Wow. I cannot thank you guys enough for all the positive responses and encouragement from my last post. I've been trying to comment everyone back as quickly as possible but I'm afraid I may have missed some people. if I did miss you, I apologize and please know every word has been greatly appreciated and consistently brings a smile to my face <3
Today something funny happened. I was at the gym and forgot to bring a towel. But given the heat and humidity, there was NO way I was getting into my toastly little car without showered first. So, yours truly took it upon herself to use the handy-dandy hair dryers they keep at the gym to dry herself off.
Obviously, this meant having to look at my body. In the mirror. For a solid 10-15 minutes.
A long time ago, anorexia would have picked my body apart, looking over every part, scrutinizing it and finding flaws with every inch of skin.
Today, I looked in the mirror and I had some sudden realizations.
I am not fat. I have lovely muscle tone and I am getting stronger every day (woo! I can leg press 140lbs now!)
The biggest thought though, the most important one that entered my mind was that I love my body just as it is. I didn't look in the mirror and see imaginary chub on my midsection, I didn't pinch skin off my ribcage and think to myself that I needed to lose 5lbs. None of the old anorexic thoughts were there. Just a great appreciation for what I have accomplished. I remember the way I used to look and feel - when I was so weak that carrying in groceries caused my arms to ache and I fell asleep at eight o'clock every night because I couldn't bear to be awake any longer. I don't focus on those things so much anymore - I don't need to constantly remind myself of how bad I was to be able to feel good about who I am right now.
I was watching The Incredibles the other afternoon (yeah, I watch the Disney channel on rainy Sundays, so sue me) and something one of the characters said struck me.
"Never look back darling, it distracts from the now."
Who knew such wisdom could come from a children's movie? Actually, I think those Disney flicks are filled with much deeper messages and construct than people realize (did you know Aladdin was based off Othello? True story) But in all seriousness, I heard that quote and wrote it down on a scrap of paper almost immediately so I could share it with y'all. I think some times a lot of us, myself included, let our past selves dictate what we do now. I cannot tell you how many people I know who are afraid of SOMETHING because in the back of their minds, it reminds them of something from the past. I'm not saying that's bad - I do that too. I still have an irrational fear of potatoes and I cannot even figure out why (though I think having to eat a plate of semi-frozen mashed 'tatties and getting entirely sick when I was in IP has something to do with it) But! We are in recovery. We are different people now than we were months or years ago when we were entranced with our eating disorders. We are in different places in our lives. We have new goals, dreams, aspirations. We have new things to look forward to and new lives to live for. The fears and memories left over from our pasts so often distract us from who we are becoming and what we are now capable of. Its saddening to think that we may never realize our full potentials because we keep letting our former attitudes control what we do now. I never ate peanut butter or dessert or french toast when I was into my ED the past few years. Never. But I will admit - when I was in high school, I'd allow myself to have either peanut butter or dessert once a week. I couldn't tell you how much exactly I had, and it probably wasn't as much as I thought - but I always felt like I'd just binged on something bad. And for a long time, I was afraid of having things like french toast or peanut butter because I had that connatation in my head. Over time though, I have let go. I no longer think to myself "I can't eat that because I'll eat too much." I know what my body needs or wants, and I take what I think looks like a satisfying amount. I never on my life though I would be able to do that. But I can now, because without even thinking about it, I have stopped recounting every past event in my eating disordered history and I've stopped thinking about "food rules" for the most part. The past is the past for a reason - because we are supposed to move foward and make changes to better ourselves and enrich our lives. If we keep holding onto our former selves, we never truly grow out of the shell.
So today, I challenge myself and all of you: Let go of just one thing from your past today - be it an eating disordered thing, or a mistake you made or even just a consistent fear you've had. Just something that you think distracts you from living in the moment right now.
With that, I leave you with this morning's muesli:
Oats soaked over night in 1/4 cup milk and Fage 2%, banana, almonds, coconut flakes,PB and orange marmalade. Pina colada style - living's good right?
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