Someone recently asked me how I knew I was better. And, I thought about it: ‘was I better?’. Recovered- yes. I have not engaged in eating disordered behaviors in a long time. But better? Well, I don’t buy that. You see, I was never ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ to begin with. I was just suffering. And, I didn’t know how to work with it.
Then, I (and, let’s be honest, my body) decided to do something about it.
Recovery was a choice I made years ago when life seemed unmanageable and scary. When I felt like I was going crazy. When I wanted a fucking donut (with out a breakdown). When I was out of control in my control.
And, recovery is a choice I made yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. It’s a decision I constantly make and need to keep making. Like picking out my kicks or deciding which crappy romance book to escape in. It’s a choice. I make it. Daily.
And, sometimes, I’ll be honest, it was not always an easy one. I’ve had nostalgia for my disordered days. I’ve even tried to convince myself it would ‘fix’ something. (We all know the treacherous diddy called: ‘perfect body’ perfects the life…) But I stopped it there. I learned to listen and not always do what my mind mind said.
I learned to pick my thoughts.
I remind myself that I am already good enough with thighs that touch and dishes in my sink. I am good enough when I stay up late watching Scandal and when I my morning mediation consists of me thinking about cheese (true story!). Simply, I am good enough as me. Then, I choose to love the part of me that feels harsh, ugly, or (ultimately) scared.
There was a nutritionist I worked with once that said: “always make the next right choice.” Now, I found this cliche to be up there with the “things happen for a reason” bullshit solace that comes when people don’t know what to say, but he had a point. We get to choose. Always.
The truth is we are always choosing: How to nourish ourselves. What brand yogurt to buy. Walk or bike.
How to (re)act.
Who to trust with our bodies.
Who to trust with our hearts.
Except, too often, we let life go. And go. And go. We become automated and numb. We stay in cycles or in patterns that we know. Even when it’s clear there is a problem; we allow ‘comfort’ of a cycle to squeeze the mettle out of ourselves. That’s what my ED did to me. It clung. It jammed the controller called Agency. Hungry- it tried to drive me around.
(I let it for a while…)
And – why? Because it was known? Because it was familiar? Because the alternative felt to overwhelming? Because I was afraid to fail?
Because there was no guarantee of better.
And, that’s the rub. Simply, one of the best ways I’ve learned to restore our power my life is to own our choices. We have choices all the time. We can effect our reality.
And, if that is not a reason to try something different – you can always choose to go back.
I never have though.
Enter your email address below and get inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.