The most grateful I’ve ever felt for recovery.
This last 9 months has been the most grateful I’ve ever been for freedom from obsessive thoughts about food and my body.
I’ve been able to experience all of pregnancy without numbing away from my body changing. I really think being pregnant (and the coming postpartum period) would have been overwhelmingly miserable if the disordered part of me was still residing in my brain and I had to feel like I was fighting my body through all these changes. I have zero interest in fighting against the size my body wants to be in whatever season of life I am in. For me, I want to feel good about the way I take care of myself and constantly trying to be a different body size isn’t taking care of myself in a way that would feel healthy.
Three things I know are that:
- I can tolerate the natural shifts in my body that come with growing a baby…and most of the changes have been pretty freaking cool. I can’t think of one body change (stretch marks on boobs and butt, new fat pockets in new areas) that wouldn’t make this entire experience worth the baby prize at the end of the tunnel (or, ummm, the end of the birth canal hehe).
- When I (or you) have an uncomfortable feeling about your body size, it can be helpful to think, “i’m grateful I’m feeling this because this means I’m living my life and not coping in a way that numbs me away from this (i.e. coping with restricting, bingeing, overexercising, etc.).” Sure, those maladaptive coping strategies can bring a short-term sense of control and a fleeting sense of pleasure to your life for like 10-60 minutes…but disordered food/exercise behaviors/body manipulation can’t bring lasting fulfillment. Tolerating the discomfort of a body changing size allows you to have a space of time open up and in that space you find the time to find things that bring a deep rooted sensation of relief and happiness that you get to carry with you everyday no matter what your mood or body size is. Things like investing in relationships with others, understanding yourself and what you need to do to take care of yourself, etc.
- There is a life of being recovered from obsessive food and body thoughts that is more rewarding than what your disordered eating and exercise has allowed you, and that life is worth the pain and challenge of the recovery process to get there.
So I’m curious: Have you ever had a moment where you’ve felt overwhelmingly grateful that some life event that used to be hard because of thoughts of food/exercise/body size is no longer hard because you’ve made progress?
Maybe it’s not a major life event like pregnancy, maybe it’s something smaller that is still significant. For instance, for me there are still moments all the time when I’m grateful food doesn’t give me anxiety. The other day I went to lunch with a group of ladies. We went to this totally lame restaurant (Houston has EPIC food. EPIC. So it seems silly to me to choose non-epic food when there are a zillion epic places to pick from lol even though I believe not every meal needs to be a gourmet experience). Anyways. It was a soul food type of place and I was like, “this would’ve been really hard for me had it been several years prior because my tastebuds are gonna feel meh about everything on the menu.” But I ordered the meh food and MOVED ON WITH MY LIFE. The lunch was about connection with new people, not about epic food. In the moment I was grateful I could eat non-epic food with it being a non-issue. Do you have any similar experiences to share? Would love to hear. (especially because I have no idea when I’m actually going to go into labor and would love to spend today reading about your victories <3)