It has been a long 11 years, but here I am on the other side. In a place where I NEVER knew I would be. So for my first blog post as part of a newly designed blog, I thought I would share what I have learned in these 11 years of recovery from one thing I would not ever wish on anyone, an Eating Disorder. I won’t get into all of the icky stickies of what my eating disorder was like, because honestly that does not help anyone. Just know it wasn’t pretty and that I am lucky to be here today. So with that being said, here is what I learned.
- Every year there is something new to work on in recovery.
Recovery has many layers for those trying to get out of the pits of an eating disorder. There is cognitive levels where you need to change your thinking, there is depression, anxiety and mastering those emotions, there is the nutrition end of it (holy moly that is a tough one) and of course there is the ever loving, finding peace with your body. For the 11 years I have been in recovery, all of these variables have been a work in progress and while I have not perfected them, I have become stronger in fighting all of these variables.
2. Get to know your body and LISTEN TO IT!
One of the biggest things I have learned is if I am not listening to my body in all aspects, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, then I will be not in-tune to what it needs. I feel like this is important for everyone to learn. Even those without an eating disorder history it is important to learn how to listen to your body. So one way I have learned to do this is thru paying attention to every thought and feeling that I am having. When I am feeling off I search for the reason why, is it my diet , is there stress that is not needed, am I allowing myself enough rest, am I praying? These are all things that I have learned to do to create balance in my life to stay healthy and in recovery.
3. Finding Peace with your body is Tough, but it is POSSIBLE
So it is really tough as a woman these days to find complete peace with your body. I mean lets be honest, with everything plastered in social media, TV, Music, etc…. it is nearly impossible to not feel tempted to compare yourself. For someone in recovery, it is 10 times magnified! So, I have learned to not completely mute the outside noise, but at least limit what I pay attention to. I have learned that I need to focus on what GOD says my worth is and not what other people say it is. So I hold close to my heart the fact that I am FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY Made in God’s image the way He wants me to be. That is what I lean into during times of tempted comparison.
4. Be Fearless!
It takes incredible guts to fight an eating disorder. It affects every aspect of your life. It turns you into a person that you never thought you would become and then when you are trying to get better, you have to find a whole new you. Its exhausting and a LONG process. One of the big things I have learned while going thru this process, is that I need to be fearless. I need to take big steps and do things I would have never done before. This year I took a fearless step outside of my comfort zone and joined in the process to becoming physically fit but also nutritionally fit! Holy smokes did I have some growing pains with this process and still do, but I have come a long way and boy am I glad I took that step!!
5. Recovery IS POSSIBLE
This is the biggest thing that people misunderstand about Eating Disorders. I am here to tell you that it is possible with hard work, support, and fearless perseverance. There can be peace after the ravages of this disorder. So I guess what I am trying to say is that if you know someone that is struggling, if you are struggling or you think you know someone who is struggling, just know, it is POSSIBLE TO RECOVER! I am living proof!
This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This is a huge week for me to celebrate because it marks 11 years of recovery. This year I am celebrating even more because I have found a peace that surpasses my understanding, which I can only give credit to my Lord and Savior. Without Him bringing the right people to my life and providing the right support around me, I would not be here. Not only that but he brought a passion to help others into my life and now I am fully pursuing that passion through Wonderfully Made Fitness. What a journey it has been and I honestly wouldn’t trade it for the world.