If you have read this BLOG, you would know that my eating disorder has a name, and it’s Leni. I think of Leni as an actual being that is literally trying to ruin my life because that is her goal. In treatment I prayed A LOT. It was there that I learned the power of prayer.
It was also there that I learned that I am stronger than Leni, especially with God on my side. In order to succeed in beating your eating disorder, you need to take any opportunity you can find to make your self stronger than her.
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.” ― George Bernard Shaw
Her Evil Beauty
In Ezekiel 28 it talks about satan and his beauty. That is how I view Leni. Beautiful, mysterious, and persistent, but life threatening. This means that your eating disorder will probably appear very attractive to you. This is not weird. In fact, Genesis 3:6 talks about how the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was pleasing to the eye. Yes Leni is beautiful and skinny, but she will lead me down a path that is hurtful and hard to come back from.
Grow Your Roots Strong
A couple of days ago I had someone approach me and ask, “If you can share anything that helps you, I would love to know”. In this case, she was talking about recovery. It took me a good day of reflection to really think about the things that are helping me ultimately overcome my eating disorder. In that reflection, I came up with this list of 10 things. Now, these 10 practices are not easy, and they take time. You will have to look for the opportunity to grow in your recovery while you are being pulled out of the ground by your roots from the eating disorder. This challenge is growing those roots so thick and strong that they don’t move.
1. Create an Opportunity To Respect Yourself
To be successful in recovery of any kind, you need to RESPECT yourself. If you do not respect yourself, then why should anyone else respect you? Start out with one practice each day that teaches you to respect yourself. It can be as simple as praying that you want to respect yourself but you don’t know how. Other examples include: looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you respect yourself, by telling yourself this, you are creating positive reinforcement against the self hate thoughts that you repeat in your head over and over again. Look for any opportunity to congratulate yourself, even if they are little accomplishments, like eating a meal to nourish your body.
2. Find An Opportunity To Put Things Into Perspective
Think about someone you love. Would you starve them, or cut their skin for punishment? Find a partner or someone you feel comfortable with. Write down 10 negative thoughts you tell yourself over and over again. Have your partner read them back to you as if they were you. How does this make you feel? What is your reaction?
3. Find Accountability Partners and Support
You need to capitalize on every opportunity you can find to meet others who are also struggling. Find support groups! You can do this online or in person. There are resources for support, you just have to look for them.
4. Failing is a Part of Recovery
Realize that giving in to your eating disorder’s tendencies is going to happen. The important thing is that you DO NOT LET THIS KEEP YOU FROM SUCCEEDING. Find the lesson that can be learned. Use the situation as an opportunity to grow. Ask yourself what happened to lead you to this and what can you learn for next time. In doing this, you are searching for the source of the behavior and not just the behavior itself.
5. Have a Structured Eating Routine
If you wait until you are hungry to eat, the chances of you over-eating are more likely. Your body is like a car (I believe I got this example from Rachel Hollis). You do not wait until it is COMPLETELY out of gas to fill it. If you did, you would leave yourself stranded somewhere that doesn’t have a gas station. Same principal applies to your body. Be prepared and have plans and snacks on hand.
In my next post, I will share the last 5 practices to help you succeed in your recovery. Let me know what you think of this post and what practice speaks most to you. We are all in this together. Recovery is one of the hardest things you will do, but it is also one of the most rewarding.
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