My last few posts have shown a lot of doubt. I have touched a lot on my frustrations and this sense of “stuckness” that I have been feeling. And the more that I think about it, the more I realize that I really haven’t been giving myself enough credit. I find it much easier to count my slips and be super hard on myself about how far I have to go before I reach full recovery, as opposed to acknowledging the progress that I have made. It’s even easier to remember the bad moments and all of the times I have used eating disorder behaviors to cope. In fact, it’s like a running tally in my head that is always there..oh you restricted at that meal, stepped on the scale another time, didn’t honor your hunger or let that person walk all over you etc. I never seem to pass up an opportunity to berate myself.
So tonight I am going to step out of my comfort zone and try something different. Instead of reminding myself of all of negative, I am going to take some time to share the positive things that I have done and just the little changes that I have noticed in myself that are aimed in the right direction.
- I don’t hate my body every day. Today John and I played “softball” (as in catch with a baseball and gloves, ignore the fact that we did absolutely nothing related to softball) and I couldn’t help but notice how strong I am. Instead of being angry that my body is super muscular, I was happy about this. I have always been super athletic and although my hard work and persistence is largely to thank for that, so is my body type; thank you muscular thighs and strong arms. I may not be a natural softball player, but I can hold my own thanks to my water polo arm. (Although, I am still baffled by the idea that you don’t catch and throw with the same hand. Transferring the ball takes too much time.)
- My body has been telling me exactly what it wants to eat lately and I have been listening, instead of ignoring. This morning John and I went to Panera for breakfast (my suggestion) and I tried something that I had never had before because it sounded good. Not only was that a big thing, but we decided to go there because my normal boring breakfast of Life cereal just wasn’t what I wanted. Like I have said in previous posts, I have been eating the same thing every day for breakfast whether I wanted to or not, and today that just wasn’t happening. (Side note for anyone struggling with breaking any kind of habit or routine: Rest assured, I wasn’t struck by lightning and the world didn’t end. And a little plug for Panera: Everyone should try their ham/cheese/egg breakfast sandwich and there super awesome orange juice!)
- I have cancer and because of new medicines/complications my body is very needy. Duh, is probably what you are thinking? This statement probably isn’t news to you, but it was to me. For the past few weeks I have been angry at myself/body that I have needed more sleep/food and less activity and that I haven’t had my usual never ending amounts of energy. When complaining to my oncologist about this last week he responded, “You do know that you have cancer right?”*Cue very loud sigh and acknowledgement* So that is why I am here?...just kidding. So for the past few days I have let go of the anger and have allowed myself the extra rest/nutrients that my body needs to heal. I have not only allowed myself to sleep adequate amounts at night, but I have become an avid napper again and am mostly ok with this.
- I told someone “NO”. Yep, you heard me correctly. I used that dreaded two letter word when I didn’t want to do something because I didn’t think that I should be the one to do it. I stood my ground and didn’t back down, even when the person laid on a long speech about how I was the best candidate and why I should do it. And the even better part, the guilt lasted less than a minute.
- Most importantly, I have largely let go of looking to others for approval. Not only have I stopped seeking outside opinions/advice at every chance given, but I have stopped giving credence to it. Yes I am engaged and no we haven’t set wedding plans/dates yet and I really don’t care what your suggestions are or what you think about it. I also haven’t completely decided my plans for the future and don’t feel the need to explain or justify my lack of decisions to anyone. I will listen to what you have to say, but I no longer feel bad about not having answers or following your advice. I will be the boss of myself, thank you very much!
After re-reading above I had a quick moment of doubt. Of, Do-you-really-think-that-these-simple-things-are-accomoplishments-or-things-to-be-proud-of? To which I responded, Why yes, yes I do. I am proud of myself for everything that I have mentioned above and I won’t let anyone convince me otherwise, even myself.
Recovering from anything is hard work. It’s easy to focus on all of the times we’ve messed up and the mistakes that we have made. But I believe that it’s important to remember the positive/good things and take some time to pat ourselves on the back every now and then. Everyone has off days and times that they slip in recovery and more so in life, but by dwelling on those times we are giving them more power over us. I refuse to give the eating disorder another moment or opportunity to shine, so today I will smile and be proud of my accomplishments and I encourage everyone to do the same.