Imagine being lost in a desert, crawling along by yourself for so long, and totally parched for connection. Then FINALLY you reach an oasis and find an abundance of connection, support, and recovery wisdom. This is what it felt like for Julie Wickham who lived with a life-sucking eating disorder for over forty years. Then, she discovered Recovery Warriors and became unstoppable in recovery.
Now, she has the nickname “Unstoppable Julie” because of her intense thirst of recovery. Like a dried up sponge, Julie soaked up the lessons inside our Courage Club and put them into practice – even when it was hard. Julie truly embodies the philosophy of going from eating disorder recovery theory, to practice, to mastery.
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, Castbox, or on your favorite podcast platform.
Below are 3 pieces of wisdom from Julie Wickham’s journey to help YOU become unstoppable in recovery.
1. The scale serves no helpful purpose
Ditching the scale and ditching diets are some of the fundamental basics of recovery. Leaving the scale behind can be scary when you’re deep in an eating disorder, and your worth and emotions are tied up in the number you see on the scale. That’s why getting rid of your scale (or committing to not using it) is one of the most important things you can do to become unstoppable in recovery.
“I gave up the scale, that was the first thing that I that I did, It serves no purpose to me. If I got on it didn’t matter if it was a lower number, a higher number, or the stayed the same – I always felt like I could do ‘better’, and that the number could be lower. It just was never the answer” – Julie Wickham
The number on the scale is not the secret to life. Your weight does not define your happiness, your health, or your worth. Stepping off the scale for good is stepping off the emotional roller coaster ride of emotions that come along with that changing number. It can be hard to stop using the scale, but there is so much freedom in letting it go.
2. There is power in gratitude
This is not the first time you’ve heard about gratitude here at Recovery Warriors, and it certainly won’t be the last! We are all about the gratitude. It’s SO powerful, not only when it comes to eating disorder recovery, but for everyone no matter what their journey is in life. Gratitude is an important part of becoming unstoppable in recovery.
One of the biggest roadblocks to practicing gratitude is feeling like it’s unrealistic because you have nothing to be grateful for. Julie felt this way when she first started practicing gratitude, but she kept giving it a chance. Once she continued this on a longer-term basis, her perspective started to change.
“I had tried practicing gratitude in the past, but I felt like I had nothing to be grateful for, and that I was just a miserable hot mess. So I stopped for a while. Then I joined the Courage Club where we did it every day, and I started to think ‘oh, this is, this feels really, really good.’ I started to see and notice things that I didn’t before.” – Julie Wickham
Give yourself the opportunity to feel unsure about gratitude, and try it anyway. It’s a practice that is so simple, and so powerful. It can be done anytime, anywhere, and if you challenge yourself you will discover that there is always something to be grateful for. Even on your worst days.
3. Embrace help along the way
Another way to become unstoppable in recovery is knowing that you don’t have to do it alone. While ultimately, only you yourself can move your feet to take the steps down the path of recovery, you can also embrace support from the people you meet along way.
“One of the greatest things I’ve learned is that I don’t have to do this by myself. I don’t have to figure it out on my own. I can ask other people to help me. Now I have built my own team of my friends, my therapist, my mentor, my coach, and my family. I have lots of people.” -Julie Wickham
We can’t become our fully recovered selves by ourselves. It really takes a community and feeling that connection to know you’re not alone and that you’re supported. Sometimes this can be easier said than done, especially when you’re still living in the shame and isolation that so commonly comes along with an eating disorder.
Building community and finding your people doesn’t happen overnight. There are many recovery groups, programs, and online communities out there, including here at Recovery Warriors. If you’re not sure where to find community or create connection, start with some research online. Become a Recovery Warriors insider and check out The Daily Growth Habit.
There are resources out there for you. Embrace the help you find along the way to be unstoppable in your recovery, just like community member Julie Wickham.