Heal relationship with food and live a life free from an eating disorder.
- Eat when I want but really observe how I feel
- Eat what I want without labeling it good or bad
- Work towards being guilt free after eating what I want
- Exercise for the feeling rather than the calorie burn
Recovery is scary because:
- You will eat more than you typically let yourself eat throughout the day
- You will eat things that you typically would label as bad food
- You will feel yourself gain weight and you will feel yourself want to exercise less
Recovery is amazing because:
- You get to eat without a battle of whether your portion was enough or not
- You get to eat foods that use to be bad and now is just food
- You get to exercise for fun and not for the calorie burn & your weight will even out
Similarities of past struggles:
Pot: I use to smoke a lot of pot. At first it was wonderful, I felt creative and happy while high. There came a point where I wanted to be high at all hours of the day. There was stress with money around that because of how much it costs. Then, there came a point where being high caused me great anxiety. This cycle happened twice. Today I no longer smoke, but I also don’t label pot as ‘bad’. I don’t label people who use it as ‘bad’ either. I just know that I no longer get from it what I want to. It’s no longer appealing to me.
The cycle was: I tried pot, I didn’t portion control my usage, I became anxious, I stopped because of the anxiety, and now it doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I didn’t restrict myself from smoking it.
Relationship: Billy, my first boyfriend. I restricted myself from admitting that I liked Billy a lot because, truthly, I knew he didn’t like me as much as I liked him. Our relationship caused a lot of stress and it was unhealthy. Resisting my feelings was a way of denial – you must really want the object if you have to put effort into resisting it. My way of protecting myself from being hurt by him was to act like I was better than him. But, this restriction made me want him even more. The moment I became honest with myself and honest with him, I no longer restricted myself from how I felt about him. I embraced it. Once he told me how he felt, it really did hurt. And I allowed myself to feel that hurt. But now, the hurt isn’t as strong anymore.
The cycle was: I resisted my feelings towards Billy, the feelings only grew, once I embraced it and was honest to him and myself about it, the feeling subsided and I moved on to other things
There is a huge bucket of water way up high above you. The only thing that is keeping it upright and contained is the rope that it’s tide to, held in place by you that is standing beneath it. You’re in control. You hold tightly onto that rope to stay dry because you are deathly afraid of being wet. At first, you are strong and are able to hold it off with zero effort. You feel good and happy where you’re standing. You keep it up because you’re afraid of getting sick. Others are dry so you must be dry too. So you stand there, holding onto that rope.
Until you begin to get tired. You begin to get weak. You start to notice that others, who are dry, are freely walking around, while you are stuck in place. In control of this bucket. Your arms become sore, your hands are stressed. You’re not enjoying life, standing still underneath that bucket anymore. But you continue to hold on, until out of your control, the rope starts slipping from your hands.
One day, you decided to just let go. The bucket tipped over and poured all it’s content onto you. Just as expected, the pressure from the water hit you like a tsunami, knocking you over. Water got into your nose, your eyes, it made you cough. You sink to the ground. Others walk around you, looking down on you as you’re soaked. Once the pain from the collision subsides, you slowly get up. The bucket is still above you, swinging back and forth. Your arms are a bit sore, but it’s already starting to recover.
But, now that you’ve let go, you’re free to walk around. But, you are uneasy. You’re still a bit wet, and you almost forgot how to put one foot in front of the other. But you continue on. As the weeks went on, you begin to dry. You start to feel yourself become happy again. You start to forget about your time under the bucket. You are walking around freely just as others are walking around freely! You are in control. You come back to your bucket, still empty swinging in the wind. You hold on to the rope, but nothing is there to pull against anymore. You leave it, and walk on.
The bucket of water is the fear of weight gain, the ‘bad foods’, the disappointment, the judgements from others. You holding onto that rope is the control you think you are exuding over the contents in the bucket. But really, the bucket is controlling you. The more effort you put into holding that bucket in place, the more tired you’ll become. Once you stop resisting those things, it will hit you and it may hurt. But you will learn that it isn’t that bad, and you will learn that the fear of those things are greater than the fear itself (thanks FDR).
That long analogy above is similar to restricting yourself from foods that you love. I love junk food, I love candy, I love chocolate, I love meats, and I love cheese. I love it all. But I wasn’t allowed to because others called me fat, and others told me what I was eating was making me fat, and so I began to believe it. So the foods that I once loved, I was taught to hate.
I hated it for over a decade it feels like. But, the more I hated it and the more I resisted it, the more I wanted it. The more I binged and binged until I couldn’t feel a thing anymore. I was holding on to that rope so tightly afraid of the water in the bucket – afraid of the weight gain. But each time I restricted, I would binge just as strongly. So…. this week, I decided I needed to let go of the rope. I needed to feel the rush of the water hit me (gaining weight from eating what I want), and I will allow myself to dry off.
The method I’m using is similar to the Billy and Pot method. No more resisting how I feel about it, I will embrace it. I love all those foods I listed up above. The difference though, is I also love being active. I love how it makes me feel when I can do things with my body. This is where moderation comes into play.
I am very terrible at moderation. But excessive uses from anything is caused by the desire to restrict it. That feeling of ‘today I’ll go all out but tomorrow I’ll be better’. Let go of that control & of that restriction, let go of that judgement, and everything can be done in moderation.
Long story short – the more you resist yourself from liking and wanting something, the more you will want it. If you allow yourself to admit to wanting it and letting yourself have it, the desire will go away.