Upon receiving an email the other day re eating disorder recovery, a lovely lady asking for some advice from someone who has been through it a few times over and has finally made it to the other end, that it’s been a while since I touched base with where I’m at in my journey.
As much for the blog and others in recovery as for myself, I feel it’s important to occasionally take a step back to reflect upon new learning’s, hurdles overcome and general changes, positive and negative that have snuck right under my feet; luckily it’s been mainly the former of late! It’s very easy to let things slide as well as letting little achievements go by without giving yourself the pat on the back you deserve!
All my previous recovery and general eating disorder insight posts can be found on the “Scratching more than the Surface” Page – links at the end of my ramblings!
One of the most common questions I get asked is when did I get to the point of not being obsessed about what, how and when I eat, when did that sense of freedom really kick in?
At various different times over the past couple of years I would have considered myself “free, relaxed and at ease”. Each time I experienced the sense of true contentment it became that little bit stronger, more real, on each occasion I felt that it was real, that I’d reached and overcome the final hurdle. Now two years on I realise that I hadn’t quite gotten their yet, I hadn’t quite let go and to some extent I still haven’t.
I have reached a place were 90% of the time I’m free and the other 10%…I can be a little obsessive but not in a way that is destructive or particularly negative. I’m happy, I can switch off, relax and I’m a hell of lot easier on myself. I’m don’t want to define it or describe it in any particular way, I’m just in a happy content place and if it changes I’ll go with it, there is always room for improvement, new learning and developments. The fact that I’m even open to change, that is now something that I want to embrace rather than run from like the plague is a major breakthrough!
Here are a few other positives changes/reflections and thoughts I’ve taken stock of lately!
I don’t have to be the best at everything I do; although I would have recognised this before now I could never quite put it in to true practice! Now a bad food photo shoot, a recipe disaster or not having all the answers to questions back in the classroom is ok, I don’t beat myself up about it one bit and it feels blooming fantastic!
If I want that bit extra be it a slice of cake, a spoonful of mustard, a handful of nuts or a super sized scoop of nut butter I allow myself to just have it. Although I do plan meals for the week in advance I’ve completely let go of having to measure every single ingredient, I’m ok with winging it and guestimates; intuitive eating is not something I’d ever thought I’d be able to embrace but by god somehow I’ve gotten here! It was only when I stopped obsessing about food in a negative way and began to embrace it for the nutrients that it could potentially supply my body that I saw it in a whole new light, with a whole new sense of respect, love and appreciation.
There are still challenges to overcome and changes I want to make, desires and longings that some days I will admit get the better of me. I deal with these differently now. Rather than letting any little whim of negativity get the better of me I just accept them for what they are. I also go extra easy on myself, take time out, have a bath, get some fresh air and share my thoughts more often than not with my mum. I had slipped back in to not sharing my feelings and letting them build up, allowing them to negatively affect my mood and demeanour. It’s something most people are guilty of at one time or another, when under pressure at work or feeling the strain emotionally for whatever reason. I’d learned not to let tension build up in my body and mind. Not consciously taking time to reflect and assess how I’m feeling, time to just be, has much more of an affect on me than I imagined.
I will admit that leaving my job and taking on the challenge of studying, not having a regular steady income as well as putting the focus back on albeit from a nutritional aspect might potentially leave me quite anxious and full of regret as well as resurrecting negative preoccupations but it has gone according to plan! I’m embracing the new learning, not obsessing about it on a day to day level, making further positive changes to my own diet and attitude towards food, and allowing myself to truly relax with regards to money. I’ve thrown away the live plan and accepted that I need to let things to just happen; I’ve had various little successes and new opportunities that wouldn’t have come my way otherwise!
I did a bit of clearing! For years I have held on to a large quantity of clothing items ranging quite considerably in size on the off chance that I would suddenly either gain or loose weight. I always like to be prepared and the thought of not having a variety of clothes to choose from should my body shapes change made me incredibly anxious. Having those clothes there was having quite an adverse impact on my ability to truly move on and just be. Always thinking about the what if’s, finding something to worry about, in a strange way me feel at ease. It’s actually only as I sit here and write this post how little I’m feeling any sort of anxiety of late!
- I’ve gain over half a stone this past year
- My skin is a zillion times clearer
- I’ve a hell of a lot more energy; no more of those afternoon slumps
- I very rarely get a headache
- I’m sleeping much better…getting in between 7- 8 hours a night
- I don’t feel cold all the time
- No more tingly/numb feet
- My nails are stronger
- I heel so much more quickly! I had various fingers sliced thanks to my less than exemplary knife skills over the past couple of weeks which heeled in a matter of days, previously it would have taken weeks!
- My stomach is the least bloated that I can remember it ever being!
- And my psoriasis as almost completely cleared up – purely through making some dietary changes as I’ve been incredibly forgetful when it comes to
The key learning…
I had learned to settle! It’s never a good thing; it’s ok to just be and go with the flow, but to settle is to close doors, in a sense to resist change and fail to embrace it if it comes your way.
What’s one thing that has changed in your life, body, mind or spirit of late? Have you taken to reflect and appreciate it? [/donotprint]