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Eating Disorder Recovery - Who We Are Is Not Fixed

Eating Disorder Recovery

After recovering from a cancer that doctors thought he would not survive, Lance Armstrong said; “I take nothing for granted. I now have only good days or great days.” As you recover from an eating disorder, you’re going to have great days and days -- on the way to great. Concentrate on the great days. Acknowledge your accomplishments, allow yourself to see that there are no mistakes, just opportunities to try again, and continue moving towards “great.”

Be willing to forgive yourself. We’ve all slipped at some point in life; we have all had to revisit day one and begin again. The only thing that is important is that you “get back on the bike.” We have all fallen off, you are not alone, so don’t beat yourself up over it. If the worst comes to worst and you binge or purge or deny yourself food, then try to understand what triggered you and why you reacted to the situation in that way rather than responding in a loving manner that supports your recovery.

Many of us who suffer from eating disorders have an all-or-nothing mentality, which often causes us to react poorly to any kind of slipup. Whenever we have even a slight eating disorder setback, we feel like such a failure that we tend to follow the slight slipup with a spree of negative self talk, feeling guilty, eating (or denying). Then we feel so guilty about that, that we continue, and it takes another two or three days (or weeks or months or years) to get back on track towards recovery. Although unfounded, most of us carry tremendous guilt. We view even a minor slip as some sort of “sin” and find numerous ways to punish ourselves for it. The word “sin” is an archery term that simply means “missed the mark.” Nothing more, nothing less, it is only an opportunity to stretch, readjust our aim and try again.

It probably took you many years to develop your eating disorder, changing those patterns, beliefs and responses will take a little time and at some point, you may slip. Every time you’re tempted or actually revert back to the eating disorder, you have a golden opportunity to learn something about yourself. Go to your journal. Meditate. Finding out what’s behind your behavior is key in changing it. We can’t change something until we are aware of it. Put energy into understanding the “hidden” meaning of your relationship with food. Think about what is eating you? What is it that you are actually trying to bury under food? What is it that you are actually denying when you deny yourself food? What are you rejecting when you purge? These are tough questions but this right here, this moment is where the tread hits the road; THIS is your chance for change.

Change takes place in the present. One of the most empowering understandings we can embrace is that who we are is not fixed. Our Self is essentially who we experience ourselves to be in the moment. Just as moment move forward to the next, Selfhood continually changes. You can’t change what your relationship with food or yourself has been in the past, but you can change how you respond right NOW. Can you reach within yourself for enough clarity, strength, forgiveness, serenity, love, patience and faith to turn this around? Eating Disorder Recovery happens when we invest the time and energy to move from burying or denying our selves to revealing and loving ourselves.

 

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” ~ Lance Armstrong

 

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