourself ready to fire.
Take pity on them, they are the ones who are ignorant.
Be gentle, keep on smiling and keep your counter attack to yourself.
You will have to start afresh
You have been brainwashed to believe that you are not good enough. It happened slowly, day by day the lies were whispered in your ear, flaunted in your face and cut into your heart.
Unfortunately, the healing process is just as slow.
But every time you nip an awful thought in the bud, eat what your body craves and pour love out on others, you are mending your broken heart.
The greatest thing you can do is start loving yourself.
Start pouring truth and light into your life instead of lies and darkness. Get rid of the sources of judgement, comparison and deception in your life.
If you are looking for people who will build you up, here is a good place to start:
My lovely friends, recovery is not a piece of cake (although it certainly involves plenty.) You will hit roadblocks and obstacles. You may even be tempted to resort to your old ways.
But know this…it is POSSIBLE!
If you are ready to try, then how about starting with these 5 tips.