Flashback to 2018, the year I did something different. I allowed myself freedom from an eating disorder.
Instead of focusing on changing my body with hopes of it magically making my life “perfect”, I chose one word to focus on all year. As a mantra, as an intention, and as a reminder.
I chose the word ALLOW.
I allowed myself to nourish my body. And I allowed my body to be it’s natural uninhibited shape and size.
I allowed my body to move when it felt good to move, but also to rest when it was tired. I allowed myself the space to grow and to follow my intuition.
And four years later, I continue to ALLOW all this and more. I allow myself to BE my authentic self. I allow my voice to be heard and I allow those around me to also be heard. And accepted. And loved.
Allowing for imperfections, mistakes, and learning, I allow all feelings to be felt, knowing they do not last forever.
I allow others the space to be who they are and the space to grow and flourish. I ALLOW authenticity, truth, growth, nourishment, and even change, while trusting in the universe, its plan, and myself. Letting go of my desire to control, I ALLOW life as it unfolds. With curiosity and excitement I was open to what was coming to me.
I allow myself to think, say, and feel whatever was authentically within my heart. Just as those around me are allowed the same. I allow exercise and I allow rest. I am allowed to ask for help and I am allowed to say no. And I am allowed to be imperfect, feel upset, learn from mistakes, and to keep going.
I allow myself to eat what I want when I want. I allow myself to say “no” when I need to.
I knew ALLOW was the right word for me in my recovery as I kept seeing more and more ways I could use it to focus on the life I desired. And then, suddenly, a beautiful insight dawned on me.
The opposite of ALLOW is to restrict.
I spent more than 24 years of my life focused on restricting. I restricted food, I restricted pleasure, I restricted feelings, I restricted my thoughts, and words, even my voice, thinking I should bury them down and keep them to myself.
I restricted my hopes, my dreams, my confidence, and even my love. The more and more I restricted, the smaller I got, but also the smaller my life got. It became so small and so dark, it felt suffocating. With everything restricted there is no way to grow, no way to flourish, and no way to thrive.
Recovering from an eating disorder is about ALLOWING back in to your life. Allowing nourishment, allowing connections, allowing self care, and allowing healing.
What do you need to allow yourself to be, have, or do?
After years of restricting, it feels amazing and invigorating to now live by the word ALLOW. No longer imprisoned by my eating disorder, I am flourishing, shining, growing, and in recovery! I hope you will join me on this path if you aren’t already here. After all, every single warrior is ALLOWED peace and freedom from an eating disorder.