At the moment, my biggest takeaway from eating disorder/disordered eating recovery is knowing now that I can handle hard things. Knowing I can tolerate discomfort without having to change anything or cope in unhelpful ways.
For instance, at parts in recovery (and still now) I realized:
I can have fat on my body and tolerate when someone is telling me about their weight loss.
I can eat 3 meals and snacks according to my hunger and fullness cues, even when someone I’m with is dabbling in intermittent fasting or Whole30.
I can be in a body that is changing sizes and trust my body knows what it’s doing (hello, postpartum!).
I can be in relationships with friends who are more physically fit than me and be okay being the less physically fit friend.
I can hear someone talking about how they’re intolerant to x food and know that disordered eating is more common that food sensitivities or intolerances.
I can understand that I’m a highly sensitive, anxious, people-pleaser who will always have to have skills to manage those traits.
I can see that this life of being recovered is more rewarding than the life the eating disorder ever allowed me.
I can see this life I’m living now was worth the pain and challenge of the recovery process.
I can be triggered and choose to be resilient.
I’ll leave you with some Brené..
“When you hold those perfect little babies in your arms, our job is not to say, “Look at her, she’s perfect. My job is just to keep her perfect — make sure she makes the tennis team by fifth grade and Yale by seventh.” That’s not our job. Our job is to look and say,”You know what? You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
I am grateful for the struggle I went through (and the struggles that are to come with life, I’m sure) because they taught me I can do hard things. But I’m glad everyday doesn’t feel like such a struggle anymore. If you’re in an eating disorder or stuck in disordered eating, I wish that for you too.
What is/has the recovery process taught you? I’d love to know.